Captains log, star date 333679669.6 …. been here almost two weeks now, which is quite sad in a way as I’m a third of the way through my Sri Lanka placement. Not to say they haven’t been an amazing two weeks. I’ve really taken to Sri Lanka and its people, cant really say I’ve missed home at all … people yes …. the place no. Already decided that if my placement in India isn’t very enjoyable (for whatever reason) I’ll change my flight and come back to Sri Lanka for a while.

Last weekend was mega busy, crammed loads in. We set off on Friday, our driver Medulla and his astounding music collection (Mohammed ail, crocodile rock & Barbie girl seemingly among his favorites) drove us to the elephant sanctuary where we picked up some of the other volunteers ….. hhmmmmm, to put in nicely an interesting bunch! Spent most of my time with Samie and Nick who are both sound. We had some right laughs over the weekend and seem to have hit it off pretty quickly. We seem to have the same sense of humor and tastes in most things. I’ve even given them two free tickets to the gun show and I’ve only known them ten days. I’m so glad it’s those two I’m in the house with!! We already started planning our next weekend trips together, and if I did come back to Sri Lanka early Samie would still be at the house so I know I’d have a laugh here if India didn’t work out.

On the Friday we traveled as I said to get the others, and then into the hill country – Kandy. First we went to the temple of the tooth. We had to take our shoes off to go in, and be thoroughly searched. We think Samie got a more thorough search than most, she said that there was definite cupping of breast – Lesbian experience #1 of the weekend for Samie. The temple was amazing. Admittedly it was quite hard to take it all in, but we had a good look round before moving checking into our hotel which was ok. Me and Nick shared a room … and a bed. Yes there was a strict no contact rule which we both upheld. After dumping all of our stuff Medulla took us to see some Kandian dancers and fire walkers. This was a pretty good show, all types of flips and somersaults, plate spinning and some awesome drumming. After that it was a quick beer at the hotel and to bed for the night.

Saturday was even more manic. In the morning we went to a boutique workshop to see some material and wax based at work being made. I bought a small piece for my room, quite pricey but B E A utiful! Next was a carpentry workshop, almost bought a tribal mask but the voices in my head told me I’d never get it home in one piece so i left it. Next was the gem store. We were shown a really cool video on how people mine for gems out here … these people are seriously insane. Again didn’t spend any money but most of the girls bought rings, Erica blinged out by buying 7. Next up was the botanical gardens. We didn’t get given long to look round and were hassled a lot buy people selling novelty items but this was still well worth doing. The different gardens all had themes and the bats were pretty cool. The next 4-5 hours were spent in the van which wasn’t particularly fun, as we traveled further into the mountains. We checked into a Scottish ( I have my doubts) hotel – Glendower – for the night, ate at their Chinese restaurant before frequenting the delightfully cheap bar.

Sunday we visited the tea plantations and the tea making factories. The tour was cool, all the machines were old British machines. From being picked the tea leaves are shipped out in 24hrs … and its tastes pretty good. I invested in a couple of small boxes. That was it for the weekend really … I could try and explain the wonders of 8 hours in a minibus home, but it’d be hard to put into words worth reading.

Yesterday I was back coaching at the school in the afternoon. After coaching Tyron (the school sports coach) invited me to come play football with his friends. We first went back to his house so he could get his stuff. Whilst there I met his wife, had more tea (need to go on a detox, had 3 cups in 4 days), went through all his footballing photos and had a look round his carpentry workshop. The football game was so much fun. I was deployed as a striker (I think they soon realized their mistake … name Mark Hately springs to mind), missed a sitter of a header which will forever haunt me, but at least I didn’t get my usual 6.32 nutmeggings … that’ll probably come next week. I’ve also been invited to dinner at Tyron’s on Thursday, should be interesting.

Coaching lasted only 30 minutes this morning as the heavens opened. Been raining on and off all day, and its pretty hard rain! Gonna try coaching the mens team tonight if the weather holds out.

Well tune in next week folks when I should have an update on my visit to the beaches of the Sri Lankan south coast. I’m gonna teach Nick and Samie to surf … badly and then get on it for the weekend, maybe cut a few shapes who knows?

Later.

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