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Wow. This trip has ben really amazing. All the villagers are wonderful and nice and have been close to fighting over who gets to cook dinner for me =) Jon and I have been going on road trips, checking out various ruins, statues, and the like, and more often than not brining entire families from the village along with us. Thanks to mom and dad for keeping up posts while I was/am living out of the jungle. Bye!
posted by Josiah  # 2/26/2002 12:03:00 AM


Phone Call from Anuradhapura

Si phoned for 90 seconds or so, to assure us that he had a happy 15th birthday, and that he's doing fine. He could think of no complaints at all, even when Margaret pushed him. He loves Sri Lanka, loves spending time with Jon, and misses us.
posted by Josiah  # 2/24/2002 08:01:00 PM

From Si, February 19

Dear Mom, So nice to hear from you. Glad to hear that most of you are doing well, and sympathy to Nate. It turns out that jon knows our mutual acquaintances very well. small world. i have to go, ill write more later. love, Si P.S. could you send me emily's email? P.P.S. When I get back, we need to go to an Indian restaurant so I can show y'all how to eat properly =)
posted by Josiah  # 2/24/2002 07:59:00 PM

From Jon, excerpts -- Feb 19

I'm embarrassed that I got the age wrong, and surprised because Si is so mature and engaged and intelligent for even a 16 year old, let alone a 14 year old -- which is especially stark here in contrast to his Sri Lankan agemates! All is well here. Yesterday was a bit of a bust as the day was consumed in a garage getting the van rigged up -- but I guess that's all part of the experience! Today we're having Indian food with a former student of mine who is here on a Fulbright, then heading off to the temples I mentioned in the last email. Probably will go up to the village, and begin touring there, on Thursday. NB Si slept until 7 am this morning so I think he's getting over the jet lag, and of course I've been getting him used to various cultural things in preparation for the village -- he's now totally comfortable eating spicy food with hands, and I think I've got him accepting the "shower every afternoon" cultural quirk here, today it will be sarong-wearing lessons and bathing with your clothes on, tomorrow a frank discussion about toilet etiquette (as there are no western toilets in the village). What an adventure! Lots of love from Sri Lanka! Jon
posted by Josiah  # 2/24/2002 07:57:00 PM

From Jon, excerpts -- Feb 16

What a thrill it is to have Si here. We're already learning a lot from each other, and he's being the ideal guest, and as Margaret predicted just as easy as can be. The friends who have met him so far love him, are deeply impressed with him in all sorts of ways. So am I. He's getting over the jet lag slowly but surely... slept the full night but woke up at dawn, is really sleepy right now (8:15 pm) but hanging on until dinner, in a few minutes, after which he'll hit the hay. I've pushed him to stay on a normal eating schedule and he's about on a normal sleep schedule, so it should only be another day or so before he's 100% here (even today is a huge improvement from yesterday, and both are huge improvements from Friday, when by late afternoon he looked like he was interviewing as an extra on "Night of the Living Dead" -- bloodshot eyes, barely able to drag his feet along as we walked in town, poor dear but he valiantly kept from sleeping until dark, at my advice.) We are taking it pretty easy, but of course I am so keen for him to see things here! I've been teaching him one Sinhala word a day (my friend Nalinda, who is 22 and whom I've trained up to be the driver, is also here and trying to teach him more than's amazing how much they communicate despite not knowing each others' language...Nalinda is blown away by his skill at "Bugdom" and I can see that for the rest of my life when Nalinda visits I will be battling with him for computer time!). Yesterday we got off late from the beach resort and had a leisurely (though he might tell you differently, given the driving "style" here!) drive up into the mountains to Kandy, with one stop for lunch and another at the national elephant orphanage. Today we drove into Kandy and saw the Temple of the Tooth. Late afternoon we got a video club membership and rented "Terminator Two" -- whee, especially when translated into Sinhala for Nalinda's benefit! Tomorrow we will go to a nearby town to order a new back seat and carpet for the van, then head off to three of the most famous and fabulous temples in the area, all dating to the 14th century (which is comparatively recent for the Island, but old for the Kandyan highlands). Sometime later in the week, depending on how Si's doing, we'll head up to my village (where hordes of boys are waiting to meet the now-nearly-mythic tall white deva puta!) and from there start doing day or two-day trips to all the truly ancient sites. Still working on what will be the bestest way to spend the 24th, #16 is a big one and I don't want it to pass unnoticed, as it would in the village (where birthdays are no big deal, everyone would say, "oh, isn't that nice?" and leave it at that!) After about a week up there (during which don't expect email contact, unless we can find some internet cafe in the boondocks -- which incidentally is more likely now than it ever was before!) we'll come back for R + R, western toilets and laundry machine in Kandy before heading south to the beaches and sites down there. Will keep you posted as often as possible, but not to worry, we're having a blast! Lots of love and thanks again for sending me a month with Si! Love, Jon
posted by Josiah  # 2/24/2002 07:56:00 PM


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