Lost my heart in Sri Lanka

With week 1 and 2 out of the way which you can read about here and here, my last week in Sri Lanka concludes…

Day 8 (Monday):

Finally get to see my turtle friends again. 2 days away from them and I miss them so much, what am I going to be like when I never get to see them again? It’s my favourite day today though – feeding day. I actually felt like a pro showing all these newbies what to do and how to act. It’s funny, turtles look so harmless from afar, just floating on top of the water but man are those things heavy! Leonie and I were carrying one together and nearly dropped it! Thankfully the co-ordinator got there in time to help us as that would’ve been so awful! I swear I get a better workout though carrying these turtles then going to the gym at home and weight lifting…

Canada and Germany got back as well just before lunch so spent a while catching up with them about how the weekend went. It’s so weird. I’ve only known these people for 2 weeks and I actually missed them? The bond we’ve all created so quickly is just mind blowing to me. Usually it takes me so long to get comfortable around people, but it’s like I’ve known these girls for years.

After dinner, we went down to the beach for some drinks. Even though Arrack is rank as, I think I’ll really miss that alcohol when I get home. We also saw some people on the beach, thought that they were looking to steal some turtle eggs but after Cumbia went to check it out for us just turns out they were stealing Coconuts from someone’s tree… Apparently that’s a thing!

Day 9 (Tuesday):

A somewhat uneventful day. Just cleaned some more tanks, and moved some more sand (one thing I’ll never miss, that sand is a killer).

Highlight of the day: I finally got to clean Mafia! I refused to pick him up though. He’s so snappy. There’s a reason they call him Mafia. I literally think he’d try to bite your hand off if he got the chance but for some reason he’s still my favourite.

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Just before dinner me and the girls decided to go down to the beach to see the sunset. I’ve been in Ambalangoda for a whole week now and still have not seen it here yet, how crazy is that? It was fucking stunning though. The sky was just pink and orange and blue. And the clouds were all grey. And there was some weird pink cloud. I literally cannot get over these Sri Lankan sunsets they are the most beatiful sunsets I’ve ever seen and I’ve been to a lot of different countries, all over the world. They take my breath away.

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Lowlight of the day: I’m turning into one big mosquito bite. There is no exaggeration. I’m so itchy. I’m almost covered I have so many.

Day 10 (Wednesday):

Feeding day again. Pretty standard. At lunch we watched Isuru, Chandimal and Cumbia build a tight-rope which was extremely interesting and quite amusing to watch.

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After lunch Leonie and I decided to take the afternoon off volunteering and visit a waterfall in Dikkubura. The intentions of going to this waterfall were literally just getting a tuk-tuk there, taking some pretty pictures then go back home. Unbeknown to us we actually had to climb this thing. So we get out of the tuk-tuk, over driver starts leading the way, us just thinking there’s a short path to take to get to it. But no. We hit the first stream. A stream that comes up to your knees. So there I am wearing my converses and trousers thinking hold on. Wait a minute. What’s going on? I have the tuk-tuk driver next to me telling me I’m going to have to take off my shoes and roll up my trousers. Made it all the way there, had no other option really. Kindly the tuk-tuk driver let me borrow his flip-flops (so gross I know but I couldn’t go bare feet, god knows what was under the water!). And that was only the beginning! About four streams later, climbing up some massive wet jagged rocks, climbing through a jungle under branches and 50 minutes later I was at the top of a fucking waterfall. There were leeches. There were no saftey guidelines. The tuk-tuk driver had to carry mine and Leonie’s bags and shoes and give us a hand everytime we had to jump over a mini waterfall stream or climb up or down a massive ass rock. It was pretty though. And there was this little pool at the top. I wouldn’t swim in it but I went in knee deep. I didn’t last long as some weird fish came along and started nibbling my feet. After another 50 minute journey down the waterfall, which seemed just as hard and long we were taken to a restaurant which a little Sri Lankan woman basically force fed us biscuits, tea, bananas and some curry. It was nice but I didn’t really want it.

Drama didn’t end there. On our arrival back at the house, we came to find Canada in a lot of pain after breaking her little toe. To make her feel better we went back to the beach to get her drunk off of some nice Arrack.

Nights like these, just with good vibes and surrounded by good people make me want to stay here forever. Apart from working so closely with turtles, I’ve literally enjoyed nothing more. And it’s going to be so heartbreaking walking away from this and walking away from them. I just want to drink under the stars on the beach with them every night.

Day 11 (Thursday):

Cleaned tanks again today. With one gal down and another assisting that gal (Canada was in so much pain, Shaseika organised for her to go see an Averydic witch doctor and Leonie went for support), me and Germany cleaned like we’ve never cleaned before. Isuru was nice to us today and allocated all the smaller ones to us which was much appreciated. After lunch we had to clean the turtles again and oh my, they’ve accumulated so many leeches, some were basically infested. Pulling leeches out of a turtle is one of the most disgusting things I’ve ever done, but man do you feel good when you’ve got them all out. I feel like I’ve practically saved a buddy from a lot of pain.

Chandimal said the name England suited me better then Natalie today. It’s going to be weird going home and being referred to by my actual name. I’ve barely heard it over the last 3 weeks. We all just got so used to referring to everyone by they’re country. Probably quite weird but we all liked it. I’m going to miss people calling me England.

After work me and the majority of the other volunteers went on down to Hikkaduwa again, back to our good old favourite Moon Light cafe. Carbs! I had some carbs! Coming from a girl who basically eats pasta every day at home I cannot tell you how much I’ve missed pasta. But tonight I induldged and I ate the biggest bowl of tomato pasta ever and it was the best damn thing. I could’ve eaten like 20. It was really nice to have this meal out, especially as it will be my last one. I can’t believe tomorrow is my last day. These 3 weeks have gone by so quickly. I was so ready to go home this time last week, but I’m not ready to leave this all behind anymore.

Day 12 (Friday):

My last day. It’s actually my last day today.

It was a pretty average day today to be honest. I fed the turtles in the disabled place today, so happy I got to feed Mafia again and I finally got to feed the turtle which was born with no eyes. You have to feed him fish on a stick and put the fish right by his nose so he’ll smell it, then instinctively snap at it. Then you pull the stick away really quickly so he takes the fish off of it but doesn’t eat any of the wood.

After the morning’s work we spent the rest of the afternoon playing Bananagrams for a bit. Still can’t get over how shit I am at this game, like Germany is better then me and English isn’t even her first laguage! Later in the afternoon we just played Ring of Fire with Hannah and watched the sunset. It all just looked so beautiful tonight. I think the sight will just forever be ingrained in my brain. I even went on the tight-rope today! I wasn’t very good at it. Leonie had to hold my hand, I couldn’t stop laughing and my legs just wobbled so much. I ended up falling off after a couple of steps.

It wasn’t the big last night I wanted due to unforeseen circumstances I won’t mention but it was nice, it was chilled. And I got to spend it with the people I wanted to spend it with which is all that really matters anyway.

Day 13: (Saturday):

Wake up call at 5.15 am. Taxi at 6am. On the drive down to the airport I had to fight back the tears. I woke up Leonie and Canada just before I left as they wanted me to so we could say goodbye and it just about broke my heart. Driving down the streets of Sri Lanka knowing I won’t see them anymore broke my heart. Thinking about everything I’ve done over this entire trip broke my heart. I can’t believe I’m leaving already. I miss the turtles. I miss the sunsets. I miss the beach. I miss the tuk-tuks. I miss the sunsets, I miss the scenery. I miss the kids coming up to you and saying “Hi, how are you?” or “Hi, what’s your name?” on repeat as that’s the only English they know. I miss the guys back at the house. I miss the locals I’ve become friends with. I feel so sad, I feel heartbroken. I’ve never felt this way when leaving a country. I just wanted to cry all 2 and a half hours up to the airport. Sri Lanka has literally stolen a piece of my heart. I’ve had such an amazing time here, I feel so gutted to leave. I’m not ready. I’ve been so blessed to have such an amazing time here, and to meet such incredible people. I’m so glad I forced myself to do this, I just can’t believe it’s over already. The last 3 weeks have been such a mix of emotions but they’ve literally been the best 3 weeks of my entire life. I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.

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