• Tara B. Vasi

Day 3 Sri Lanka (53): Kindergarten, Puppy Bath Time, Remembering how good you have it.

I can hear the puppy crying from my bed and wake up at 5am and go to him. Poor guy has no idea what is going on. I hold him close to my body and tell him everything is ok. I spoon feed him water only because I couldn’t find a dish and FaceTime with my father. He doesn’t dance around questions and asks me straight if I plan to take him back to the USA. I tell him I haven’t got that far yet! My dad has always been all about the technicalities.

I hang out with the puppy until Chamara’s mom and cousin arrive and then drink some Nescafe instant coffee. Vera wakes up and joins me. We eat fresh fruit for breakfast and toast with bright pink strawberry jam. The pink color is even brighter then the lotus flowers in the garden, a vibrancy that must be artificial.

We drive down the street to the kindergarten and meet about 30 new friends ages three through six. The children are excited to see us. Some walk right up to us and say hello and others are more shy and stay seated at the table. The teachers are friendly, beautiful young women dressed in traditional Sri Lankan dresses. The teachers guide the children through the traditional Sri Lankan dance and they practice for almost an hour. Some of the girls practice with umbrellas and they almost poke the little boys in the eyes. They practice counting to ten in English. The teachers point to different body parts and the children shout out, “Eyes, mouth, shoulders, toes!” They love the word fingers and get really excited when the lady starts to wiggle her digits. They break for a late breakfast/early lunch. The majority of the kids eat rice with beans. Some have shredded coconut and others have mixed vegetables or puffed pastries. Everyone eats with their hands and by the end of the meal, many pieces of rice have found their way to the floor.

The school is just one room, so I sit down and sweat while I observe the children. Vera fans me with one of the accordion like fans they had lying on the teachers desk.

The kids are cute, sure, but I prefer animals. I am excited when Chamara picks us up haha

We go back to the villa for lunch.

Chamara and I need to wash all the dogs and the dog cages. Vera isn’t a dog person, so hangs out in her room. I meet the 6 puppies for the first time and they are absolutely insane. They all have different personalities and its so interesting to watch them interact with one another. Chamara has 2 big Rottweilers that he cares for too. And then the new puppy. So, right now there are 9 dogs on the property! So much poop!

Chamara and I continue to talk about the upcoming season and add new bookings to our calendar.

Vera and I join Chamara’s family in the kitchen and learn to roll eggs rolls but instead they are made with fish. I feel confident sharing that I absolutely hate cooking classes.

I teach Vera yoga and then we have down time before dinner.

We eat our fried fish rolls for dinner and I do not like them one bit, but eat two anyway because I am hungry.

I can’t sleep. My room is moist and come on that word is not that bad. My thickness of the air in my room makes it hard to breath and my sheets are oddly heavy and sticky. It reminds me of when we used to sleep on the boat while vacationing in Martha’s vineyard. I used to love when it stormed because that meant we could stay at the fancy hotel on the Island and I wouldn’t have to struggle with gravity the whole night on the bench trying to avoid falling into the crevasse between the cushions.

Another one of those situations where I need to remember how good I actually have it (and had it).


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