Fiona and Ash's Gap Year Extravaganza travel blog

Charley our host with some jambon from his fruit farm

Apsara(music teacher), Ashley, Pearl (principle), two other teachers we don't actually know...

Grade 8 with one of their fantastic English teachers. They call me...

Lee, Ashley, Charley, Danushka playing carom (its a bit like pool but...


Finally got some sort of communication set up, so I hope this works alright.

Well Done Mum on getting your job! :-D

I guess the point of this is just to rave on about me and Ashley as I have little idea what you lot are up to.

So... its too difficult to write it all in order and stuff so here is just some cool stuff that has happened since we've been here.

I know no Sinhala apart from "Hari Hari" which means "ok" because this is what the bus conductor shouts all the time. As you may expect this can cause some problems like buying the wrong ticket on the bus and then getting thrown off early. Oops! Also confusion in the school like going to completely the wrong classes.

Lots of Sri Lankan people speak some English but of varying quality. They are all very keen to practice their English with you. This tends to mean that wherever you go everyone shouts hello at you which is really funny and something I'll miss when we get back. A teacher at Pinwatta School where Ash and I teach asked me if I had eggs at university. It turned out after a lot of translation from someone else she was asking about freshers week and whether we would wreak havok by throwing eggs at people when we start university. Then I think she said that they do this in Sri Lanka for 3 months but surely not?

We got invited to a Buddhist alms giving by some strangers who lived in London for 35 years and knew where Aylesbury was! This involved mainly: trying not to offend the monks by turning your back to them; listening to chanting; chatting to their daughter a sociology overseas student of LSE and drinking really nasty salty orange squash and King coconut water which is quite good.

Everyone everywhere wants to say hello and have you come into their house and offer you food which is great until you get to the point of having about 6 full meals a day because you really can't say no.

At the weekend Ash and I accepted an invite from complete strangers to join them on a trip to Kandy. This was great fun. We went to the Dalada Maligawa (temple of the tooth) which is meant to contain Buddha's tooth. It was free to get in because we're volunteers which was great. I lit a butter lamp and lay flowers in front of a Buddha statue. Flowers overflow from all the tables and the smell is amazing.

Next we visited the Royal Botanical Gardens and took a picnic. The tree were full of bats the size of owls! Unfortunatly the heavens opened and we all got completely drenched. Running out we saw a scorpion that had probably drowned. That evening Heather - another volunteer- and I went to watch Kandian dancing which started off as traditional dancing in crazy costumes and ended with people walking on hot coals.

The next day we went to the elephant orphanage and got in for 50 RPs, about 30p. We watched the Elephants being fed and then followed them - about 30- to the river where they bathed and tried to run off the other side of the river bank which was funny.

I have to go now to catch the bus home in time for dinner. Ash and I eat with Heather and Evert "Ay-vutt" a Dutch volunteer. We always have such nice food and there is constantly stuff we havent tried before. Like jambon last night it looked like poisonous berries but tasted like bitter apples. That makes it sound crap but it's great honest.

I hope everone is doing well and I miss you all. Written some postcards but only just figured out where the post office is. You'll get them eventually. My mobile number until May 15th is 0779932867. Text me and I will reply, it costs about 2p.

Love you lots and lots and lots and lots Fiona (and Ashley although he's not here)

p.s. marked Panadura on the map thats where we are


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