Trip Start Sep 26, 2006
31Trip End ??? ??, 2007
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The May full moon (called "Vessak") is a special one, celebrating the birth, enlightenment and death of Lord Buddha. Sri Lankans celebrate this full moon over two days (though they prohibit liquor sales for seven???) by hanging lanterns and Christmas lights outside their homes and offering free food!
I took advantage of the few days off and visited Sinharaja rain forest. This UNESCO preserved site is yet another example of the diversity in Sri Lankan fauna and flora. [You may recall I had visited Kaneliya forest a few months ago - it is an extension of Sinharaja Forest.]
We saw snakes, lizards, interesting mushrooms and went for a swim in a beautiful waterfall
On the drive back home (maybe a 3 hour drive) we were invited to stop in and eat probably 30 times. In celebration of Vessak, community members make donations to their temple and the temple then offers food to every passer-by. The first place we stopped served us lunch and the second a nice refreshing cool drink. Men serve the food (I guess because the women are busy preparing it) and the children spill onto the street with Buddhist flags stopping each and every car and inviting (accosting?) them to come in and eat or drink. The are so happy and eager for you to come, it is difficult to refuse!
On an entirely different note, my plane ticket home has been booked! I'll be in Winnipeg (supposedly) the evening of June 23rd. I'm looking forward to seeing all of you!!