Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Settling In

On Monday I went into ASL's Galle office to meet the staff there and also to get my bearings in Galle. Tuesday (yesterday) I came to Tangalle where I am now, and met some of the staff here. Today is a "Poya" day which is effectively a public holiday so I've come to the office to grab an Internet connection.

I have to say that my first three Sri Lankan nights at Unawatuna, Galle, were not so great. I felt it was worse than being at Kovalam Beach (near SISP where I worked for 18 months) - a place I never felt especially at ease. Unawatuna was touristy, prices were high, people weren't so openly friendly, dress was very Western, my room was somewhat dark, and there were many flies everywhere! I stayed at Highlands Guest House, run by Romani, and its biggest virtue was that, as a concession to ASL, it was cheap. LKR600 (less than £4) a night, so I guess I shouldn't complain too much! The long sandy beach at Unawatuna was very narrow because the Tsunami had removed a lot of sand, and there were quite a few drunks and the usual number of touts.

ASL's office in Galle was dingy - it had no windows!!! And small too. Certainly donated funds are not wasted here. But the ASL staff were really nice: friendly, welcoming, encouraging, enthusiastic, especially Bec, the manager. The few parts of Galle that I saw were not so great, though the HUGE Dutch Fort area is rather interesting, with old buildings and secret courtyards. I can see myself going back and exploring.

But the place at Tangalle - WOW!!! Fantastic! Bec had arranged the accommodation in both places but Tangalle's was cheaper (about £3 a night as a very special ASL deal) and stunning! It's like a big bungalow with four self-contained en-suite rooms, each with their own front door, and each about 20 metres from the sea!!! There's a large shared kitchen which should work out just fine. And there's a covered outside raised sitting area which is perfect for relaxing in the sofas. It really is gorgeous!!! I'm trying not to be overly enthusiastic but so far it looks brilliant!

And the office at Tangalle is light and spacious too. I sit under the A/C so I reckon I've got the best seat. There's one other volunteer but she leaves today, and there are two young SL male staff. Everyone is quietly spoken so I have to strain to hear anything!

Last night I slept with the sound of the sea breaking on the shore and woke just before sunrise. I couldn't resist opening the doors, crossing the little road, getting onto the beach and taking some photos of the sun coming up. It really was gorgeous! I am so much more enthusiastic than I was a couple of days ago!

Weather is currently sunny, hot and sticky, and there are still far too many house-flies for my liking. Everywhere seems cleaner than Kovalam so I don't know what the flies are living on!

Today I saw a troupe of monkeys crossing the road in front of me, and a big (almost 1 metre long) lizard in the river. The colourful flowers and butterflies are simply stunning!


  1. Glad you are settling in to the place at Tangalle, is that where you will be staying for the whole time you are working there? The pictures look beautiful, really stunning. You'll have to take a series of them, and send them to me so I can stitch them together in a panorama!

    Glad the people are friendly too, and hope the first few days of work are good!!

  2. Clive, so happy to read you like Tangalle. Looking forward to many more's like living "my Sri Lanka" again. Take care!

  3. Thanks! I shall try to keep the stories coming! Christopher, I might take you up on the panorama offer - though the non-identical waves might make it somewhat tricky. Nora, I can't possibly match your "National Geographic" blog but it gives me a target to aspire to!