Sri Lanka is possibly the most green country I have ever seen. Coming from Oman, a country whose scenery is comprised mainly of sand and palm trees (which are totally beautiful, but not exactly green), I thought I had landed in a little patch of heaven when we walked out of the airport to discover trees and plants of all varieties poking out of the grass (GRASS!!!) at our feet.
Following an overlong stint at the airport caused by a sandstorm delaying and subsequently canceling our flights, we arrived in Sri Lanka and promptly boarded the bus to go to Kandy. The next day we took a tour of the city and visited a monastery (pictures here), after which we drove into the mountains to visit the school we were going to do some service work at. When we returned there in the morning, there was a long line of students waiting for us at the gate and presenting us with leaves.
We spent our third and fourth days in Sri Lanka at the school painting (chairs, desks, and walls) and playing with the kids. On the day we left, there was a small assembly during which we sang them the Omani national anthem and they sang some traditional songs for us (and some of the kids danced). It was a really incredible experience because there is no feeling better than knowing that you have done something tangibly useful; that you have in some way made life a little better for someone else.
The day after we left the school we took a trip to Sigiriya, otherwise known as the lion rock. Sigiriya is about 200 meters high, with a total of 1,200 steps leading to the top. The view is incredible, and the history is interesting - it was once used as a palace that alternated between two kings as they fought for control of the area and sought to protect themselves through the unreachability of a palace on a rock.
Other assorted things we did during the trip included a visit to a tea plantation (anyone out there drink Ceylon tea? That's Sri Lankan), a batik factory, and the Pinnawala elephant orphanage. Overall, it was an amazing experience, and I highly recommend the country to anyone with a week or two to spare in travel.
But for now I'm back in Oman, heading to school amidst the sun and the sand and so beyond grateful that this is the life I get to have.
🎶Good Life - OneRepublic🎶
Hi! My name is Karla Cox. This blog is a compilation of notes, thoughts, and photos from my travels around the world.