I’ve really settled into a routine over the past few weeks—class every day, dancing and drumming on Mondays and Wednesdays, batik on Tuesdays, and spending my evenings helping to make dinner, doing homework, and watching TV. I also have been to a nearby orphanage a few times. The kids are all really sweet and eager to play with us. Although I liking having such a clear schedule, it’s nice to spend weekends, seeing different parts of the country.
A couple weeks ago, we went to Hikkaduwa, a small town on the Southwest coast. We spent all day on the beach, swimming, walking, relaxing, and trying (unsuccessfully) to avoid getting sunburned. Coming from New England, I associate oceans with cold water, but the Indian Ocean is different. It felt sort of like swimming in a bathtub with huge waves—not bad if you ask me.
Chelesea and Erica on the beach
Last Friday, we went back to Nuwara Eliya to get a tour of a tea factory.
Drying the tea leaves
Tea and chocolate cake served at the tea factory
On Saturday, I had made plans to go hiking with Alex, Mimi, and Meg at Hantana, a mountain range right next to the University of Peradeniya. Several people mentioned to us that we had to be careful of leeches there, but the past two months have been full of people warning us about perfectly harmless situations that we didn’t think much of it. I wore my sandals, which have been perfectly acceptable for all of the other hikes we’ve done—BIG MISTAKE! Luckily, a couple of Meg’s friends, who are students at the university and had been to Hantana before, came along and brought supplies to remove leeches. The leeches weren’t actually that big, but they were EVERYWHERE. The whole time I was thinking about how we had just learned in my colonial history class that one of the reasons it was so hard for the Europeans to conquer the Kandyan Kingdom is that they kept dying from infected leech wounds. I don’t even know how many I got on my feet, but we pretty quickly decided that hiking through a leech-infested jungle just isn’t very much fun, so we turned around and spent the morning in Kandy Town instead. At least we fared better than the colonists.