• Tara B. Vasi

December 30th. Chami's Place.

I wake up in the Green Villa again and even though I am covered with a new layer of bug bites, I feel motivated to move from this fucking Sri Lankan nightmare.

I speak to the owner of a hostel down the street and he tells me has a room available for me. The room is right next to the bar, but the hostel itself is adorable. The room is clean and pink. Ironically, the owner of the hotel’s name is Chamara. Because, of course it is! They also have the same flip flops. I panicked for a second seeing them for the first time on the floor next to the welcome mat.

I spend the morning at the restaurant clicking away on my computer, researching volunteer programs and trying to figure out my next step. I could go back to Bali. I’ve never been to Myanmar. I look into group tours going through there. What about the Phillipines? How much credit card debt is too much credit card debt? Why arent my people awake? I need someone to bounce ideas off of...

I have a few potential plans, but don’t want to pull the trigger on anything just yet. I need to make sure the next program is safe and legit. Maybe had I researched the Nil Manel Foundation more none of this would have happened... maybe if I hadnt worn that fitted gray dress or laughed at his bad jokes...

I decide to sit with my ideas for the day and make a decision by night time.

Rosa and I walk down the street of shops and find a store that sells bathing suits.

All they sold were bathing suits with patterns on them. I bought a stupid polka dot bathing suit.

I feel extremely exposed in my stupid polka dot bathing suit at the beach. Sri Lankan men have serious staring problems.

I try to ignore them. I know the healing powers of the sea and the sun.

There are so many boats parked close to the shore the swimming area has a faint smell of gasoline.

When I move with big forward strokes under water, I can hear my shoulder joints crack. The tide is pulling me north and I swim against it, like I’m in one of those small infinity pools swimming in place.

I take deep sighs as I play in the beautiful Indian ocean and for a moment, I feel at peace. I laugh at a few children and a puppy digging holes in the sand. At first I think its sweet, then I remember burying Peanut at the Balapitiya beach and then I am disgusted again.

I decide against the waitressing work trade.

The restaurant industry was not a healthy place for me and I spent so many years engulfed in it. Nothing, money, hotel room on the beach, is worth jeopardizing my sobriety or mental health. I know some people can be happy and healthy in the business, but I am just not one of them.

I needed to stay focused on my passions, teaching yoga and saving animals.

I found an amazing opportunity outside of Chiang Mai, Thailand and researched it extensively. I decided it was a program that I could trust. I found a flight and hostel. Click here, confirm there and voila inst- relied... just to have a plan.

After all, I am not THAID down. Thailand, I am coming back for you!


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