We head south from the frigid peaks of the Himalayas to the tropical beaches of Sri Lanka. For me this is a homecoming. From 1988-1990 I served in the US Peace Corps here in Sri Lanka, occasionally teaching English but more often dealing with the civil war that was ravaging the country. What would it be like now, 25 years later?

  • Walking to the stupa
    Walking to the stupa
  • Giant stupa from ancient city in Anaradnapura,
    Giant stupa from ancient city in Anaradnapura,
  • monkey thief at a stupa in Sri Lanka; they eat the flowers!
    monkey thief at a stupa in Sri Lanka; they eat the flowers!
  • Inside the cave
    Inside the cave
  • Giant fruit offerings for the Buddha, Dambulla caves
    Giant fruit offerings for the Buddha, Dambulla caves
  • Walking an abandoned palace ground in the jungle
    Walking an abandoned palace ground in the jungle
  • Hollywood or Sri Lanka?
    Hollywood or Sri Lanka?
  • Liam searching roots
    Liam searching roots
  • Fruit bats just hanging out
    Fruit bats just hanging out

Entries from Sri Lanka

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Lankan Leftovers

A few final images from our month in Sri Lanka.

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Only 1 Son, Madam?

Sri Lankans are a curious bunch. Today, while riding a bicycle along a red dirt road, a young man on a motorcycle pulled up alongside me and asked, “Where you from, Madam?” America. “How long yo

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Speed Blog: Sri Lanka

    Dolora: Yesterday our tuk tuk driver pulled out a rolled up laminated paper showing all the tours he could take us on. When that didn’t go over, he showed Liam a white plaster Buddha w

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Wrapping up Lanka

Images from our final week in Sri Lanka.

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The End of Lanka

  I think a lot about my father while in Hikkaduwa. It was 23 years ago when he visited me in the Peace Corps, such a remarkable thing for an older man to do on his own. He ended his month-long v

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Sri Lanka, coming to an end

We tend to leave a country before we leave a country.   These are our last three days in Sri Lanka, and sure enough, a large part of our psyche is floating over the Indian Ocean on its way to our

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Only One Son, Madam?

Sri Lankans are a curious bunch. Today, while riding a bicycle along a red dirt road, a young man on a motorcycle pulled up alongside me and asked, “Where you from, Madam?” America. “How long yo

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It’s a good day when you bicycle in the rain

And then there are days like this.   The three of us on bicycles, riding through a light rain on a one-lane road of red packed dirt alongside a canal that directs water into the rice fields sprea

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The Golden Triangle

We traveled north from Kandy to the city of Dambulla, famous for its Buddhist images in caves, and then onward to the rock formation of Sigiriya.

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Kandy and Noel

Images from our 5 days in Kandy, the spiritual center of Sri Lanka, and from our visit with my old language teacher, Noel Sylvester, in the tea estate region.

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Noel and the ancient sites of Sri Lanka

We left Kandy to return to the hill country to visit my old friend and language teacher from the Peace Corps, Noel Sylvester. He lives in a small town named Kotagala, a name that confuses Sri Lankans

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Tea Party

    Are you a tea drinker? If so, I want you to check your cupboards and see where that orange pekoe was grown. Chances are, it will say Ceylon or Sri Lanka somewhere on the packaging. Lipto

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Elbow skin and New Year’s

Grab the skin of your elbow. Better yet, have someone else grab the skin of your elbow, preferably a child. Have that person squeeze the skin as hard as possible. Does it hurt? Squeeze harder. Does it

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The Hill Country

Photos from Nuwara Eliya, famous for its tea estates, and from Kandy, famous for its lake and Temple of the Tooth.

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Island Life: Week One

The first thing I noticed as I stepped off the plane was the air. I know this puffy, sweet air. It is the same air that engulfs you when you land on Kauai, Hawaii. This is a good sign. Anything that r

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Limbo

This has been a strange and unsettling chapter in our trip around the world.   We’re in the city of Kandy, Sri Lanka, a beautiful place at an elevation of 1500 feet with a lake surrounded by mo

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Sick Kandy

We left Nuwara Eliya on a train at noon headed for Kandy and some medical attention for Dolora. As reported in previous blogs, she’s been up and down for a month with fatigue and a fever and very li

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A Christmas, of sorts

I left off on December 24th, Christmas Eve, with a choice before me: to jump in a warm bed with Dolora and Liam, or bundle up and go out into the fog to Midnight Mass in Nuwara Eliya.   I opted f

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Christmiss

Christmiss   I have been battling with some illness off and on for too long. Finally, on Christmas day, I told Jim that I needed to get checked out by a doctor. I looked up my symptoms on symptom

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Week 2, Sri Lanka

For our second week in Sri Lanka we rose up from the beaches and went inland, first stopping at a national park for an elephant safari and then upwards to 5000 feet, to the land of tea plantations and

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Beach life

Images from our first week in Sri Lanka, spent at the beaches on the west coast of Sri Lanka.

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Trains, tea, and tuk-tuks

  Off to the train station we went, Liam and I at 5pm for a 45-minute ride one way and then turn around and ride another train back home to Ella. This is spectacular scenery up here, all tea fields a

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Safari

5am.   What gets you up at 5am? For us on December 20th, we awoke in the darkness and packed and checked out of our hotel, then jumped in the back of a jeep for our morning in Udawalawe National

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Now Departing

Now Departing   Good-bye Nepal. We spent a couple of nights in Kathmandu in anticipation of flying back to Delhi, down to Chennai, and down again to Colombo, Sri Lanka. Our love of Kathmandu had

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MJ in the tropics

We left our hotel in the beach town of Mirissa at noon to venture inland and upland to the hill country. We said our goodbyes to Ashoka and his brother, both of whom took over the Paragon Guest House

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Week 1, Sri Lanka

  Our vacation from our vacation continues down here on the beaches of Sri Lanka. We spent a couple of gray overcast days in Hikkaduwa on the western shore, staying at the “Why Not” guest hou