Hiking was AMAZING! I stayed at a beautiful little place in the tiny village of Ohiya. This lovely family put me up in their guest house which I had to myself! The train was epic as per usual and shortly after I arrived I grabbed some bananas and caught a tuk tuk to horton plains. I hiked to worlds end and then hiked a bit if kirigalpoththa before the storm rolled in. It was amazing how cold it was and how quickly the trees soaked up the moisture and then it didn't rain. I saw mongoose, the rare purple faced monkey, deer and tons of birds. It was so nice at the top and clear enough you could see the ocean which is not close at all! On the way back I got to drive the tuk tuk which was lots of fun until the driver proposed marriage and suggested this as my future career hahaha! Had a beautiful dinner at the house, read and watched the sun set over the chilly sky's in the misty forest mountains. ❤
2 July 2017
So excited for the next couple days! Going to do some more solo travel via rail! Off to Ohiya to hike worlds end and pidurutalagala Sri Lanka's tallest mountain...in flip flops since my hikers are in a suitcase at a hotel in colombo... it's been nice planning minimally in the mornings and adventuring to my hearts content. I have been lucky and made/ran into many friends on the way. Every moment more thoughts in my head disintegrate and I am able to just be. Thanks mom for making this possible knowing Ryen is in your loving care! Feel like I'm reconnecting to a part of me I've never met but has always been there. Bliss.
Living it up in Sri Lanka! I am now on my last week and solo travelling via train which has been amazing thus far. I spent a night in Kandy at temple if tooth and sat quietly for hours. I have been able to make decisions of my next destination(usually an epic hike) in the mornings and have met some wonderful people on the way. My phone charger broke and I had no phone for a couple days which worked out well for me to really connect inwards. Missing home terribly and have moments where I wanna hop on a plane back but also making the most of this opportunity. Today/tomorrow I will stay in Ella and hike little Adams peak daily, discover the waterfalls and then hop on a train to piddola to hike worlds end. Last week I was blessed with some beach adventures, A night out and a day at a private island! Sooo lucky! I've met some wonderful people on the train that are always offering up their seats,sharing food, drumming, singing and having conversations.
30 June 2017
Off to explore! I now have a week to do some solo travelling and exploring. My basic plan is to hop on a train and go wherever my heart desires in that moment! The last 2 days have been amazing and I spent a lot of time resting, reading and smiling! Looking forward to my next adventure!
26 June 2017
This weekend we traveled from kotte-columbo-tissamahara-yala-ella-kandy-columbo and kotte via train,bus,van, and tuk tuk. Travelling was tough, chaotic & long but well worth it! Lots of delays, broken parts and mis-direction. The train ride from Ella to Kandy was unreal! I can't even begin to describe how magical it was to hang out the train and look at the ever changing landscape as we went up and down the moments for 7 hours. I took very few pictures as I knew they wouldn't capture the beauty and it something that has to be experienced. This weekend we experienced local transit, did the yala Safari, hiked little adams peak, saw the 9 pillars, the soaked in the rawanna waterfalls and will hopefully see some of Kandy. We are needed back home for planning but I'm definitely coming back to Kandy to go through temple of tooth, the markets, tea plantations and gardens.
21 June 2017
This past weekend was amazing!! We got up at 4am and pidagurala rock for sunrise then hiked sigiriya lion rock right after, which is the rock we look at from pidagurala. We ended The day with a much deserved pool day. The hostel we stayed at was so much fun. Swinging beds, music, trivia, beer and new friends. Sunday started with yoga at the hostel then Dumbulla caves. It was a very spiritual place and I had the opportunity to learn as well as receive a blessing of protection. I've definitely adapted to the heat but still sweat perfusely! Especially being covered clothing wise as a cultural norm.
18 June 2017
17 June 2017
16 June 2017
The last 2 days have been challenging but rewarding!! Transport to and from my projects is a bit of a nightmare as it's slow,hot,crowded and long. By the time we get to projects I am superr drained and tired. But they are children's projects and Im instantly rewarded with keen faces full of smiles and curiosity that we get to teach, do crafts with and dance! I never thought I would enjoy teaching English to students with learning difficulties but I love it!! I have a group of kindergarten -grade 1 girls and grade 2-3. I also had the opportunity to support kids in a day program for children living with disabilities and learning through theatre! It's called Thidora and was sooooo much fun . It's Friday morning here. Half day in hospital doing psyc work then off to Dumbola to hike Sigiriya Rock and explore the cave temples!
14 June 2017
Yesterday was a blast but extremely hot!! Our buses were barely moving and even the locals were feeling the heat. I went to a wonderful home for women with disabilities and had a great time chatting, playing cards, learning sinhala, and sharing stories of family/hobbies/and religion. In the afternoon we taught a rambunctious group of 8-10 year old girls english words for the body. It was a blast! They had a lot of fun laughing, singing and learning our names. This morning we supported letter writing at a mechanics/sewing training place and are off to teach the alphabet after lunch. It's been hot hot hot the last few days and I am starting to feel it as well as missing Ry. It's challenging but rewarding to try and teach with the language barrier that exists. Everyone is very excited to meet us and we are held highly in the community for the work we are doing. I love it here! Definitely wanna come back with Ry!
13 June 2017
Yesterday was our morning of planning and sessions. I the afternoon I had the opportunity to support some wonderful ladies living in a large center for adults with disabilities. I also got to engage with the nurses and they helped with making stress balls for the clients. Although some of our activities didn't go as planned we seemed to have succeeded in engaging everyone which was a huge accomplishment as many are heavily medicated and don't want to interact. In the evening we had some much needed shopping time! I was able to buy a guitar for under 100$ which I can use at projects. It seems everywhere we go people are excited to meet us and always hurrying us to eat the many free delicious foods that are out for celebrations. The evening ended with Ama (mother) killing some giant cockroaches that had decided to accompany us in our rooms...I didn't sleep much but am getting over the differences in living quickly. Looking forward to another day of projects!
12 June 2017
The rest of jungle weekend was awesome!! We got to jump off 3-4 cliffs and a small rock slide. It was super nice spending the day in the water! Also refreshing to get to hike to the spot although I'm paying for it as my ankle is a tid bit swollen today...was well worth it! We got to meet the national animal as well. A grizzly squirrel!
8 June 2017
What a wonderful day! It's poya! Full moon and celebration of the beginning Buddhism in Sri Lanka from India. No one works or goes to school and there are mass celebrations with lanterns, food, music, chanting, and meditation. In the van people were feeding us pineapple with chili's, ice cream, bread and snacks for the whole community. We walked around the water that surrounds the parliament building and watched as families ordered desserts with candles and sang happy birthday to Buddha. It's such a beautiful spiritual place here. Everyone seems to have the best intentions and as always carrying a smile on my face willing to help in any circumstance. We took a lovely break by a pool at a nearby hotel. And enjoyed many tasty foods throughout the day. I feel like I'm mastering the routes, walking through crazy busy traffic, the toilets and ordering things. I love it here! And already dreading leaving. Big weekend tomorrow! Jungle camping/rafting/cliff jumping/beer!
7 June 2017
Wow!! Today was amazing!! I got to support adults with English skills for employment this morning and took many buses! The afternoon was even more amazing! We got to play soccer at a boys orphanage and it was a blast! Such a wonderful group they have made such a wonderful community there and are truly family. It was so much fun. I can't really walk at the moment but it was well worth it! Right now I'm sipping on a yellow coloured cream soda and reflecting on all the great work ahead. Days are busy but rewarding and I am so grateful to be invited into this beautiful country and welcomed by the beautiful people here! I am looking forward to my projects next week. The workshops tomorrow and our jungle weekend!
I might as well journal since its 4am and I've been up for hours....the first day was great! We got our schedule and learned what we need to know before we start working. It was a long day 7am-8 so sleep came quickly but doesn't last long. We had some time to relax in a pool and listened to the beautiful chanting from a near by temple. I've already started planning some weekend excursions with some of my roomies here and am looking forward to our jungle weekend this friday. My host family is lo let here! They instantly adopt you as their own and care tremendously of all of our well-being. Food is love ❤ and it is not uncommon for fat to be used as a compliment of your well-being here. We enjoy our meals on the roof with a magnificent view and share a room with 2-3 other's here to work. I am loving the cold showers as it's always so hot and am slowly mastering the technique of eating with my hands. Very excited for my first site visits today and tackling to local transit!
6 June 2017
The morning commute! One lane traffic, often 2-3 vehicles squished into 1 lane. Tons of honking and brake slamming. Lots of yotas! Standards too! These bus drivers/van drivers are truly amazing. It feels like your about to get into an accident every 2 minutes but so far so good! Excited for our first day of orientation. We are spoiled this week with a van but next week were on the crazeee city buses or TukTuks.