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.
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.
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.
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…”
“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.”
“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.
Speaking of jungle…
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.