Beautiful Eye

Based on a True Story

Family Road Trip to the Cultural Triangle

On December 17, 1988 when school had just ended for the summer vacation, we decided to do a road trip of the Cultural Triangle.  This trip was quite risky as the LTTE has just bombed some buses close to the areas we would be visiting.  With my dad as the driver and my mom as the tour guide, my sister and I sat in the back seat and relaxed.  My mom did not want to miss this opportunity to see 1st century Buddhist temples.

Map of the Cultural Triangle

Map of the Cultural Triangle

The first stop on this trip was the Dambulla Cave Temple.

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Mahaweli and USAID Compete at the Sri Lanka America Society Sports Day 1988 or 1989

Mahaweli and USAID hosted the culture exchange sports day which was held every year so that USAID and Mahaweli could have a cultural exchange between American and Sri Lankan families. It was called the Sri Lanka America Society. At the time, Sri Lanka had 5 five star hotels to try to keep tourism going in the midst of war. Tourism is one of the main moneymakers for Sri Lanka. The InterContinental (now the Kingsbury) and the Colombo Hilton were two of them.

At the Start of the Run

At the Start of the Run

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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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Back to Sri Lanka 20 Years Later

Day 1

My husband and I arrived shortly after midnight. Surprisingly we got off the plane by a modern jet way. After entering the airport, the sweet smell of cloves, cinnamon, and incense filled the air. Moving sidewalks, AC, and an upscale mall has replaced the chickens and goats. Immigration took a maximum of 2 minutes to pass through with no hassles.  Today is writing on the beach day in Negombo.  Welcome back to Sri Lanka!

English: Three female Sri Lanka garment workers.

English: Three female Sri Lanka garment workers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


 

 

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How Old is Sri Lanka?

If you had a chance to take my poll last week on How Old is Sri Lanka, then I am sure you are waiting for the correct answer.  The correct answer is #1.  According to my research, stone objects were found that dated back to 500,000 BC.  Please have a look at my presentation for more details.  I am looking forward to seeing many of you in Sri Lanka soon.

Growing up White in South Asia

Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

Sigiriya, Sri Lanka (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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How Old is Sri Lanka?

Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

Sigiriya, Sri Lanka (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sri Lanka Traditional Drum

Sri Lanka Traditional Drum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is just 8 days before I leave and I want to know how much you know about Sri Lanka.  You will be allowed to take this quiz till the day before I leave.  On the evening of Nov 11 (on Korea time), I will reveal the correct answer.

English: Buddha statue in Vatadage, Polonnawur...

English: Buddha statue in Vatadage, Polonnawura, Sri Lanka Français : Statue du Bouddha dans le Vatadage, Polonnawura, Sri Lanka (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

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Sri Lankan Culture

Sri Lankan Mask

Sri Lankan Mask (Photo credit: A.Davey)

Trincomalee beach, Sri Lanka

Trincomalee beach, Sri Lanka (Photo credit: james_gordon_losangeles)

The Kandy Perehara - Colombo, Sri Lanka

The Kandy Perehara – Colombo, Sri Lanka (Photo credit: whl.travel)

Elephants in Sri Lanka, so presumably Sri Lank...

Elephants in Sri Lanka, so presumably Sri Lankan Elephants. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was just doing some research on Sri Lankan culture for this memoir when I came across an article on Wikipedia that badly needed editing, so I decided to edit it.  Here is the the work in progress: Culture of Sri Lanka.

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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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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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An Interview with an Indian Tamil

Just recently, I had the opportunity to meet an intriguing man who has found me from this blog and contacted me through Facebook. 

He invited me to his house for lunch in Seoul where he served me parota and chicken curry. 

Chicken Curry, Southern Indian Style

Chicken Curry, Southern Indian Style

 

Parota, a Southern Indian Type Bread

Parota, a Southern Indian Type Bread

DSC_0180A traditional southern Indian food he made from scratch.  It really made me miss Sri Lanka more.  In just over a month now, I will be eating all the rice and curry I can eat. 

Next, we talked about his hometown in Tamil Nadu.  Amazingly they only make US$2 or less a day.  I was then told that he already has two masters’ degrees and is now getting his PhD in Molecule Biology and plans to graduate next year.  He has definitely come a long way.  With Tamil being his first language, I was quite surprised how articulate he was in English.

He then went on to say how he illegally road a boat from this providence to Jaffna.  Not just once, but twice he took the trip.  He went on to say that, the trip took only 20 minutes and there were many islands that you could almost walk across to get from India to Sri Lanka.  “The Sri Lankan Navy is always on the lookout for people who try to cross.  You are very likely to be killed”, he said. 

The Area he Crossed from Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka

The Area he Crossed from Tamil Nadu to Sri Lanka

 

 

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