Uncle Shelton

Shelton is Arugambay’s unemployed hero.
Today we bring you a real life story from Arugam Bay.
Uncle Shelton was perhaps the only fit person to report for duty at 07:00 sharp! just over two years ago. Typical, because during the past 20 years or more he never missed a single day’s work.
His pride and joy was to create and look after the perhaps best tropical garden at Order ethionamide prothionamide Arugam Bay. The owners had collected many unique seeds and saplings on their global travels and uncle Shelton took care; in the days when Ceylon had no such import restrictions.

Two year’s ago, just when the rest of Arugam Bay retired, after extensive Christmas and Full Moon Party Celebrations, this wise old man notice a strange behaviour out at sea. Fearing no good, uncle Shelton became (then) our first and only Tsunami Early Warning System: He run around, waking everybody up, yelling at the neighbors, evacuating the sleepy, drunk crowd onto higher ground and into the restaurants upstairs.

The rest is well documented and history: Our uncle Shelton was celebrated and reported to be Arugam Bay‘ s hero, having saved many lifes that morning.

But: What has since happend to our hero?
In the wo full year’s with hundreds of organizations erecting huge banners, “creating jobs and sustaining livihoods” and so on?

Today Uncle Shelton, who speaks good English dating back from his perfect colonial schooling, is a broken, unemployed, old man.
Without doubt, the biggest blow for him was to see quarter of a Century’s caring work, creating a tropical paradise destroyed in just one hour.
The second huge disappointment is that nobody seems to care for him. There is no more garden, the Tsunami sand is far too salty, the owners are too poor to buy new plants. This particular establishment lost more than anyone else in the entire region – but they never, ever receive a single rupee from any organization or the Government. So they can’t help even themselves these days and may have to close up; for the first time in 20+ years.
(Even on Tsunami day afternoon they reopened for ‘business’!)
Plenty of NGO’s donated trees for various publicity purposes; most of them have since died by the roadside where nobody takes care of them – and of course the ENJOY’s have long left.

No trees or plants were ever given to private premises, no compensation offered to Shelton. He is not a direct flood victim. The owners could not afford to continue to employ a gardner; also because there is no more garden to look after.

Shelton has saved many Souls: Has anyone ever contacted him, or helped him?
We wonder: Is there anyone out there who hears uncle Shelton’s own : “SOS”
Before this brave, but now very sad, broken and depressed old man is no more?

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Top photo shows the tropical garden @ around 10:00hrs. 26/Dec/2004
And below, just the day before, Full Moon Party day 25/Dec/2004

If you like to hear of more Real Life Stories and accounts, please let us know!
We have plenty tales to tell; or please come and meet the people in person.

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