I’ve just returned from a 17 day jaunt to Sri Lanka, an experience so good I can’t keep it to myself.
My interest in Sri Lanka gained momentum when I met a Singhalese family through AMES Education, where I am a volunteer in a program that helps migrants settle into their ‘new found homes’.
Week after week my new friends welcomed me to their house and at the end of every visit I was treated to some amazing food and interesting conversations about Sri Lanka.
I mentioned my interest to another friend who quoted her father as saying “Sri Lanka is beautiful, like heaven on earth”. That was it I had to go…
I experienced a bit of everything during my whirlwind trip. Hiking, biking, swimming, some hair raising car travel, train and elephant rides, wildlife safari, culture and history, village life, city life, incredible food and never ending hospitality. And rather surprisingly, only one conversation about cricket!
It did sadden me though to see that Sri Lanka’s recovery after the devastating 2004 Tsunami has been quite slow. Many damaged buildings still remain and people have done the best they can to rebuild from absolutely nothing. It certainly put things into perspective when speaking to locals about their recovery. They talk about where they were and what it was like but they have an incredible inner strength that sees them somehow just acknowledging what happened and moving forward. Not one person asked me for money after telling their story instead they asked me to tell all my friends to visit Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is a country that has been known by many names. Ceylon, Lanka and Ilankai to name a few. Of all the names, Serendib, meaning ‘land of jewels’ describes it well. And from that, serendipity, the making of happy, unexpected discoveries is certainly a description I would use when talking about my Sri Lanka experience.
Geographically Sri Lanka may be tiny and it is not without its own internal adversity, yet its natural beauty and the warmth and unconditional generosity of its people shines through, making Sri Lanka a country well worth visiting.
I’ve loaded some of my photos, I hope you like them. I will load more soon.