To Matara!

Trip Start Sep 26, 2006
Trip End ??? ??, 2007

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Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The trip to Matara from Colombo is only 4 hours - if you go straight south and there aren't too many check stops, construction or accidents - but for this trip we went southwest through Arampura and down to Tangalle.
The hill country is absolutely beautiful. I was in awe of how quickly the scenery would change. We saw paddy fields, palm trees, rubber trees, tea plantations and finally the ocean on the south coast.
This was also my first taste of tsunami affected areas. We spent the night in a quaint guesthouse called El Camino. It is run by an Italian woman who has lived here for decades. As the picture shows, some of her guest houses were destroyed by the tsunami. The guest houses that have been rebuilt are so neat and cozy. Each has a nice patio with tons of cushions and a hammock. The washroom is open to the outdoors, which is really refreshing and there are candles and incense everywhere. The food was also fantastic (home made cream cheese?!?!)!
The next day we visited some partner organizations and made our way to Matara. The first few days in Matara I spent with Conrad (my new boss) and his wonderful family. His wife Pearl is arguably the best cook in Sri Lanka. My first week here I pretended I couldn't cook, just so I could eat her food ;-p
I spent my birthday with Conrad, Pearl and their two children Chamila and Rohan. We had a really fun night of music! Pearl and Chamila sang, Rohan and I played the drums and Conrad played the kazoo. They taught me a traditional Sri Lankan song called Malu, malu, malu - malu is fish is Sinhala. This song has come in handy a few times... It was a great night!
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