Beautiful Eye

Based on a True Story

My High School in Sri Lanka: Then and Now

Dulip and his Band Somewhere between 1988 and 1993

 

Since so many of my high school friends have gone back to Sri Lanka for a visit this year, I decided to post some then and now photos of our school. I graduated from the Overseas School Colombo in 1993. Here are some of the photos I took back then and on my most recent trip in November 2013 almost 20 years later.

My High School in Nov 2013

My High School in Nov 2013

Diantha and Robyn in the Cafeteria Somewhere Between 1988 and 1993

Diantha and Robyn in the Cafeteria Somewhere between 1988 and 1993

The Cafeteria in Nov 2013

The Cafeteria in Nov 2013

Myself Receiving 1st Place for Javelin Somewhere Between 1988 and 1993 on the Field

Me Receiving 1st Place for Javelin Somewhere between 1988 and 1993 on the Field

The Same Field in Nov 2013

The Same Field in Nov 2013

Theater in the Courtyard in 1993

Theater in the Courtyard in 1993

The Same Courtyard in Nov 2013.   Note the same tree is there

The Same Courtyard in Nov 2013.
Note the same tree is there

Michele, Robyn,

Michele and Robyn Playing Basketball Somewhere between 1988 and 1993

The Same Basketball Goal in Nov 2013

The Same Basketball Goal in Nov 2013

Watching a Sports Meet  Somewhere between 1988 and 1993

Watching a Sports Meet
Somewhere between 1988 and 1993

Nov 2014

Nov 2014

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Day 4 in Paradise

Narigama beach, Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka

Narigama beach, Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka (Photo credit: Mydaas!)

Hikkaduwa morning

Hikkaduwa morning (Photo credit: Shreyans Bhansali)

Hikkaduwa

Hikkaduwa (Photo credit: Photosightfaces)

English: Fishing boats near the Hikkaduwa beach.

English: Fishing boats near the Hikkaduwa beach. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Hikkaduwa beach by sunset.

English: Hikkaduwa beach by sunset. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The beach at Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka.

The beach at Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Hikkaduwa beach.

English: Hikkaduwa beach. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: seema malaka temple, colombo

English: seema malaka temple, colombo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gangaramaya temple in Colombo

Gangaramaya temple in Colombo (Photo credit: Dhammika Heenpella / Images of Sri Lanka)

Gangaramaya temple in Colombo

Gangaramaya temple in Colombo (Photo credit: Dhammika Heenpella / Images of Sri Lanka)

Yesterdays highlight included seeing my high school.  To my surprise the school nurse is still there and remembered me.  I then found my second house and happened to spot the president at Gangaramaya Temple for his birthday.

Today we are off to buy our train tickets for Hikkaduwa to find the site of where my 10th grade Geography field trip was held.

Gangaramaya Temple - Monk in the Morning Mist

Gangaramaya Temple – Monk in the Morning Mist (Photo credit: tantonr)

 

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Back in Sri Lanka Day 2 and Day 3

World Trade Center twin towers with the Bank o...

World Trade Center twin towers with the Bank of Ceylon tower to their left and the Presidential Secretariat in the foreground, Colombo, Sri Lanka (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The Colombo World Trade Center in Sri...

English: The Colombo World Trade Center in Sri Lanka. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Galle Face Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka ...

English: Galle Face Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka Français : Galle Face Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Galle Face Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka ...

English: Galle Face Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka Français : Galle Face Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The entrance of the Galle Fave Hotel, Colombo,...

The entrance of the Galle Fave Hotel, Colombo, Sri Lanka. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have to say that Sri Lanka is growing.  Growing is a good thing.  After many years of war, it is good to see a World Trade Center up, and a Hyatt being built.  The Galle Face Hotel which was built in 1864 is under renovations.

Today I am off to see the high school I graduated from, the Overseas School.  Lets see if any of my teachers are still there.  Later on, I am having a small gathering at the Colombo Swimming Club which was the main hang out for my school.

English: Galle Face Hotel seen on the way.

English: Galle Face Hotel seen on the way. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Hiking to Horton Plains

February 1991

On February 1, 1991, we set out for the  low lying areas of Horton Plains.  The first night we stayed in a guesthouse where we would start our 9 hour hike at 6am and head to the plateau of Horton Plains.

The climb seemed pretty easy except for having to check for leeches constantly.  There are only 2 ways you can remove these guys.  One, by using a lighter and burn them off, or two, use Vaseline to make them slide off.  If the leech already had his head inside your skin, then you got a different story.  You might need some tweezers as well.  By the time we crossed our first river, most of us had an encounter with one of these guys.

When we finally reached the top of the plateau, it was as if we arrived in another land.  The sun came out as if it came to welcome us.
We arrived at the next guesthouse exhausted.  As night started to fall, it became very cold like it does in the mountains.

The next morning we set out for the famous Worlds End (AKA Lovers Leap).  The walk along the dirt trail to Worlds End was also mysterious.  As the fog started to lift we noticed there was no one in sight except for us.  It was so quiet that it felt like an alien was going to jump out at us at any moment.  Sure enough, at the next hairpin turn, we came to Worlds End.  It’s not every day that you get a view like this.

As soon as you reach the plateau heading up from Nuwara Eliya which is about a 1.5 hours drive, one can see breathtaking views of the Knuckles Mountain Range. Horton Plains looks like you have just stepped onto an uninhabited planet. Not much happens here and it is always peaceful. The last time I was here was in 1991 when I went on a field trip from my high school. Please visit my memoir Beautiful Eye to hear more about this story.

As we drove to the trail head where you can hike to see World’s End and Baker’s Falls, I noticed Farr Inn which was a guesthouse my family and I stayed in about 3 times. It is now a museum and research facility. A friendly deer came out to welcome us.

 

 

 

Me Sitting at the Edge of Worlds End

Me Sitting at the Edge of Worlds End in 1991

 

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Revised Itinerary for Bangkok, Sri Lanka, and Maldives

Day

Place

Areas to Cover

 

Day 1 ~ Day 5

 

Bangkok

·                 Palaces

·                 Temples

·                 Visit friends

Day 6

 

Colombo

·                 Arrive in Colombo

Day 7

 

 

Colombo

·                  Visit high school

·                  High School Reunion

Day 8

 

Colombo

·                  Visiting temples

·                  Visit Old Colombo

Day 9

 

Colombo

·                  Fashion show at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel

Day 10~Day 11

Southern beaches

·                  Mount Lavinia

·                  Bentota

·                  Galle

·                  Hanbantota

·                  Yala

·                  Hickaduwa

Day 12 ~ Day 17

 

Hill country

·                  Adam’s Peak

·                  Horton Plains

·                  Nuwara Eliya

·                  Uda National Park

Day 17 ~ Day 19

 

Kandy

·                  Kandy

·                  Elephant orphanage

·                  Sinharaja Forest

Day 19 ~ Day 24

 

Cultural Triangle

·                  Dambulla

·                  Polanarua

·                  Annaradnapura

Day 24 ~ Day 22

Colombo

·                  Transferring to the Maldives

Day 22 ~ Day 26

Maldives

·                  Maldives

Day 26 ~ Day 29

Colombo

·                  Back to Colombo to meet with journalists

 

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Favorite Hangout as a Child

Colombo Swimming Club

Colombo Swimming Club (Photo credit: Taariq Maruzook)

 

Colombo Swimming Club

Colombo Swimming Club (Photo credit: Taariq Maruzook)

 

My favorite hang out was at the Colombo Swimming Club.  It was here where everyone from my high school would go every weekend.  We would swim, lay in the sun, have a snack, have afternoon tea, or play snooker.  They even had a library.    What was your favorite hangout as a child?

 

My Colombo Swimming Club membership card taken in 1988

My Colombo Swimming Club membership card taken in 1988 (notice no expiration date)

 

 

 

Colombo Swimming Club.  Photo credit: Kess Wittachy , 2012

Colombo Swimming Club. Photo credit: Kess Wittachy , 2012

 

 

 

 

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Places to Visit in Bangkok, Sri Lanka, and Maldives

Photographs from Maldives

Photographs from Maldives (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Photographs from Maldives

Photographs from Maldives (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Photographs from Maldives

Photographs from Maldives (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Photographs from Maldives

Photographs from Maldives (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Maldives

English: Maldives (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Photographs from Maldives

Photographs from Maldives (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sorry for posting a blog more than once in a day.  I try not to do this as I know you are all very busy people, but I wanted to post this before I get more busy today.  This is my revised schedule.  Again, please let me know if you think I am missing anything.  Another reminder to 28 days to go!.

Day

Place

Areas to Cover

 

Day 1 ~ Day 4

 

Bangkok

·                 Palaces

·                 Temples

 

Day 4 ~ Day 6

 

Colombo

·                 Temples in Colombo

 

Day 7

OSC

·                  Visiting Overseas School (my high school)

Day 8 ~ Day 12

Southern beaches

·                  Galle Fort

·                  Yala National Park

·                  Bentota

·                  Mt Lavinia

Day 12 ~ Day 17

 

Hill country

·                  Adam’s Peak

·                  Horton Plains

·                  Nuwara Eliya

·                  Uda National Park

Day 17 ~ Day 19

 

Kandy

·                  Kandy

·                  Elephant orphanage

·                  Sinharaja Forest

Day 19 ~ Day 24

 

Cultural Triangle

·                  Dambulla

·                  Polanarua

·                  Annaradnapura

Day 24 ~ Day 22

 

Colombo

 

Day 22 ~ Day 26

 

Maldives

·                  Maldives

Day 26 ~ Day 29

 

Colombo

 

Map of the Area I be Visiting

Map of the Area I be Visiting

Traffic waiting at a busy intersection in cent...

Traffic waiting at a busy intersection in central Bangkok. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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To Do List for Trip

I have added my to do list in case you are interested.  Let me know if you think I should add anything.  The ones I have crossed off, I have already done.  Can you say 29 days to go!

                  1.      Register at state.gov

                  2.      Call health insurance company

                  3.      Get shots

                  4.      Unlock phones

                  5.      Contact newspaper companies in Sri Lanka

                  6.      Make appointment with my high school

                  7.      Get permission to visit national parks

                  8.      Contact magazine companies in Korea

                  9.      Inform Lonely Planet

                 10.  Get glasses

                 12.  Order from REI

                       13.  Contact blogs in Korea

                 14.  Apply for a credit card

                 15.  New business cards

                 16.  Contact tour companies in Sri Lanka

                      17.  Upload pictures to categories

                 18.  Contact American Embassy

                 19.      Get visas

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32 days to go!

Sri Lanka - Galle

Sri Lanka – Galle (Photo credit: iris0327)

In exactly 32 days I will be embarking on my adventure.  So much still needs to be done but I am getting more and more excited each day.   Here is a video that tells a lot what Sri Lanka is like.  Can you name all the places in it?  I can and have been to all of them.  Can’t wait to see of them again on my 20 year anniversary from when I graduated from high school in paradise. Who will be joining me during my journey?

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My Artwork

Back in 1992, I wanted to be an artist.  More specifically a fashion designer.  In fact my first degree was in fashion design.  I never did become a fashion designer.  I felt like it was just much competition at the time and as I grew up, my interests just changed.  Here are some of the pieces I did.artwork 1 artwork 2 artwork 4 artwork 6 artwork 7 artwork outside

 

 

 

my artwork (2) My artwork

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