I arrived in Colombo late last night from Kuala Lumpur. Colombo is one of the easiest airports to get through. Customs didn’t really even exist and I walked straight on through.. actually not even sure if I got an entry stamp. I stayed at a cute little airbnb place last night, with the lovely lady waiting up to greet me. It’s always a little dicey arriving to a new city at night.. when the driver makes a turn down a strange and dark looking alley you can only hope they have your best interests in mind. Although the alley was dark and dodgy it did lead me to the right place and everything was fine. Due to the time difference, I was up early with the chirping birds and the neighbour coughing up a lung. Buela (my host) made me fresh coffee, had a bit of a chat, and sent me on my way, reminding my driver to stop so I could get some breakfast.
I arrived at the train station at around 10.15am and just made the 10.30am train. It was a rush to get a seat but I managed to get one next to the sweetest Sri Lankan family. They offered me food, let me hold their baby, and play peek a boo with their son. The little one was pretty impressed with my eyes and tried numerous times to gently take them out. With no language we managed to communicate through lots of smiles and laughs. When I got off the train they blew me kisses and waved goodbye. Bless them.
After a short tuk tuk ride I was in Unawatuna, and finally after pretty much starving for the night, I had my first Sri Lankan meal. It was delicious – dahl, spinach curry, papadums and sweet potatoes, topped off with a desicated coconut, tomato, onion and chilli sambol. I then trekked up through a mini jungle to a little hidden away beach stopping on the way back for a fresh coconut. I am now getting eaten alive by mosquitos listening to the distant honks of tuk tuk horns.
Looking forward to exploring more of this bright and colourful country.
I’ve had quite a few adventures since I last wrote and have had a chance to explore Tapachula a little more. The other day Anna ( one of the other Volunteers) and I took a walk into ‘el centro’ for cupcakes and fresh juice. The juices here are delicous and you can find any combination of flavours your heart desires. You can have guava, pinapple, strawberries, lime, coconut or a ‘liquado’ which is a tasty smoothie filled with fruits and milk, served icy cold. Here in Tapachula you can get nearly a litre of fresh juice for about $2, then walk to any corner and find a fresh homemade quesadilla for roughly the same price.
Everyday in Tapachula I get these smiley moments where I feel blessed to be here. I find myself smilling at simple things, like us walking back from a surf at the beach and fitting four of us pilled into a little tuk tuk with a huge mahi mahi fish at our feet. Sometimes it’s just the drives through local areas seeing people go about their day to day lives, or a smile and a ‘buenos dias’ from someone on the street. The other night I went with some of the kids to their musical concert in another town. They were SO good. Some where in the choir, one played violin and the other took the show on the drums. Again I was blessed by the kindness of the Mexican people. I asked a lady where the toilets were and recognising that I was not Mexican, she insisted on taking me to the toilets and waiting for me. What a legend!
The same night while all the other kids wanted to be with their friends and not ‘the gringo'(the foreigner), one little angel made me feel welcome the whole night. He had a seat waiting for me on the bus, offered to share his small bread roll he had for dinner with me and insited that I have his valentines day lolly pop. He nearly brought me to tears with his thoughtfulness.
We drove up into the mountains the other day where the coffee grows, and hiked up to a beautiful waterfall where we swam and layed in the sun. Yesterday I had a ball playing shops and making mud pies with some of the kids. They absolutely love playing in the dirt and are SO dirty at the end of the day. Their favourite game to play with me is the tiger game. They get up on top of the playground and I pretend to be the tiger grabbing at their feet as they screech and laugh when I grab one of their toes.
Sun Kissed & Dreaming ©