Monday, May 11, 2009

May 9th: Perrahara celebrations

Hilda, Brendan, Smrita and I went this morning to pick up 150 roti we ordered the day before, but the cook hadn’t made them yet, so we reminded him and had a nice walk back through town. A few of us went swimming and played some volleyball while the others stumbled out of bed later on. I still can’t get over how nice the beach directly in front of our place is. No rocks at all, no seaweed, no scary animals in the water. Just perfect temperature sea and a nice sandy beach! I would DEFINITELY 100 % recommend these guest houses for future student trips. We are living in affordable luxury!

At 12:30, we all went with Anil, Deepal and Jo-Anne to pick up our 150 roti (yum!!) and see a beautiful Perrahara celebration about half an hour’s drive away. We watched the procession pass twice- once in some shade behind a large crowd and then right at the roadside down a few hundred metres where we were greeted with a refreshing juice and received a lot of attention from the dancers and children enjoying the music. Everyone is so welcoming and excited to see tourists in these times- they are very much aware of the vast travel advisories and publicity that has been decimating tourism these days.

After the Perrahara, we went to see the harbor (from outside the gates) and then walked to the coral-protected swimming area nearby which was obviously very popular with locals and those traveling to Tangalle for the celebrations. Finally, after a quick 1-hour roti break, we headed to Ketakalawatta to see the community’s beautiful lantern displays and visit with the families of some of the workers we are building with. They were very welcoming and generously offered us some tea and biscuits. We got back around 8:00pm and I finally got a chance to get some relaxing time after these first few busy (sleep-deprived) days and nights!

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