Tuesday, May 26, 2009

May 24th: Temple Tours on our day off.

After Mulgiriya, we got some drinks (chocolate milk and coke seem to be pretty popular- it’s funny how certain foods for some reason taste so much better away from home) and drove to Dickwala. Here, we were lucky enough to see a stunning temple that housed the biggest statues I have ever seen in my life, in addition to the largest Buddha in Sri Lanka, detailed paintings covering the walls and a building dedicated to the Sri Lankan Buddhists’ interpretation of hell, sins and punishment. The massive Buddha sits outside, standing about 50 m high and covered in about 2 cm x 2 cm tiles. Plus, the Buddha is hollow; we walked up his head and were able to see a symbolic organization of books of his teachings that were stored inside. We could not get over the unreal workmanship that must have been dedicated to constructing such an amazing tribute to the Buddhist community!

Finally, we grabbed lunch at a bakery close by, then headed to the famous blow hole. At first, since the ocean looked exceptionally calm today, we didn’t expect to see much, but just as we were saying this, the hole responded with a huge spurt of water! It was quite impressive- most of us had never seen one before, and it really reinforces the respect that we must give to the ocean’s strength. Unfortunately, we couldn’t spend much time there, as our driver-Deepal- had to get back to take Jo-Anne (a Canadian volunteer here in Tangalle who helped a lot with the planning of our trip) to Colombo. Nevertheless, everyone was happy to have seen the attraction! It was a great day! We finished it off with a restaurant-like dinner of chicken and rice with fresh mango and a salad with guacamole and Naan. Mmmmmmmm. Back to work tomorrow!

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