Grin and Diana

Our travels around the world

Southeast Asia

Nuwara Eliya

Victoria Park had gorgeous English style flower gardens and also lots of open space. We threw a frisbee for a bit and then some Sri Lankans joined in. After security told us we had to stop we gave the disc away to man who was particularly inquisitive about it.

We were the only people staying at Blue Haven and the mistress of the place made us a wonderful rice and curry dinner plus some to go breakfast packs for our early start the next day.

View from the car as we arrived in Nuwara Eliya Victoria Park nuwara-eliya-victoria-park-had-gorgeous-english_2 nuwara-eliya-victoria-park-had-gorgeous-english_3 nuwara-eliya-victoria-park-had-gorgeous-english_4 nuwara-eliya-victoria-park-had-gorgeous-english_5 nuwara-eliya-victoria-park-had-gorgeous-english_6 nuwara-eliya-victoria-park-had-gorgeous-english_7 Sunset view from our Blue Haven room Our room with Blue Haven

Horton Plains - Mini World’s End

horton-plains-mini-worlds-end_0 horton-plains-mini-worlds-end_1 horton-plains-mini-worlds-end_2 A deer chilling by a welcome sign. horton-plains-mini-worlds-end_4 horton-plains-mini-worlds-end_5 horton-plains-mini-worlds-end_6 horton-plains-mini-worlds-end_7 horton-plains-mini-worlds-end_8

Baker’s Fall & Chimney Pool

(still in Horton Plains)

bakers-fall-chimney-pool-still-in-horton_0 Step trek up many roots to arrive at Baker's waterfall Baker's Fall bakers-fall-chimney-pool-still-in-horton_3 bakers-fall-chimney-pool-still-in-horton_4 bakers-fall-chimney-pool-still-in-horton_5 Chimney Pool bakers-fall-chimney-pool-still-in-horton_7 A little iguana! bakers-fall-chimney-pool-still-in-horton_9

Back in Kandy

We returned a little early for the traditional dance and fire walking at Oak Ray so we stopped for a tour of a jewelry store including a video on how the gems are dug out of deep holes in the earth and also a tour of a woodcarving shop. Then we caught a bus back to Colombo as there were no trains (despite what the schedule said).

Made from a single tree! Traditional masks back-in-kandy-we-returned-a-little-early-for-the_2 back-in-kandy-we-returned-a-little-early-for-the_3 back-in-kandy-we-returned-a-little-early-for-the_4 Mayura Natuma (Peacock Dance) Fire eating breathing and walking back-in-kandy-we-returned-a-little-early-for-the_7


(and reflections on week 1)

Last night was my first night on “casualty.” Essentially, my team is the one acting as the emergency room and we can admit up to 70-80 patients in a night. 

While in my first few days I couldn’t help but focus on the difference in conditions from the US, in reality care is really much the same. They just have to be incredibly efficient and are more conscious of cost and allocating resources by focusing more on physical exam and utilizing every result on a panel they order instead of ordering more tests. In reality most of that is actually quite impressive. The registrars say that’s why doctors want to work in Colombo. The “periphery” is beautiful but it is much more frustrating to try and provide the level of care the patients need without all the resources.

Last night I found myself helping to push a stretcher as we all ran across the huge medical complex over bumpy concrete toward the “surgical theater” and stopping midway while they intubated the patient at around 2am. For me it was neat to see the team band together in the face of stress.

I haven’t had a chance to explore the whole complex yet but it’s an interesting mix of beautiful old colonial buildings (literally built way back by the British) and a few modern buildings amid many piles of rubbish and areas of construction. I look forward to exploring more of the hospital, the city and the country in the time we have left!

Dinner at the Mango Tree

Chooza Makhanwala (chicken makhani), Palak Paneer and garlin naan. MMMmmmmm


 Sri Maha Bodhi Tree

Saturday we got a later start than we originally intended and the trains were all also delayed because of the new year. It was crammed to say the least but we amazingly got one seat to share. Some of the other travelers were chatty and multiple programmers inquired if Grin would like to outsource some work to them. We made it to Anuradhapura in the late afternoon and went straight to check out the Sri Maha Bodhi tree - the oldest historically authenticated tree in the world with uninterrupted successions of guardians for over 2000 years (per lonely planet). We happened upon a procession carrying a cloth to be laid around the tree and were beckoned to join in carrying it! After that we took a tuk tuk to Thilak holiday home. We went for a nighttime dip in the pool in the rain and lighting lit up the sky in purple as “flying foxes” (huge bats) flew around overhead and shook nearby branches. Got a great night sleep before a busy Sunday!

sri-maha-bodhi-tree-saturday-we-got-a-later_0 sri-maha-bodhi-tree-saturday-we-got-a-later_1 sri-maha-bodhi-tree-saturday-we-got-a-later_2 Gold pillars supporting a branch sri-maha-bodhi-tree-saturday-we-got-a-later_4 sri-maha-bodhi-tree-saturday-we-got-a-later_5 sri-maha-bodhi-tree-saturday-we-got-a-later_6 sri-maha-bodhi-tree-saturday-we-got-a-later_7 Hide from a small downpour as we were leaving Breakfast Sunday morning