Market, Beach, Bus, Rainforest, Kitul and Curd

“Two weeks”…I was reminded. It’s been that long since our days have been filled with joy and discovery in our new country.

We’re all getting into a nice swing. The days always start off with a sweet strong cup of tea, or two.  Breakfast is had outside, to the sound of nature. Right under the transit lounge tree, so we can view its morning visitors.

The weekend has us visiting two Pola’s. Saturday is The Good Market. Sunday the Malab├¬ Pola. I’m learning more singhalese thanks to these market trips. The market culture towards kids is just like back home, offerings are always given to the children.

I’m slowly getting used to the buses. I think it helped that we caught one home. Buses in Sri Lanka are fast!!  They actually scare me, it’s the horns. 

To me Australian horns toot with aggression and worry. This urgency to rush and get ahead. There is anger in the horn tooting in Australia. 

Sri Lankan horns are used with even more gusto, but for different reasons. It’s only on my 5th time here, that I think I understand the bus toot.

For approaching to pass “toot”. Passing you “toot toot”. I’m on the wrong side of the road as I’m passing but I’m not moving for oncoming traffic (even though I’m now in your lane) “tooooooooot”. 

People travel the roads with instinct, kindness and colabration. Buses are really delightful to travel  on and so cheap. No myki here, instead a lovely exchange with a real person!!We spent a few days down south in Galle. This had us visiting the rainforest, exploring new friendships, meeting governors and street dogs, collecting crabs, saltwater swimming, standing under palm leaves as big as King Size Beds!!Last evening was the first in catching a jar full of fireflies. How funny catching bugs who’s bums flash!! It’s a total delight to watch spike become like a fire fly himself, dashing and darting and yelling his finds. His mouth like a flashing bottom with each spotting.I would like to introduce you to Mee Kiri (pictured above) or if you ask Orla “buffalo yoghurt”, or if you ask me Curd. Once this delightful Buffalo Milk is boiled and cooled, some of yesterday’s batch is added (I think to help with the fermentation) it’s placed into clay pots, sealed and left to ferment for 12 hours!! The end result is heaven!! Served with Organic Kitul Pani (maple syrup of Sri Lanka)  it’s hard to stop at one serving!!I have so much more to entice you with, but I’ll save it for another post. I have to be up at 4:15am to catch the train to Haputale, this destination is in the mountains of Sri Lanka.

With Love
Coconut Nona xxx

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Sunil and Niroshan

To get to the main road from our house is a 5minute walk. Our walk can be shared with many things. Street dogs looking up in a sleepy gaze, king parrots feeding from clay curd pots, caterpillars crossing the road or buffalo families being herded. 


At the end of the road sitting in his scooter taxi waiting for his next job was Sunil. 

Our friendship was very new back in October. After the end of our first ride numbers were exchanged. Sunil radiated kindness and conversation with us all from the day we met. 

When we woke on our first day, supplies from our local fruit shop were needed. Pineapple juices were craved by all. Something we had been longing for all flight as the carton of pineapple juice was wheeled by on the cart. None of us could bring ourselves to drink it, except Orla.

On our way to filling our craving, we were met by another smiling face, Niroshan. Warmth was exchanged and children’s faces were pinched, our first ride since arriving in Sri Lanka this time was offered. 

Sunil


Niroshan and Sunil are a taste to the openness and love that our family receives in Sri Lanka. Bumpy rides through the currents of cars, buses, motorbikes and people. 

When destinations are met, they offer to stay, come or help. When we have run out of Gas at the house, Sunil is more than happy to be called to collect a new bottle so our dinner can be cooked. 

Niroshan loves to share photos of his daughter with us. He always wants me to talk to him in English so I can teach him more, I always want him to talk to me in Singhalese so I can do the same.

Late last night our door bell rang. It was Niroshan with a freshly picked Breadfruit from his home. This sharing of food reminds me of our lives back in Abbotsford. 

Whenever Orla hears a scooter taxi, she calls out “Sunil” 

These two men have become extended family in our children’s eyes. The children have a greater sense of belonging through feeling connected to there new community.

Thank goodness these two men are in our families lives.

Scooter Taxi’s are a great way to get overtired kids to sleep. Kind of like a super fast pram


With love

Coconut Nona xxx

Discovering Sri Lanka’s Natural World…

This part of travel really excites me.

The sounds that fill my ears and the discovery once spotted.

Sometimes the loudest calls are made by the smallest of animals. While others move without making a sound at all. Our discoveries of one another  both equally shocked or excited to meet each other’s glance.

There is one tree at our house that I call the transit lounge. It’s visitors vary from two legs to four. It is sometimes used to rest upon while calling out to others, or as a food source for the squirrels. It’s  called the Murunga Tree.


So far we have spotted Kingfishers, Woodpeckers, a bird called Yellow Bird (yep it’s yellow), swallows, crows, storks, squirrels and honey eaters.

While I look up, Spike and Orla have taught me to look down. There discoveries have been in the micro world. 



Yellow butterflies, black and yellow catterpillars, dragon flies and snake worms. They are learning which animals to observe and which are happy for a more hands on interaction.

Oh and we have managed to get a few pets too. Some Terrapin Turtles who have been named Chuck, Terrence and Bomb. They really make my heart warm and Orla and Spike giggle. Shanaka’s Dad has a cat too. His name is Kitty. Endless cuddles and time spent being cute.


So far nature is pretty amazing here. 

With love

Coconut Nona xxx

Pola

Our first day saw a morning trip to the Pola. Pola? Pola is Market. What a colourful market it is. 

So many vegetables and fruits to question. So many favourites like Jackfruit, Pineapple, Papaya and Breadfruit.

Above Kiri Ala. One variety of Yam found in Sri Lanka


Morning Harvested Corn can be smelt in the air. Bags of cut Mangoes coated in Salt and Chilli can be brought for 50rupee (40cents)

The kindness and smiles that are exchanged, my broken Sinhalese, fruit being passed to the children, looks at my fair skin are part of our daily life.

Corn cooked to order over the open wood fire

I think traveling with children really gives you insight into the culture that you have arrived at. Children help to open up a language difference. A smile and gesture can say so much while you’re finding your way around new words.

Spike loves the Pola. He knows about my favourite fruits and eagerly points them out for us to buy. He has a particular nack for picking out the best tasting pineapples too. 

Spike loved these mini pineapples. I wish you could smell them!!


We can do a weekly shop for 5 adults and the children, for 6000 rupee (just under $60) Just one of the amazing benefits of living in Sri Lanka

With love

Coconut Nona xxx

 

Coconut Nona

Sri Lanka is like visiting an old friend. 

We arrived at night. When the roads were slower and the street dogs slept. The humidity was kinder too.


It has been a week since we arrived in Sri Lanka. This time has flown. I can’t believe how easy we have all fallen into daily life. Different breakfasts (not always welcomed by spike) waking to unfamiliar bird calls, mosquito bites, exploring micro words, calling missed friends, hanging out with old friends, stopping at road side stalls to eat salt and chilli mangoes or pineapple, different modes of transport (Orla adores Sunil our scooter taxi driver) and trips to the Pola.


What’s great is that we’re all open and happy with this big change. This old friend has welcomed us with the warmest embrace and the best cups of tea!

With love

Coconut Nona. 

Nona you ask? Well Nona is what I’m referred to in the house and when at the market. It can mean Madame or Lady. Also I have such an appetite for fresh coconut that I have learnt how to break open the coconuts that grow readily in the garden.