Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Daily routines in Sri Lanka

Every  morning in Sri Lanka, we walked down the street (the CRAZY street that is like an F1 race for 3rd world - excuse me, developing world - buses).  We narrowly avoided death and rolled up to our favorite little cafe in town. Oh wait, the only cafe.  But, I do believe it would be our favorite even if there were others.  The owners were the sweetest couple with the tiniest little baby girl (who was 9 months old, but tiny tiny).  We enjoyed our coffee and banana shakes and muffins and other random items they had. They were SO nice and spoke with us every morning.  Arlo loved them and the little girl and would always barge into their house (which was behind the counter basically). They lived in one room behind the cafe.  They have dreams of building a second floor where they can live.  I believe they will do it and will be successful. I cried when we left and I said goodbye to them.

We also adopted a tuk tuk driver, Namal, while there.  He basically hung out with us all day, every day.  Taking us wherever we wanted to go. He also introduced us to his family and they were adorable. He has a pretty crazy story.  His father was a successful fisherman and they all lived in a house right on the beach and he had a boat of his own.  He died in the Tsunami and his boat was destroyed. The owners of our villa rebuilt a home for him, but about a  mile inland (you can't give prime beach property to a poor person!). Now, he struggles to get by with a job as a tuk tuk driver, but still has a happy life, a wife he loves and 3 beautiful kids. But, it is sad to think he should be living on the beach still. The more and more we found out about the owners of our villa, the dirtier we felt for living there.  In the long run, it was  huge reason why we left early.

Anyway - here are some daily shots!

Namal's rebuilt house

Namal's tuk tuk

Namal and his girls

Namal's girls and nephew

A school built by foreigners after the Tsunami - it is actually a beautiful school!

Namal hard at work...

Sunday, November 23, 2014

The second house

 We moved to the big, expensive, crazy beach house owned by the same people in the same town in Sri Lanka. Katalua Junction. The staff was amazing, but the owners of the house were awful. They were corrupt politicians who raised a bunch of money after the Tsunami, kept a lot of it for themselves and forced other people to move away from the coast so they could take the coastal land and build huge villas. We didn't hear great things about the owners from people around the village and they even threatened the driver we found to take us everywhere because they didn't like that we didn't use their driver.  It was a shame they were so awful, because they really put a damper on our time in Sri Lanka. The house was pretty nice - but it was SO hot there. The hottest I have ever been.

The first house

The first house we stayed at in Sri Lanka was on a beautiful lake - just a few minutes away from the house we eventually stayed in.  While the house was cool, on a beautiful lake, had monkeys at it and a few other positives, there were too many negatives - super hot and no breeze, super dangerous for Arlo - there were dropoffs into the Lake all over the yard that were about 6ft. high.  And, the worse was the doors that opened up on the top floor opened up to a platform that had no railing.  And , it was so hot we needed to have the doors open.  So, we moved on to the house at the beach. But, we managed to take a couple pictures while we were there....