Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Back To The Hotel, Not!

One last look at the . . .

History. . .

And the beauty. . .

Then it was time to head back to the hotel, but we didn't. . .

A Blessing At The Fort

Nestled within the walls of the fort dozens of streets are lined with graceful homes.
Back just before the turtle farm we noticed railroad track running parallel to the highway. In 2005 hundreds and hundreds of people ran for a train that was parked on this track. The people thought that they would be safe from the tsunami wave rolling towards them. The train and all the people were swept out to sea and lost.

Just a few miles further south at the old fort all the homes were safe from the water.

The old homes stayed dry and were safe from the tsunami.

The wall held firm!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

A City From Long Ago

Our bus followed one curving street after another until we ducked through an arching stone gate and we were in the old city. Soon we were dropped off to walk the walls of this fort built in the
late 1400's first by the Portuguese. They were the first conquerors but they were soon ousted by the Dutch who left the biggest impression, the fort that stands today.

We gathered for a group shot and then scattered to go our separate ways, each at his own pace.

These walls provided safety for the homes inside the fort. Safety from what and who?

The people walking along the top make a contrast with the high, strong wall.

How awe inspiring it is to stand at the end of Sri Lanka where during the Age of Exploration important moments in history unfolded.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

After Lunch

After lunch it would have been fun to relax on the lawn of the restaurant and enjoy the beautiful beach and. . .
And listen to the waves hitting the rocks.

But senior missionaries play as hard as they work so. . .

So we headed for the old fort on the point. Notice the long and sturdy walls.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Lunch Break

We took time out for lunch but with an amazing view of the ocean . . .
It was hard to decide what to eat.

You just have to think side ways. Readers of this blog know that I have only turned a picture once and made it stay so put your self over to the left. Turn and look up at this dramatic, curving staircase. Animals and warriors circle above this deep blue pool.

The first figures we saw at the entrance tell the story of the conquering European soldiers who claimed this land in the 1480's.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

One Of Those End Of The World Places

We were on the bus for about twelve hours so this day has a little more to report. The next post will be about this place at the end of the island. For now we must take a break because we will be up very early to catch a plane to Bangalore. We will be in this city for the second time this month. Lots more travel this year.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

We Weren't Talking About Friends But We Could Have Been

Finding jewels in the ground isn't so different than finding friends. Some people just match up to us right away and become a best friend. Other times finding a friend is like looking for treasure buried in the earth. The jewel goes first to the polisher...
Then there is lots of hard work on metal which is what holds the jewel or friendship together. In the center of this work table is a cluster of tiny blue moon stones. Each will be set in silver to become a ring.

After hard work you find that instead of no rings, or we could say no friends, that you have a dozen new friends all perfect as you would want a friend to be. (This is for you Hawaii granddaughter. Or for anyone else looking for a golden friend.)

Friday, March 19, 2010


Each bucket brought up from below the earth's surface will reveal a few stones of color...

Or a small vein will bring some from the same "family".

Most with color are small from this mine, and only a few have intense color, but

There is a great abundance of moon stones tiny and sparkly and waiting to bring you good luck.
The first luck we had is I did not buy an expensive moon stone ring. The shop near the mine catered to tourists and the prices were beyond reason. They were, through bargaining, starting to come down but we were out of time so we jumped on the bus.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A Basket Of Sand

A basket of sand brought up from the mine..

Gets expert swishing and swirling and.

Then with the sand and dirt washed away...

Blue moon stones are revealed.

Just Up The Hill

Leaving the coast, our bus climbed up into the hills of Sri Lanka. Down a drive we learned about cinnamon and then a short walk up to the top of the hill brought us to a mine.
A protective covering sheltered the opening and...

A worker soon appeared out of the dark hole.

The next step was the washing pool.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Like You Would Think

Our next stop was a cinnamon factory and just like you would expect there were rolls of cinnamon tree bark. Of course they were in a larger stage than what we get in those little boxes on the grocery shelves.

Standing by a huge pile of cinnamon leaves we learned first hand that they smell just like you would think. Cinnamon.

What was amazing was the amount of leaves that must go through the distilling process to get just one gallon of cinnamon oil...

And that cinnamon leaves have bumps.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Why Is It Turtles All The Way Down?

This turtle stays at the reserve because he only has three legs, fins. We can always visit him and that is good because turtles can be important in a person's life.

One time the philosopher, Bertram Russell was giving a lecture in his expertise and talked about our world and the planets and gravity and spin and how it all stayed together and the importance to us that it did. A woman perhaps of age but not wisdom stood in the audience and said that what he said was ridiculous. Maybe she even called the whole idea, "baloney."
Bertram asked back, Then what is the answer, madame?" "The world is sitting on top of a giant turtle," she answered. Trying not to snicker and sneer, Bertram inquired as to what the turtle sat on. At which point the woman answered that it was another turtle. "It's turtles all the way down," she claimed. See why turtles must not be extinct? We need them to hold up the world.

If you draw an imaginary line and call one side "existence" then what do you call the other side of the line.? Nothing? There are many great thinkers that have decided that nothing can not exist. It is the split second before something is something that is the problem. Some people think that the world and all that is on it is just like a spot on a giant staircase. A staircase that has NO first stair and also it has NO last stair. HMMMMMMMM!

So if you are a white turtle and rare...

Or brand new to the world and one of hundreds, remember...

You have a belly button. Think about that!

It's Turles All The Way Down

People on the beach in Sri Lanka can view a multitude of turtle scurrying along the sand but most of these will not survive long. An organization there pays people to bring them turtle eggs.
You get more money for a rare specie of turtle egg.

Inside a protective fence the eggs are buried in warm sand. When the turtles hatch instead of racing to the ocean and being eaten by predators they get scooped up and taken to safe pools of salt water where

They swim until they are bigger and

Bigger and

Big enough to survive.