Friday, July 12, 2013

Nolan in Sri Lanka - Week 1

Nolan finished out his first week in Sri Lanka, check out what he saw in week 1. 

Week 1 - Day 2
Today we visited the National Museum. We saw ancient artifacts that dated back to the beginning of Sri Lanka’s history. Unfortunately, we were not able to take photographs inside the museum. 

Next we visited a local cemetery. There we heard many stories of how people lost their lives. In a couple of instances during the time of occupation of Sri Lanka by the British, several British soldiers died from attacks of wild elephants.

Finally, we visited a Gem museum and saw the process of finding and making gems, diamonds and rubies.

Week 1 - Day 4
Today, we visited the Sacred Temple of the Tooth Relic, Sri Dalada Museum and an English Nun.  We arrived  pointed out and explained a couple of important artifacts to us. I paid close attention to the service bowls made out of gilts bronze, Palm-Leaf manuscripts, native jewelry, paintings, sculptures and pictures at the Temple of the Tooth and Dhammike. One picture was completely made out of sand!

The group passed along where the British and Sri Lankans signed the Peace agreement that made Sri Lanka independent. After that, we made our way over to the Elephant museum were we learned about the sacred history of elephants in Sri Lanka. 

Week 1 - Day 5
Today we had a cooking lesson from a member of the local community nearby! She showed us native cooking and natural products from Sri Lanka. I was very eager to learn about making my own food, I grinded coconut, chopped vegetables and peeled beans. I was actually pretty good, in fact, one could probably compare me to Martha Stewart, Rachael Ray or Gordon Ramsey. Watch out America, I might be opening my own restaurant soon! 

After that we took a tour of the village. She showed us rice plantations, animals and the river they use for fishing.

Week 1 - Day 7
On Friday, we visited a local wood and wool factory. We saw the manufacturing of wood and the artwork of the finished product. Our group learned about native wood to Sri Lanka like Ebony, black ebony and Coconut wood. We then took a tour of the art gallery and saw the amazing work of local artists.  
For lunch we ate at an Indian restaurant which was interesting to say the least. The food was very spicy, spicier than Sri Lankan dishes.

That afternoon, we spent time with a Buddhist Monk and at a local spa. The Buddhist monk blessed each volunteer and wished happiness to each one of us. Each of the volunteers had a massage of their choosing from foot, shoulder or head. This concluded our one week introduction to Sri Lanka and its culture. 

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