We finished our in-country training today. I can't believe I have been here for two weeks, time is passing by very quickly. It was a little sad to say goodbye to our language teachers. They have been excellent and great fun and we have been doing lots of oopa-duupa kataakaranawa! (gossiping). However, I was delighted to learn that one of our teachers, Jayanthi lives in Kurunegala, so she has instantly become my new bestfriend. She has very generously told me to phone her at anytime and offerred to show me around and take me shopping to kit out my house when I arrive.
We had a day off on Thursday, so Caroline, Eve and I hopped on a bus on Wednesday evening down to Hikkaduwa for 24 hours. It took three hours to get there but worth every minute. It is a bit of a surfers hangout, very laid back and relaxed. We got up early on Thursday morning for a walk along the beach. Very beautiful. Then we went swimming, my first time in the Indian Ocean! Well when I say swimming, it was more a case of trying to stay above the waves. Needless to say I managed to drink quite a lot of the sea. I also tried my first taembilli juice (king cocconut). You can buy them pretty much everywhere on the roadside and drink the juice via a straw straight from the fruit. It is supposed to have healing properties and good if you are sanipae naeae (not well). Although I think it is somewhat of an acquired taste or maybe you need to be feeling under the weather to really appreciate it. The journey back was quite eventful. I thought the drivers in Colombo were something, but even more hairy scary on the open road. I think our bus driver was in a particular hurry and drove in the middle of the road taking every opportunity to overtake. At one point backseat driving got the better of me and I called out, much to the amusement of the rest of passengers. Anyway we got back in one piece.
The Sri Lankan food is delicious! Rice and curry (not curry and rice) being the traditional fare, which is eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I am particularly enjoying the dahl and hoppers. These are made from rice flour and taste a bit like crumpets! And my digestive system seems to be adjusting well. I have not had any podi hadissyaks (small emergencies) so far.
I am also quite enjoying sleeping under a mosquito net. I thought I might find it a little claustrophobic but it is like indoor camping.
We start going off to our placements next week. I go to my placement in Kurunegala on Wednesday. I am beginning to have a few new job nerves but I am looking forward to finally getting there and I will be glad to see my new home and unpack fully.
Accessing the internet is a bit hit and miss and I am not sure what the situation is in Kurunegala, so not sure when I will next be able to update.