Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Coming Home

Our plane leaves Colombo International at 2:45am Wednesday morning. After 27 hours in the air, we arrive in NYC at 9:40pm Wednesday night. (...there's something not right about that math.)

It's hard to believe that we've been here in Sri Lanka for three weeks. In some ways, we're just now beginning to feel comfortable. What at first seemed chaotic and disorienting now feels perfectly natural. We have seen and heard a great deal. We have certainly learned a lot. And we will have much to share with you upon our return.

Some final impressions:
We never really explained how we move around the cities. You may recall us mentioning our driver, Sirisena. But he was only hired for long distances. When jumping around town, we take tuk-tuks: little three-wheeled taxis that shoot in and out of traffic with alarming bravery. You have to barter the price, and you have to be careful not to get in until a price has been fixed. It helps to know how far you're going. Last night we paid what we thought was a pretty good price, until we realized we were only a block away from our destination. Alex is trying to figure a way to smuggle two tuk-tuks home; he'll keep one for spare parts.

At dusk in Sri Lanka, you may notice that some of the crows are moving a bit slower, and with a more deliberate wing motion. Then you realize they aren't crows, but three-feet long bats, appropriately called "flying foxes." They are alarmingly huge...but only eat fruit (or so we're told).

Alex may come back a little rounder. He's been very impressed with the food here, and Kiran's been impressed with how much of it he can eat. Kiran, on the other hand, will be coming home even thinner due to her five day diet of delicious hospital food.

The biggest impact from this trip, however, will be in having seen how strong the Sri Lankan people are in rebuilding their lives after the tsunami. It's a pity that it took something like a tsunami to bring us together, but we are so thankful that we've had an opportunity to learn from their wisdom.

Thank you for making this blog such a fun way to communicate. We have relished your comments and been touched by your expressions of support.

Kiran and Alex in Sri Lanka (but not for long)


At 7:03 AM, Blogger Mary Beth said...

hey!!! welcome back to life!! i'm so glad you're doing better, and are able to see some meaning in your getting sick. (thank god for faith). i can't wait to see you in alabama, where, in terms of climate at least, you'll now feel very much at home. love, mb

At 7:18 AM, Blogger JoshG said...

Have a safe flight home. We have all missed you! God Bless.

Josh and Shan

At 7:04 PM, Blogger Peg said...

Kiran and Alex,
I'm sure you won't see this until you are home but know that we are praying for your safe return. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Keith, Peg and Mere

At 7:16 PM, Blogger Kit said...

Woo-hooo! Have a totally uneventful flight back to the States (though that will be hard if Alex is smuggling tuk-tuks).

Mary Beth, this is me waving hello to you from the bottom of this blog page -- Hi!

Alex and Kiran, thank you so much for sharing your trip with us this way. I love you.

At 2:36 PM, Blogger Dinah Henderson said...

Dear Kiran and Alex,

Hi, I'm not sure if you guys are back yet, but I think you probably are judging from the date up top, anyway hope you are both doing well. We are moving to Alabama in about 1 month. I see from the comments that you already know someone there. We will be in Montgomery, starting around July 15th and the kids (Laura and Donnie) start school Aug. 15th. Well, write back when you get a chance.

God Bless,
Dinah Henderson

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