Arrival in Colombo

Writing a post on our two weeks on Sri Lanka is a daunting task. I just can’t do justice to what it was like coming from iced-over Amman to step into the landscape bursting with green, to see bodies of water everywhere. The air was so warm and humid my fingers and toes plumped up like the sweet stumpy bananas we snacked on throughout the trip. The Sri Lankans we met were so quick to smile, so easy to laugh, and so friendly and open, it took a while to cast the hardened cynicism aside and remember that people can be kind.

Mostly, though, it was great because I had my brother and sister with me throughout the entire exploration vacation.

David Sedaris writes these sassy, funny, touching stories about his family that I’ve been a fan of since I was introduced to his writing in high school. When I read this latest piece, I LOL’d, nodding at the following line because it puts into words so perfectly how I feel about my siblings:

…though I’ve often lost faith in myself, I’ve never lost it in my family, in my certainty that we are fundamentally better than everyone else. It’s an archaic belief, one that I haven’t seriously reconsidered since my late teens, but still I hold it. Ours is the only club I’d ever wanted to be a member of…

After spending a week with Erik in Jordan, we met up with Amy, the third member of our club, at the Kuwait airport before catching our flight to Colombo. We had a four hour layover from Amman, and Kuwait Air kindly provided us with an all-you-can-eat buffet to nourish us/help us kill the time. Of course we were perhaps a little too excited about this “perk” but in any case are now loyal Kuwait Air passengers.

It was a 5 hour red eye flight from Kuwait City to Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka. Flights are frequent, although not exactly cheap, between Sri Lanka and the Middle East to serve the many Sri Lankans who work as nannies and domestic workers in the region.

My first thought on Sri Lanka was how good the bathrooms at the airport smell: they use jasmine and sandalwood soap that leave just the right amount of lingering fragrance. The visa process was quick and painless enough, as we bought ours online for $30 before arrival, and after walking through a corridor of duty-free goods – big screen TVs, refrigerators, ovens, heating units, all draped in red Christmas tinsel! – we met our airport pickup. We checked in to the clean and friendly Clock Inn, and they let us in to our room 6 hours before official check-in time. We powered through a quick nap before heading out in search of a Sri Lankan breakfast.

Spicy breakfast of red rice, potato curry, seeni sambol (sweet, tangy, spicy onion chutney) and pol sambol (shredded coconut with lime and chili).

Cheap, spicy breakfast of red rice, potato curry, seeni sambol (sweet, tangy, spicy onion chutney) and pol sambol (shredded coconut with lime and chili).

About Laura McAdams

Laura McAdams is a Master’s student at University of Pennsylvania studying International Educational Development. Her experience in the MENA region includes 15 months as a Fulbright student researcher to Fez and Ifrane, Morocco in 2010 and 2011. Her project was interested in understanding the disconnect between the policies of technology usage in education and the reality of how these policies unfold in the classroom. Summer 2012 she returned to the Middle Atlas mountains of Morocco to work with a women’s weaving cooperative. She is excited to learn more about other countries in the MENA region and issues involving education policy and reform, technology usage in curriculums and gender equality in education. One of Laura’s lifelong goals is to one day be able to sit down and leisurely read a newspaper in Arabic.
This entry was posted in Boren Fellowship in Jordan, 2013-2014 and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Arrival in Colombo

  1. Scott says:

    What a great article. I’m so happy you enjoy being with your siblings.

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