Shortly after we moved to the islands, we met a man named Jennefer who was working as a waiter in a restaurant on the main island. Jennefer became a close family friend as he was a big help when Angie had dengue fever. Our friendship continued through phone calls after Jennefer returned to his home country in Sri Lanka about a year and half ago. Jennefer has been asking us to visit his home in the mountains of Sri Lanka for 2 years now. We wanted to visit sooner, but the unrest in Sri Lanka kept us from going. Since the war Sri Lanka is officially over, we felt now was as good a time as any to visit. Braden was out of school for two weeks on a mid term break and we felt we could use the break from the daily routine. Well, we didn't really get the break, rest and rejuvenation we were looking for, but we did have quite the adventure. I am going to recap our week in Sri Lanka with a few snap shots of our week. I took over 800 photos, but have only uploaded 33. Click here to see the Sri Lankan Photos.
We arrived in Colombo, Sri Lanka on the 4th of June. We were greeted at the airport by Jennefer. We spent one night in Colombo and then took a train to the highest point in Sri Lanka…. Nuwara Eliya. We had second class tickets for the train, which means fight the crowd to get a seat and dont get up or your loose it. Jennefer had some friends jump on the train and snag seats for our family. It all happened so fast, but we had seats for the 7 hour train ride. The scenery was unbelievable.
We saw neatly groomed tea plantations, mountains, waterfalls and culture the entire trip.
Our first night in Nuwara Eliya, we stayed in a convent. This was a new experience for us too. Jennefer's family is catholic and has connections. We met all of Jennefer's family. Both of Jennefer's parents have past away, but we met his aunts, uncles, sisters, brothers and cousins. We had talked to just about all of them on the phone and it was nice to put a face with the name.
The next two nights were spent in a rented bungalow. Sounds rejuvenating huh? Well, that is when the first of our family got the stomach bug. Braden was first. We had taken an hour long van ride in the mountains and we first thought Braden was just car sick. The next five days would continue to disprove that theory. Angie was next with the bug. Kyndal and I were still holding strong so we took the afternoon to visit more of Jennefer's family, hike to some water falls and 3 more hours of bumpy van rides through the mountains.
Just as everyone started feeling a little better, we began our train ride down the mountain to Kandy. I was expecting ginger bread houses and oompa loompas but that is not what we found in Kandy. Kyndal found the stomach bug and Angie's had lost her adventure spirit. Braden was on the mend, but it seemed I was the only one enjoying the tour through the backwoods of a developing country. We canceled our second night in Kandy and hopped on the train back to Colombo. I stood for most of the train ride and look out the door of the fast moving train. I was overwhelmed with the poverty and vast beauty all at the same time. Moments like these cause you to question why. Why am I so blessed? Why are these people living in such extreme conditions? What am I supposed to do about it? How do I use my blessings to be a blessing to others? Lots of questions with few answers.
My family was desperately seeking anything normal. Our second to last day in Sri Lanka was really nice. We spent the morning at the hotel pool and the afternoon riding around the city in a “tricel” (a three wheel car) looking for bargains in the various markets.
As it came time to load up the van for the 45 minute journey to the airport, it was my turn to get the stomach bug. However, my body refuses to release the stomach toxins the normal way. Oh how I wish it would. I needed relief. At one point I visited the grassy knoll near the airport entrance, but nothing. I made it through the flight back to the islands fine, but crashed for the next 36 hours in my own bed. It's now been two days since our return and I am just now feeling normal. Welp, that was our trip to Sri Lanka. We all enjoyed 5 days of our 7 day trip. Too bad all of us enjoyed a different 5 days.
A couple of quotes from the trip…
Our first day in Colombo, we were standing in the road when a tricel pulled up to where we were standing. With brotherly love, Braden says to Kyndal “Move oblivious!” Kyndal promptly responds, “Don't call me that, I didn't see it.”
While we were packing up the two tricels to go to the train station in Kandy to head back to Colombo, Angie was quoted saying, “Get me out of this stinkin paradise.” I'm pretty sure she was referring to the bungalow I had rented.
While we were visiting Jennefer's family, Braden had already tossed his cookies once and was sitting on a bench outside the house when he took off running and shedding his jacket like superman changing clothes in a dead sprint we heard, “Mom, it's coming up again!”
I think the only thing that would have made our vacation any better would have been to watch Chevy Chase act it out. Thanks for reading.