Saturday, January 2, 2016

A New Year, a New Country, an Old Love

This new years I begin a new chapter of my new life. Jonathan, my partner of three years, and I will be living together for the rest of my time in Sri Lanka! This year begins like a gift. It is surreal, to have a life this luxurious, in a place this beautiful and still be with one of the people I love most. While I teach and work for CEPA Jonathan will have time to pursue his passion – music. Somehow we get to have the work we love the most and each other too. Jonathan will also work on visual coding skills to be able to pursue more specialized jobs in New York City, our probable next home.

Jonathan at our favorite local coffee shop - Hansa coffee! 

Sri Lanka continues to be good to me. We moved out of our Fulbright mansion in the suburbs this week. I found us a beautiful white apartment 15 minute walk from both my jobs in Colombo seven, a neighborhood dotted with embassies and overhung with great trees and lush gardens. We are a lazy walk from anything we could need – from cheep rice and curry to Japanese fusion restaurants to art galleries to gyms and bars. The city grows calmer here, away from the frenetic jungle of vibrant signs and pileup of shops and human life. It is a privileged area – I am grateful to live here and have this quiet haven in a chaotic world.

Our living room 

Jonathan's studio and our guest room (come visit us!)

Our bedroom

Jonathan's arrival has also re-awoken the tourist in me. I have grown complacent in my exploring of Sri Lanka – for the last few weeks more focused on preparing to move and work than exploration. In showing Jonathan our new world I have expanded it myself. I dragged us to many of the places I have meant to go all these weeks, Jonathan bleary with jet lag but stoic and excited in the face of so much new to see. He has also started a blog – for his thoughts on Sri Lanka look here! I delight in having a partner to sift through Sri Lanka with. Every day confronts us with something delightful, something challenging, something we don't understand. We wander. We consider. We get lost. We learn. Some of our adventures in the past few days are picture below - enjoy! 

The National Museum 

Home to dusty ancient treasures houses in a crumbling colonial exterior. This is the oldest Sri Lankan book, a history written on palm fronds over a thousand years ago. 

Beautiful Colonial architecture which contrasts oddly with the massive tropical trees surrounding it. 

Vigra Pilyar Kovil 

This Hindu temple resembles a mountain of deities reaching up to the heavens. A cacauphony of carve gods and flowers, living birds an even tiny trees growing up the nooks in the statues. 

The technicolored inside of the temple, lined with fantastic creatures. 

Kelenya Temple 
This site was consecrated in 500 BCE after the Buddha's arrival to arbitrate a conflict between two Sri Lankan kings. Today the temple is enmeshed in intricate carvings, painted floor to ceiling on the inside with stories of the Buddha's life and his journey here. 


Worshipers line up to offer water to the Bo tree, brought by the Buddha. 

Reaching to touch the daily offering of food for the Buddha 

The stupa outside the temple

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