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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Hikkaduwa

 

English: Fishing boats near the Hikkaduwa beach.

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

 

Recovery and reconstruction efforts following ...

Recovery and reconstruction efforts following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, western coast of Thailand (Photo credit: ILO in Asia and the Pacific)

 

English: Hikkaduwa beach by sunset.

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

 

 

English: Hikkaduwa beach.

English: Hikkaduwa beach. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Construction of house after December 2004 Tsun...

Construction of house after December 2004 Tsunami in Matara District of Sri Lanka. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

USGS graphics showing the two wave forms of th...

USGS graphics showing the two wave forms of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Countries most affected by the tsunami, with t...

Countries most affected by the tsunami, with the earthquake’s epicenter. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

It is very hard to get a good Internet signal in this area.  Best to walk around and keep trying.  This beach area was first popular with the hippies of 1970s is one of Sri Lanka’s best deals to stay at right on the beach.  In fact most of these beach front properties are US$60 or under a night.  If you want AC and hot water, expect to pay another US$10 a night.  You really don’t need hot water and most of the AC units here are quite old.  I say save your money and go primitive.

 

This area was badly damaged by the Tsunami of 2004 and you can still see its impact.  When I was living here 20 years ago, these guest houses had quite a bit of beach front property back in the day, the ocean had less of a current, and the fishermen were bringing in a lot more fish.  Sad to see this morning that one of the fishing boats did not bring in any.  Surfing is still popular in this area though.

 

Today, I am determined to find the site of my 10th grade Geography field trip here but so much has changed.  Wish me luck.

 

Animation of 2004 Indonesia tsunami

Animation of 2004 Indonesia tsunami (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

 

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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?

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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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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Arriving in Sri Lanka

On August 26, 1988, an American family touched down on Sri Lanka.

The two daughters were age 11 and 14 and their father had accepted a job

at USAID.  Their mother was an English teacher.As their driver drove them

to their new home located on 38 Guildford Crescent, ox carts drove along

the side of them and chickens ran loose.  Kids frolicked  around barefoot

while wearing torn clothing.  They still managed to stop and wave to the new

visitors. The roads are not paved like they are in America.  In fact they were

barely paved at all.  The adventure in a civil war in paradise was about to begin.

 

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