Last year, I decided to take a step out of my comfort zone and spend my summer volunteering in Sri Lanka. I had never considered volunteering before, but when I read about Tea Leaf Vision, I was intrigued. My being obsessed with tea helped the decision too.

The teachers at Tea Leaf Vision are the loveliest people I have ever met. I was humbled to watch them work and help them however I could. They are on a mission to dramatically improve the lives of underprivileged young people who would otherwise fall prey to a system designed to keep them in the tea estates. The teachers always look for ways to improve their teaching and work incredibly hard. It was very inspiring to work with them.

This was a huge learning experience for me. I tried tea picking and found out how much work goes into my favourite cuppa. I met so many people whose life circumstances were much worse than I could have imagined, yet they smiled. It made me think about what really matters in life.

I saw sacred temples, beautiful beaches and ancient cities in Sri Lanka, but the biggest marvel for me is Tea Leaf Vision. It’s much more than a school — it’s a family, an oasis of happiness and optimism and a movement for a better Sri Lanka. And if we learn a thing or two from them, it’s impact can be world-wide.
Coming back from my trips, I always looked forward to Maskeliya, which is itself located in an absolutely breathtaking environment.

I can’t imagine a better place to volunteer than Tea Leaf Vision in Maskeliya. I had the time of my life and you will too.