Back to our Jungle Nest ~Delawella, Sri Lanka

After a jam packed period of travel, which started two months ago, we are finally both back in Sri Lanka.  Our travels took us to Malyasia, then Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong.  After which, Peta continued to Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, primarily to see the fam (Ben was there in spirit).

 

Empty Nesters Update

Perfect time for a quick segue into an empty nester update. We have to say how much we both enjoy the company of our four adult sons. They are all four, astounding young men, amazing human beings!

Josh lives in San Francisco, with his girl friend Ana.

(Josh is a music event entrepreneur, he produces and organizes concerts and electronic music festivals nationwide. Ana is a bi-lingual pediatric speech and language therapist.)

Amazing meals, walks and chill time together.

 

Ezra lives in Portland.

(A published author in music theory and synchronicity, he is adding a new career track as a computer coder with application in the field of artificial intelligence.)

So fun meeting in L.A. at J.B ~ always a  pleasure!

 

Oren lives in Chicago, with his Brazilian fiancee Jess.

(They are both real estate brokers and (no doubt) future real estate magnates. Prior to this, he lived in Nicaragua for a few years where he started and ran an NGO dedicated to social impact through sports.)

Happy to be there to welcome Jess back from Brazil!

 

Adam lives in Chicago.

(He is an urban organic farmer and food industry entrepreneur, supplying Chicago restaurants with organic micro greens and veggies. He comes to farming after years of cooking in some top notch Chicago restaurants.)

Great timing to be able to be there to help with two big moves: one apartment, one business!

 

 

 

Back in Colombo, Sri Lanka

A whirlwind of activities for Ben’s work, brings us back to Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka, for a few days before we head back to the Galle/Unawatuna/Dellawala area we now call home.

The sky line at night from our hotel… That’s the Indian ocean on the left.

Sri Lanka has some pretty spectacular sunsets, and we get treated to one, reflected in the roof top pool of Ozo hotel where we stay when Ben is working in Colombo. And Peta, clearly, is chilling. Yeah.

If you know Peta, then you know that in Nicaragua she lay her paintbrushes to rest while she focused on learning Spanish, doing yoga and rescuing cats and dogs. Prior to that, in Chicago for years she painted up a storm. She had a large warehouse studio, participated in group exhibitions and had her work shown in numerous galleries and some museums across the country. In short painting was very much part of her persona

Photography and writing became her creative outlets. But I (Ben), selfishly longed for her to get back to painting, as her frequent painting sessions had a zen quality about them. It is not easy to be an oil painter and be nomadic and living sequentially in different countries. And so, it seems that  Sri Lanka has now solidified into a “real” home base, if Peta is buying paints once again.

There is a very limited selection of oil paints but plenty acrylics. As an oil painter, switching to acrylic paints will be interesting. They are way less expensive, dry faster and do not need turpenoid for washing brushes and clean up.

Easel check, paintbrushes check, canvas check.

 

Back in Delawella ~ home base.

After five days in a hotel in Colombo we are ready to head back to our Jungle Nest on the Southern coast.

One of the “issues” we were having with our house before we left was that we were sharing our house with a mouse.  A rather noisy mouse at night, who ate some half circle holes in a few of our closet drawers! Or maybe  it is not a solo mouse, but 2 or more? We know that the best solution for getting rid of mice, is simply to get a cat.

We could not get a cat just before leaving, but now that we are both back, within 24 hours Peta connects with someone who rescues and fosters cats and dogs, and then finds them “forever” homes. (Much like we did, when we lived in Nicaragua for some 30 cats, over a 6 year period.)

After all, a house is not a home , without a cat, as far as Peta is concerned. And now thanks to the mouse, we have an excuse to immediately address our obvious feline deficiency.

And so it came to be that this skinny multi-colored little girl headed home with us, from Colombo.

Someone is pretty happy!

Introducing a new member of the family: Goji.

 

Outside the front door of the house, the water lily is blooming in our mini guppy pond (a Sri Lankan strategy to keep the mosquitoes at bay.)

Our backyard, pretty much. The rice paddies have been harvested and what remains is a soft golden field of color.

Airbnb and Home Exchange

Before we left Sri Lanka we listed our  “Jungle Nest” bungalow on airbnb.com so as to see if it might rent out while we were gone. It is of course a bit rustic, but we describe quite accurately what it is and what it offers, on the site. We hoped that the mouse would be on its best behavior or that it would go unnoticed and that the rain would not be too severe, as our roof still has a propensity to leak.

We had three groups of people staying in our humble abode and below is the feedback we have received, so far:

“Lived up to it’s name. We had curious monkeys, the odd cow, monitor lizard being harassed by the canine protection squad. Our hosts were very quick to help and to respond to queries. The outdoor bathroom was a kind of back to nature in luxury experience. We used a scooter to go to and from the beach and it only took us a few minutes. Shop close by to get things to eat and quite a few good resort type places if you want too. The house keeper was there everyday so you didn’t feel ‘alone’ and help was close by if you needed it. It was a lovely break to be able to stay by ourselves. Neighbours came by and said hello. We really enjoyed…”

and

“Great house, clean, good beds, nice garden, fabulous bathroom, kitchen with everything you need to cook. It was a pleasure to stay there. We, my husband, me and our baby boy, stayed in the house for 5 nights. The house is a 20 minute walk from Dalawella beach, nice beach especially if you have kids.”

and

“Highly recommend this 2 bedroom , spacious living room house ; with fully equipped kitchen. Amazing out door artistic bathroom. Solar heated shower. only 200 rs tuk tuk to beach . Short walk to Sri Yoga Shala, where we also went to use the salt water swimming pool, (for 500 rupees)

So far so good…..!

We are also now back on home exchange and Peta was already able to get two exchanges, one in Chicago and one in San Francisco.

The botanical name for these giants is “Colocasia”, more commonly known as “elephants ear” ~ most fitting! This one is now so large that it makes quite a novel shower curtain.

The garden bathroom has really “filled out” in two months. Amazing how large the elephant ear leaves are, as well as the lemongrass at the corner of the tub. It’s a jungle out there!

 

Our neighbors… 2 shy and very sweet girls both with the classic double long black braids, stop by to welcome us back.

And here is …. the “honey guy” selling bottles of fresh honey (in recycled wine bottles) made in his village. He also sells jaggery, which is “kittul” (a honey like substance from the kittul tree) which has been cooked and dried. One then shaves off small pieces for use, as a natural sweetener.

Speaking of jungle…

Every day since we have been back we have had Purple Faced Langur monkeys visiting. Then we discover why… they are enjoying the huge ripe jackfruit which is near the top of the tree right outside our front door.  A group stops by for their breakfast. Good morning!

The Purple-Faced Langur is endemic to Sri Lanka.  They are typically very shy and used to be found only in the mountains, but due to deforestation and agriculture, they are now in areas that are not typical to their habitat, shared with humans.  Known as ශ්‍රී ලංකා කලු වදුරා in Sinhala.

 Jackfruit is the largest tree fruit in the world, sometimes as heavy as 50 pounds! Ben cut down the large one on the right and then had the task of cutting it open to ready it for eating. One can eat the fleshy part (tastes like bubble gum) and the large seeds once cooked, which taste similar to potatoes and chestnuts combined. Jackfruit is extremely nutritious and has many healthy benefits.

It is always good to come home to fresh tropical fruits that we can easily buy at almost any corner store. No stickers on the fruit here!

And while the monkeys eat the jackfruit for breakfast, we are eating this pineapple based creation. Pineapple and kale smoothie bowl, topped with bananas, dried blueberries, chia, hemp seed, a sprinkling of granola and a spoon of almond butter. Yum!

We quickly get back to our routine of going to a yoga class at the nearby Sri Yoga Shala ~ Truly gorgeous setting, set in the trees, with many offerings of different yoga classes.

And after yoga, a swim in the salt water pool. Ah, it is good to be back. We get to rediscover one of the main reasons we chose to live 5 minutes away from here.

Yoga, followed by a swim. Great combo. Nice welcome home!

We have the pool to ourselves….

This is where Ben gets his daily English newspapers. We stop by on our motor bike and for 30 rupees (20 cents) he has his news fix. One day I (Ben) intend to be able to read the newspaper in Sinhalese eventually, but for now, there is a good stock of English language papers. 

Newspaper in hand, we head to one of our favorite chill spots at the beach for his caffeine fix.

Did we mention how much we missed Sri Lankan curry? Definitely gets addictive……

For another Sri Lankan treat ~ the “hopper”. A hopper is the Sri Lankan equivalent to a French crepe, crispy on the sides and soft in the center. The classic way to eat this is plain or as an egg hopper. Here is an updated creative twist to the classic hopper ~ an eggs benedict hopper with salmon. Yum!!

It’s nice to be back home in Delawella ~ where in 5 minutes we can be at the Indian ocean to watch the sunset..

53 thoughts on “Back to our Jungle Nest ~Delawella, Sri Lanka

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Darlene. In our family definition “doing so well” means following your passion and being happy with the choices made. Yes, thank you.

      The kitty has yet to prove her mouse hunting skills, yet, the mouse seems to have got the message and has either gone quiet or left the premises.

      Peta

      Peta

  1. Eric Lieberman

    Peta- Happy birthday for today ….April 1st.

    Nice to catch up on photos of your boys!!! what wonderful entrepreneurs they all are!

    That Sri Lankan Curry got my mouth watering…

    Everything about your life is such an adventure…

    Please adopt me!
    I’ll look after Goji.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Well thank you Eric, you ALWAYS remember my birthday! (Maybe it is due to the date, but I am gonna keep thinking it is my charm and massive charisma that makes you remember 🙂

      Glad you enjoyed the family catch up… What I love most about our sons is the fact that they have all followed their passions!

      Ha ha, how bout you come and visit in Sri Lanka? We can have an adoption ceremony here by our neighbors, Buddhist monks.

      Peta

  2. Anabel Marsh

    So much here, I don’t know where to start! Your sons have very varied and interesting careers, your kitten is lovely and everything in between is fascinating.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Anabel.

      Very true re our sons ~ they were all able to forge their own paths, and able to resist the temptation to follow conventional “rules” of what makes a good career. This takes courage, especially in the U.S. where there is a stronger correlation between career success (understood to mean earning potential) than there is between life sastisfaction which correlates more often to sculpting a career around something one loves to do. I am definitely proud of that!

      Peta

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Peggy.

      We were definitely a bit nervous about the airbnb, as our home is definitely “not for everyone.” But we did our best to be very honest about what people are getting. Location, location, location and oh yes, a beautiful bathroom.

      Peta

  3. Jacqueline Bell

    I am delighted to read that Peta is going back to painting and I can’t wait to see the first one….All the children are splendid..

    Let’s not forget the adorable pussy cat….!!!!! Oops and the purple face monkeys!!!!!

    I can’t believe how fast the vegetation grew…I miss you very much already.???❤????

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Ah thank you Madame Bell, I KNEW you would respond positively to my picking up my brushes again.

      Thank you for all your encouragement and support of me, as an artist, over the years. It means a lot to me. Looking forward to getting started soon…. Just got a few house projects to take care of (like getting a roof that does not leak over our bed, even though your son says it is like Avian spray) and then I can get started.

      Glad you like our new kitty and the monkeys too.

      Miss you SO much as well. Thanks for such a wonderful week in your beautiful home. Always a pleasure!!! xoxox

      Peta

  4. Lexklein

    I can’t get over that bathroom and its plant growth! What a worldwide whirlwind you’ve been on (and right when you were probably back in Chicago, I was leaving there after so many years …). It’s nice to be back home, isn’t it? – wherever that may be. I feel that way after only a week in my new house in Houston; it is already home, and I am feathering my nest here as you do yours in Sri Lanka. Hope you can settle in now for a while and relax!

    (Oh, and the cat is adorable and so are the sons!)

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Lex I know… that bathroom garden is filling in so fast that I need to get in there and thin it out a bit. That is one of the amazing things about having a garden in a tropical country… after a few months, voila, you have a garden!

      Congrats on your move and new home in Houston. Best of luck with everything. The “feathering” process is an interesting one: some like to rush it, check the box and get everything done quickly, others prefer to take their time and do it slowly. We definitely like to get the priorities done quickly and then let opportunity dictate the direction of the next projects. I like your expression “feathering the nest”.

      Interestingly enough we always make time to relax and chill even when on the road. That is definitely how we roll. Of course this last trip was unusually fast paced and not our preferred way of traveling.

      Peta

  5. Sharon Rosenzweig

    What a cheerful and exciting post! So much wonderful news. I hope you can get used to acrylics. I think the key is finding mediums that work for you– they have lots of different ones. It is more practical for many reasons. I’m excited to see what happens next.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      I am excited to see what happens next too!! 🙂
      Have you used acrylics Sharon? I really love oil paint and how “forgiving” it is, given that it takes a long time to dry. But then again, if you recall, I always had paint in my hair, on my face and hands and the general clean up of oils with turps is not one I miss. I think I have one can of medium, hope that is enough to start with.

      Peta

  6. My Inner Chick

    **If you know Peta, then you know that in Nicaragua she lay her paintbrushes to rest while she focused on learning Spanish, doing yoga and rescuing cats and dogs.**

    Love that description.

    Love the photos SO MUCH.

    OMGOSh, Goji! Such a little, sweet baby.

    YOU Saved Her!!!!! What happens when you leave? ( with your pets )

    Always love when I click over here.

    O, yeah, and the monkeys. Seriously?!! x from MN.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Kim you are always so positive and enthusiastic in your comments, that I can only assume you are like that in person as well 🙂 Thank you.

      One of the main reasons we were reluctant to get animals again, is of course the huge responsibility that comes with being a dog or cat owner. But here we are… one kitten and three dogs (who adopted US and came with the house). We have always managed in the past, to find animal sitters/lovers who can take care of the animals, when we travel. When we moved from Chicago when we had two dogs, to Nicaragua, we moved with our dogs. Then we moved them back to Chicago after six years when we left. As well we managed to bring back two cats from Nicaragua to Chicago. After all the stress and expense of flying animals one country to another, it is not something we will consider doing again, rather we will seek out new loving homes locally.

      Peta & Ben

      1. My Inner Chick

        Excellent, Peta,

        It is because of people like you that the world is sweeter!

        Tell me, what do your boys and their girlfriends think about your adventures and lifestyle.

        I’d be thrilled if you were my parents! xx

        1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

          Aw thanks Kim.

          Good question re our sons. For years we have been role modeling what seems to be an “alternative concept”, which is, to prioritize doing the things that they love and have passion for. They get plenty of societal messaging about “the rat race” and achievement is measured by income, reaching certain milestones by a certain age…..

          All of our kids knew that our intent once they finished high school was to travel and live in different cultures and new countries. So none of them are surprised. This was a consistent message as even when they were in high school, we traveled for our business, often to Peru and Argentina. They saw us take risks, go on adventures, start businesses, start social impact projects. Of course not everything succeeds, but many of them do. In sum, we wanted to role model what it looks like when you don’t operate from a place of fear.

          All four boys are definitely inspired by our adventure and all of them have joined us at some point, at a time and place of their choosing. They also now all do what they love, travel whenever they can and are adventurous and independent. And they too have started projects, started businesses and are all very hard workers as well as creative!

          Adam chose Nicaragua to start with, at the age of 15 when we took a trip there at his urging and bought a dilapidated house in Granada on the last day of our trip. He also lived in Nicaragua when we were there for 4 months, working in the kitchen of a restaurant at the beach. More recently we met in Viet Nam and traveled together all over the country, including one very memorable week on motor scooters driving the Ho Chi Minh trail.

          Josh, visited us in Nicaragua and also traveled earlier with us to Argentina on one of our business trips. We are looking forward to a visit from him and Ana, this summer in Sri Lanka. Ana is from a very global family, she is bicultural (Mexico/U.S.) She has traveled extensively, lived in many different countries and speaks several languages. We know she approves of our lifestyle and will visit wherever we land. Yay.

          Oren joined us in Nicaragua for a year, but ended up staying three years and started a social impact NGO (sports for impact for street children.) Jess is Brazilian and will obviously forge a U.S./Brazilian life. In December Oren visited Brazil with Jess for the first time, and no doubt there will be many more such trips. She too has the travel bug and we have plans to meet up on the global road.

          Ezra visited us in Nicaragua and lived on Ometepe island for a while in an intentional community. Last year we all met up in Chiang Mai, Thailand when he was living there for 6 months.

          No doubt there are times they maybe miss us, and we miss being close by to enjoy their company, but when we do see each other, the reunions are super sweet!

          Peta & Ben

  7. Gilda Baxter

    Beautiful family! I did not realise you have a Brazilian daughter in law?. Great idea to rent your house whilst you are off on your travels and sounds like you had great reviews for your lovely abode. You have great location, charm, interesting wildlife and that great bathroom is definitely a plus. I envy your artistic abilities since I can’t even draw a flower ?

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Gilda. Yes, my son went with his fiancee to Brazil for the first time last year to meet his future in laws! The whole trip was a great hit! Very excited to have another Brazilian angle to our family. Ben’s dad (and other relatives) lived many years in Sao Paolo to escape World War II as a Polish/French Jew.

      Since we pay rent as the house is a rental, with an option to buy, this is a good way for us to reimburse some of the house expenses. We are very comfortable with other people living in our home as we have had many years of home exchange experience (that might be a future blog post!)

      Peta

  8. Joanne Sisco

    It was your birthday yesterday, Peta! Belated best wishes and I hope you enjoy the rest of your birthday week.

    I loved this post, it almost felt like I was going home too 🙂 The bathroom garden looks AMAZING! I guess in that climate, everything grows so quickly.

    … and little Goji is adorable!! Her ears are so huge compared to her tiny body. I’m sure she will be an awesome little mouser 🙂

    Thank you for introducing us to your gorgeous sons. I’m sure catching up with them was wonderful!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Joanne. We are choosing the Indian approach to my birthday and are celebrating for five days straight with an exploration of the Southern coast of Sri Lanka. Wow what a birthday it is!!!!

      “I’m sure she will be an awesome little mouser.” From your mouth to Goji’s ears!

      Being empty nesters on a global adventure, save for the occasional Skype phonemail, we always have much to catch up on and really value our time with our sons, separately and or in any combination.

      As for the garden, I am hoping to start our veggie garden outside our bedroom soon. Stay tuned.

      Peta

  9. judith westerfield

    Holey Moley PEEEEEETA – this is 17 posts in one!

    Your sons are indeed fabulous young men – what a tribute to you and Ben.

    Love your new kitty cat. Would you write a bit about her as I would love to post Goji’s picture on the Furry Friends page we are created on CATNIPblog. I suppose the Purple Faced Langur monkey could go there too.

    The food looks really delectible – would love a recipe or two or three.

    Ok have I hit #17 yet? I think not. BUT when you start painting I WANT to see pictures.

    Glad you are both home, safe and sound. Sending love, judy

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Judy for the lovely comments. It’s 17 in one, because so much has happened in the last month!

      We have only had Goji with us for a short time but we really enjoy her personality as she is very sweet, refined and just learning to play. She had a rough start in life and was found at a construction site with a large wound on her back and after that got really ill. So she is making up on lost time and loves to eat and loves to sit on my chest and purr loudly. She is delighted with the time she gets to spend inside our garden bathroom chasing insects and jumping on leaves.

      The smoothie bowl is made up of: Juiced kale and pineapple, with bananas blended in. Top with sprinklings of chia seeds, hemp seeds, granola, or any kind of nuts and or fruit and add a dollop of organic almond butter.

      Thanks Judy, sending love your way too.
      Peta

  10. Maya

    This looks stunning, Ben and Peta! The yoga, the amazing food, the views- brings back great memories of Sri Lanka when we were there 3 years ago- must revisit! Huge besitos to you both!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      MAYA!!!! Lovely to read you. Hell yes it is time for you to come back! What are you waiting for?? Your room awaits you both. We remember fondly how funny and skillful you are at imitating all those around you and look forward to hearing you take on the Sri Lankan accent and mannerisms 🙂 And of course, we need to meet your beau.

      Besitos to you too. xoxo
      P

  11. Eileen O Norman

    Just connected that you are near Unawatuna, Sri Lanka where our niece vacationed last year. She teaches in Saudi Arabia and vacationed in Thailand this year.
    Our grandson taught for a year on an island off the coast of Indonesia several years ago. I’m not sure exactly where, perhaps Batam? And one of our sons teaches in Cambodia. I love all your photos and information. Virtual travel while stuck at home is a great treat. Thanks.

    I so enjoy the shrinking of our world by the internet!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Eileen so nice to have you stop by to read us and comment on the blog. Funnily enough where we live has numerous names.. some people call it Galle (the region) others Unawatuna (the district) or Delawella, or Thalpe… Rather confusing, so we sticking with Delawella.

      Sounds like you have quite the global family! That is definitely a great way to travel virtually if you follow their adventures. Even though we are traveling ourselves, we love to see what other travelers are doing, where they are going and this often gives us ideas of future countries for our ever growing “bucket list.”

      Peta

  12. Pamela

    I’m rarely speechless ( or in this case word-less) but all the goodies in this post just leave me in awe. I guess ‘the cats got my tongue’ ? Don’t you wonder where that expression came from?
    Happy happy birthday, Peta.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Glad you enjoyed our return to Sri Lanka.. The monkeys overhead while having breakfast pretty much leaves us speechless too. We are most thankful to have this opportunity to be living in a tropical island with so much fauna and flora around. That would be fabulous enough, but having beautiful beaches close by, really puts it over the top for us!!

      Thanks for the birthday wishes, am enjoying celebrating my life in this beautiful location on this island.

      Peta

  13. Liesbet

    Home, sweet home. Welcome back, you two. And, the cute kitten. Your collection of photos is incredibly attractive, from the wildlife to the greenery to the food. Enjoy being back and congrats on the great reviews and house swap opportunities.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Well if anyone knows the value of coming home to a home “base” it has to be you guys….. it is definitely nice to sleep in one bed, unpack and have our own kitchen to make some of our meals in. And now we have a cat…

      Thanks Lesbet! Always good to read you!

      Peta

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Yup it has been busy and we are enjoying the slower pace of being back home in Sri Lanka and our emerging routines ~ going to the beach as often as possible and yoga at least twice a week.

      Re the furry friends, one of the dogs that lives here, was not looking good when we got back and after taking her to the clinic and doing blood tests, it was discovered that she has tick fever which can be deadly. So far so good she seems to be recovering nicely, thankfully.

      Peta

  14. Lisa A Dorenfest

    What a lovely family that you have – your wonderful sons and their significant others, and now Goji, a very adorable mouse trap. I was already familiar with Adam’s fantastic work with Closed Loop Farms but didn’t realize he had so many talented siblings.

    It’s great to see your bathroom blooming and the shower curtain is fab! Congrats on turning your home into a successful Airbnb.

    I am excited to see Peta taking up painting again and look forward to viewing her creations. Welcome back home.

    PS – I just connected with an old friend from Chicago, Rich Logan, on Facebook. I see him and Peta are friends too. Small world.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thank you for the kind words about our sons. A talented bunch, and nice guys too!

      The shower space feels like it is “shrinking” as the huge leaves of the elephant ear just get bigger and bigger by the day! Now am thinking about starting up my dreamed of organic veg and herbal garden.

      Small world indeed. Rich was one of our yoga teachers, neighbor and friend in Chicago recently.

      Peta

  15. Mabel Kwong

    Sounds like a lovely time traversing all those places, and even back home to the States too for Peta. The boys all look very lively and happy 😀

    Welcome Goji for the family and pretty sure in now time she will be good friend with the mice. She looks just at home right there, and she must like the space to roam around too, indoors and outdoors in your spacious backyard 🙂

    I absolutely love jackfruit and wish I had more of it when I lived in Asia! It is so refreshing on a warm day and anytime and any meal of the day really.

    And the monkey! It is amazing the life the two of you live – simple yet so vibrant with the beautiful things nature offers. One day I hope to live a life like that 🙂

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Mabel for commenting.

      We are still discovering some of the lesser known (to us) vegetables and fruits which are incorporated into meals here. Always an interesting process, to be sure. Now Sri Lankan New Year is coming and there are plenty of local specialty dishes that we are eager to sample.

      The life we live “simple yet so vibrant with the beautiful things nature offers.” Yes, that is it pretty much. We did consciously think about what we consider to be “life experience priorities”, and then build our day to day reality around that.

      Peta & Ben

  16. Caroline Helbig

    So nice to get the update on your handsome sons. I love the new addition to your family (I’m a big cat lover).

    I continue to be awed by your jungle nest. It is so beautiful, and 5 minutes to the ocean…what a treat.

    I am totally amazed at how fast your bathroom garden has filled in. It seems like just yesterday I was reading about your plans.

    Happy to do an exchange some time…. our beautiful but cold ocean is just a few minutes from our house (people actually do go swimming in summer!).

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Caroline.

      Yup, the location we are in, is pretty unique ~ one foot in the jungle, one foot in the beach and everything in-between.

      Yes, we are for sure interested in a home exchange in British Columbia (Vancouver?), especially if the ocean is a few minutes from your house (that is always a great feature!) ~ Start planning your trip. We can do a non simultaneous exchange at some point. (petakaplan@hotmail.com)

  17. Rich Lewis

    I’m just catching up a bit on your blog and nice to learn a little about your family and see your home in Sri Lanka. For my commercial photography I have hired a young man in Sri Lanka to do some retouching. He was an interesting guy to work with and quite good at his craft. I was wondering what his country was like and not I’m getting a nice introduction from you.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Hi Rich, nice! Might be interesting to find out which part of Sri Lanka he is from?

      If you are interested in reading more, check out our archives for other posts on Sri Lanka. Thanks for stopping by to read us and for commenting.

      Peta

  18. LuAnn

    Your home setting looks so inviting! And those food photos had me drooling! Beautiful sunsets, yoga classes, and restorative nature at your doorstep. We must get to Sri Lanka. Your boys all seem so grounded. You must be very proud. And that kitty, oh my!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks LuAnn, we are definitely enjoying the combination of distinctive feature that make Sri Lanka such an unusual experience and place for us to live.

      Do plan a trip to Sri Lanka, as it is so diverse and has so much to offer, you really cannot go wrong.

      Re our sons, thanks for the compliment. I think it is very interesting as parents to allow the space for teens and young adults to be as independent as possible and “do their own thing” and then watch as they grow and mature towards the end of their twenties and early thirties. Yes, we are definitely proud of all of them.

      Peta & Ben

  19. Anita @ No Particular Place To Go

    Oooh – I fell in love with your kitten as soon as I saw her! Think she’ll grow into those amazingly big ears? Looks like she’ll be able to hear mice sneaking in and out wherever they intrude! ?

    So fun to “meet” your family and I’m sure you enjoyed your visit with them tremendously. One of the hardest things about living in Europe is being so far away from our only son (he’s 34 now) but we’d never live in Denver where he is now (or the States anymore for that matter!) and we know that flights go both ways. Thank God for Skype though!

    I marveled at how your outdoor bathroom has grown and loved the elephant leaf shower curtain. Enjoy your beautiful home and especially enjoy resuming your painting. You have the best of all worlds!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      It was definitely love at first sight for me and Goji. We quickly bonded and it has been a love fest ever since.

      Living in a different continent from one’s children is challenging and not for everyone. But it certainly makes reunions super sweet and as well, when you live apart it allows parents to really see the changes with time that one might not appreciate if there were weekly visits. We also have a very adult relationship with all of them which is great.

      Peta

  20. Laurel

    I can’t believe how quickly your bathroom jungle is filling in! So lush and beautiful.

    How fun to see your family—they all appear to be living highly creative lives, following their passions (I wonder where they got that?) :-))

    I bet you won’t have any more mouse problems with your new little kitty.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      The garden is full now that I really need to thin it out a bit. Tropical climates are very helpful in creating gardens!

      Ha ha, thanks Laurel. It is very nice to know that each of our sons is doing what they love, as it really does make a difference. May as well earn income by being involved in something personally meaningful.

      Thanks for your comments,
      Peta

    2. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Laurel, the garden bathroom is very gorgeous now and in fact we have to start thinning out some of the plants. Tropical climates are so fun for starting a garden, as everything grows so quickly, it is crazy.

      Thanks laurel for the compliment on our sons. It is satisfying to know we have had positive impact on them by role modeling conscious decisions and lifestyle.

      Peta

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