Back now at the frosty kitchen table again, muddled by the 12 hour jet lag numbing my brain, trying to recapture the rain soaked warmth, humidity, history, comradeship, and wonder experienced on the tropical island of Sri Lanka - an island steeped in religion, indigenous history, conquest, and the simplicity of existence in an agrarian society. The country struggles with a balance between preservation and advancement, and for the time being we seemed to pass effortlessly between worlds of lowland forest wild game land, cultivated rice fields, tea plantations, cloud forest, overgrown canals where sand is still harvested by hand in wooden scows to ancient temples, memorials, and mosques for the Buddhist, Hindu, and Muslim faiths. The big cities bustle with the street side efforts of small entrepreneurs operating out of garage sized stalls crammed up tight against the curb as well as gleaming new buildings sprouting up on top of crumbling old ones. We spent quite a bit of timee touring (and staying in) the hotels, villas, gardens and workshops of the famed Bowa brothers - well regarded architect and landscape architect for this monsoon soaked Asian region. Everywhere we went there is significant road improvement work going on - most of it by hand with very small machinery - as well as a notably major super highway being carved through the jungle, paddies, and villages running north south across the island. The people were so warm and inviting and the group we traveled with had lots of energy for exploration, uncertainty, and adventure. This trip is highly recommended.
Slide show embedded below. Float over the image and click on the play button.
More writings, poetry, and a group journal can be found at the Sri Lanka Group Blog