Hill Country Visit

Compared to most other Rotaract events, the Hill Country Visit has always been special. Despite the many hurdles that came up this time around, the Club Service Team was dead set on making the Hill Country Visit happen; their efforts were not in vain.

On the 23rd of September 2022, the buses from Colombo departed around 9 pm. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for the songs to start, subduing the onsetting weariness and any semblance of sleep. Midway through the long journey to Badulla, we stopped to stretch our legs and take a breather. This brief moment where we were gathered outside the buses for a much-needed break as the 1 am coldness was starting to set in, served as a point of punctuation in the rest of the journey which was fairly restless. The buses reached Uva Wellassa University early in the morning, where the Rotaractors got ready for the 10th Installation Ceremony of Rotaract Club of Uva Wellassa University – Badulla. The incoming President, Rtr. Naween Samarakoon, and his Board of Directors had prepared a warm welcome for those that came on the visit.

The day drew on, and soon after the conclusion of the installation and lunch, we commenced the most anticipated part of the Hill Country Visit: the hike to Madulsima. The darkness, the mist, and the cold were setting in as we started the journey upwards, which only made the experience all the more riveting. The slow trudge up rewarded the hikers with views and vistas that grew grander with each step. It was a humbling experience, which also reminded us to be grateful for the beauty of our little island. We soon reached our camping spot, where the fellowship started in earnest.

Despite the exhaustion, many chose to stay awake through the night; loathing to lose even a moment of the experience to sleep. From songs to games to staring intently at the starry sky untainted by the city lights, not a single moment of the night was dull. Everyone was wide awake early in the morning to see the sunrise. There are those who have seen a sunrise and those who have seen the sunrise from Madulsima. The sensory experience that is the sun creeping up along the silhouetted ridges in the distance is something truly profound, and unequivocally life-affirming. We all came back to the University premises for lunch and to get ready for the long journey back. At this point, everyone was understandably exhausted; but there was still a vestige of sadness in the idea of leaving. And so, we left with the same sense of fellowship we arrived in. Slightly melancholic, we left firmly determined to return.






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