Homely Warmth. Basking in Sri Lanka yet again — our 11th visit

Bryan and Joy Atkinson

This would be our eleventh visit to Serendipity and a new adventure was awaiting us, our Guide from our very first visit and now a family friend of long standing, Rohana would as usual be waiting for us at the Airport as he has on every occasion, however he had not informed us that a new levy had been imposed on all visitors who now have to pay $35.00 US upon entry, we only learned of this after standing in the passport queue for some time.

When we eventually completed the entrance procedures we headed for the Duty Free to buy our usual 2 bottles of J&B which would assist in getting over any jetlag. As expected Rohana was waiting for us and was looking a little concerned because almost everyone else had by this time departed for their hotels, we exchanged hugs and then proceeded to his car and loaded it up with our luggage. Soon we were heading for Kurunegala which is about an hour’s drive, What we immediately noticed was the improvement to the roads. .

Well, lots of beep beeps and near misses later we drove into the family drive to be greeted by the whole family consisting of Mama, Rohana”s wife Chamika, and his now grown-up student children Vimanshi who is studying to be a doctor and Roshitha whose ambition it is to be a pilot, having visited with them many times we instantly had that feeling of being relaxed and at home. This time we were to be staying with them at their home for “Local Experience” as Rohana called it and not somewhere such as The Lodge, Habarana or some other John Keells Hotel which is where we stay when we visit.

BRYAN 7  workmen adding some final touches to the New House OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Rohana in front of the new house

Rohana has over the last eight years been building his dream home when funds and circumstances have allowed and at last it is nearing completion, he had hoped that it would be finished in time for our visit however this was not to be so there was a slight change of plans, we would now stay in the existing family home  which is the home of his Mother.

This was indeed a great experience watching how meals are cooked on a very old built in fire which copes with whatever is asked of it,we had egg hoppers ,noodles, fried eggs and sausages, curries, you name it we had it Sri-Lankan style, I began to take on the appearance of a Maharajah in the Perahera! My wife Joy loves Sri Lankan food and tried everything that was put in front of her.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA How Sri-lankans pay respect to elders

When one holidays in Sri Lanka you run the risk of being included in family events and consequently we have been invited to attend the wedding of one of the daughters of Rohana’s brother in law in 2015.This will be the second invitation we have had to a wedding whilst visiting, we look forward to that and the Sari competition which will surely take place on that day.

It was hard to not notice the amount of studying that the children do regardless of what is going on around them, we admire Sri-Lankan children for the way in which they respect their parents and accept the concept that study will get you everywhere you want to go. We were however allowed to play cards and dominoes in the evening with them and quickly realised that this was a treat which they normally would not be allowed to partake in.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Boiling the milk in the new house

BRYAN 4 son Roshitha,Wife Chamika, Rohana. and daughter Vimanshi.During the day Rohana would take us wherever we wanted to go after he had dished out orders to the workmen as to what he expected of them that day and upon return we would all inspect what had been achieved. We visited Habarana to renew old friendships with staff who had been serving us for the past ten visits, then revisited Premadasa Jewellers  in Colombo to have some repairs done .and see whatever new attractions they have for the ladies, we noticed en route to the Island that Premadasa  are now advertising in the magazine on board the plane. The quality of designs and finished jewellery is of a very high standard indeed a fact which is fast becoming known worldwide.

Rohana was obliged to attend his employers office {Walkers Tours} to finalise a tour  by a group from Europe .during this time we would meet once again with Rohana;s  Manager another family friend and long-time acquaintance  this would fill in the time whilst Rohana organised his tour.

As usual a trip to Kandy is always looked forward to if its just to see the pretty Girls. I have in the past been very lucky to have met with both Kumar Sangakkara and Tony Grieg when staying at the Cinnamon Grand, sadly Tony passed away recently having been a fabulous ambassador for the game of Cricket.

Whilst travelling around the island we could not fail to notice that many of the hotels, shops, department stores, small traders, were doing a roaring trade which of course is good for the economy, Lots of Europeans, a sprinkling of Brits, some from places that we had never heard of in fact a very good cross section age-wise also. We look forward to our next visit which we hope will be in 2015,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA… and that grand foundation SIGIRIYA

ALSO SEE http://www.dailynews.lk/?q=features/sri-lanka-family-holidays-amazing-mr-elephant

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