The Rhythm of the Rain

I never quite get used to the rhythm of the SL day. Waking at 6 am or so is not a difficulty, nor being on the go and ready for work at 7:30 (though I’m not scheduled any classes until mid-morning): what I do struggle with is the shifting of bed time that the early start implies, and – as last night – I often find myself still on the go after 11pm.

This morning – Friday 27th – I was woken about 4am by the sound of torrential rain: it may have been something else that was the immediate cause of my wakefulness as it had been bucketing down since about 7pm last night, but I certainly wasn’t going to get back to sleep so I started reading. About 6am, a text arrived from Rick informing me that the rain had put an end to the school trip to Koggala and the Martin Wickramsinghe Museum. Ironically, Nadia had been warning the kids – all seven of them – that they would need to ensure they had plenty of water and sun screen as it would be hot , dry and shadeless, particularly on the small boat that would take us to Madol Duwa (Mangrove Island). I am disappointed as I was looking forward to the trip, but I can only imagine the kids’ feelings. I’m sure the trip will be rescheduled, but it’s a pity nevertheless, despite being a completely necessary decision.

Of course, there are pools of standing water, but it’s impressive how quickly most of it soaks away here much faster than it would back home, due to the coarse sand that makes up much of the topsoil.

rain3

Fruit tree – guava? – with fruit protected against insects.

rain2 rain-1

Last year, my diving instructor told me that heavy rain can produce bad underwater visibility: it’s hard for me to see how even torrential rain could affect 10 metres or more below the surface, but I suppose increased river-water flow could stir up sediment etc. that tides left undisturbed. Anyway, assuming this is correct, and I’ve no justification for doubting it from my position of relative ignorance, it seems likely tomorrow’s dive will have to be postponed as well. Rick had expressed an interest and only yesterday I rang up the centre and booked him in as my dive-buddy.

Last night’s English lesson started with half-an-hour of French, at Vanushka’s request.

Est-ce un livre?

Non ce’est une femme etc.

If this looks boring, we were just following some classroom handouts!

After this we had an hour or so working through an English passage about the Sunni militant group’s attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore 2009. This was also from a schoolbook and reminded me of an incident I had forgotten about. Vanushka did pretty well with this, though inevitably, there were words he didn’t know, such as “militants”, “occupants”, “grenades” etc. We’ll need to work on accent though, both in French and English. And I need to slow down when speaking!

Today the rain stopped about mid-day, though it doesn’t give the impression of being far away. I slobbed around all morning, but as school ended I went over to see Rick. We have decided that we’ll go down to Unawatuna tomorrow whatever and take it from there. Kris wants to sit on the beach, so they’re going by tuk-tuk and I’ll make my own way there. I’ve been invited to join a group of R&K’s friends / acquaintances at their house, then we’re going into town for something to drink and eat. I think it’ll be enjoyable but very ex-pat. Rick drew me a sketch map and, with the unbelievably impressive Google Earth and Streetview, I was able to identify the very house as I visited it once a week or two back. Having copied – manually, I regret to say – the coordinates into my GPS I think I’ll give it a go walking. It should take about 45minutes. Thunder, possible torrential rain, SL road conditions, gathering dusk, small back roads and semi-rural areas: what can possibly go wrong?

I’ll take my brolly: last year I bought one and handed it over to Poornima when I left: this year, she smilingly produced it from behind her back and it’s been useful over the last couple of days.

Poornima’s brother’s wedding is fast approaching and in a couple of days’ time the whole family will be going away to Colombo and Kandy for three nights I think. Amjit is being left in charge but Sera has asked me to be a sort of liaison with any European tourists as Amjit’s English is limited. I’m sure I frequently pick things up wrong but it seems the groom, (a doctor) who lives near Colombo, and bride (bank employee) will get married in Kandy then have a week’s honeymoon before the “homecoming” part of the celebrations which will take place in Galle at the famous and posh Closenberg Hotel. I have been invited, but I think it will probably clash with a visit to Colombo for visa renewal.

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