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January 15th 2007
Published: February 21st 2007
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We’ve had another busy couple of months since returning to Sri Lanka in November. Our Christmas break was made extra special with Murray's sister Gillian, and her husband Max and daughter Ariana staying with us. We had a BBQ dinner with a group of friends at our house for Christmas dinner. Then we all went on a whirlwind tour around Sri Lanka before Murray returned to work in early January.

Our tour was as follows:
Safari in Yala National Park
Golf at Nurewa Eliya
Kandy for the cultural dancing show
Explore Polonaruwa - the ancient city
Climb Sigiria - the ancient rock fortress
Elephant Orphanage - everyone had a ride on an elephant
Colombo for some shopping and a scan of the baby (good news . . . . its there!!)

We then headed back home to Galle to explore the Fort, swim at Unawatuna, play tennis at the lighthouse, visit the tea factory, turtle hatchery and silk factory.

On the 6th of January we planned to go to Hikkaduwa beach for a swim and to do some shopping. We got delayed by the NZ vs Sri Lanka cricket match on TV, in which NZ lost. Max changed his NZ blackcaps shirt for a Sri Lankan one, in time for a friendly game of backyard cricket with our neighbours. Eventually we got to the beach, only to receive a phone call from a workmate that a bomb had exploded on a bus just out of Hikkaduwa. Later on ambulances went past and a few police/army vehicles. By the time we headed home things were back to normal, except the tuk tuk driver stayed as far away from buses as possible, which makes for an interesting and slow trip. This is the second attack on the Southern part of Sri Lanka where we live, a reminder that we live in a war torn country.

Apart from that incident, we had a lovely time with our visitors. Max spent some time with Murray working in Matara on a housing project and also with the Child Protection program. Max is also well known in our community after playing cricket with the local kids. The kids would come to the door asking if Fat Uncle would like to play cricket (‘Uncle’ meant Murray). Ariana made some new friends with one of Roger's kids (workmate of Murrays) and also a couple of our neighbours kids. She also learnt some language and even bargained pretty hard with a salesman on the beach for a wooden tuk tuk. Gillian enjoyed the tea and has been heard to speak some Singhala, confidently telling people “nae nae”, meaning “ no no”. Very useful in this culture when people are hassling you. We had a lovely time, and our house feels very empty now that they have gone. It doesn’t help that people are still asking me where Ariana is!

Murray's work is going well. With a restructure in early January, Murray is now the Zonal Construction Manager, with the people above him moving back to their jobs in the local office. This has added a new dimension to his role, and he seems to be enjoying the new challenges and opportunities that are offered. The office is scaling down with another lot of workers finishing up in March (quite a few staff left at the end of last year).

I am finally feeling better, after prolonged morning sickness. My clothes seem to be shrinking, and I am regularly being kicked from the inside, a strange sensation. I have started up my English Second Language teacher training course again via the internet. And hope to finish this at the end of February. I recently had to fire someone for the first time. Our helper, lets just say things really didn’t work out. So the housework is now back to me, which I have to say is not fun! The weather is getting really hot, the hottest month being April. I have also joined a Mothers group. I am the only childless one, but they are being great about it. This has opened another group of friends, which has been great.

Hope everyone is doing well and had great Christmas breaks, can’t believe its February already!! Count down for coming home begins 😊

Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


Victoria Park - Nuwara EliyaVictoria Park - Nuwara Eliya
Victoria Park - Nuwara Eliya

The sign says "Refrain from playing in the park"
Polonnaruwa Polonnaruwa

One of the Ancient cities

Another of the ancient cities

23rd February 2007

Nostalgic Memories.
It is wonderful to picture many of the places you went to. So glad we had our time with you. Memories are still fresh. We loved our stay.

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