“SHEK, PICK UP THAT PHONE!”
The cell phone’s ringing loud. And I mean LOUD. I didn’t tell you what the time is. Did I?
4:30AM. (I know what’s on your mind. “What sort of a time is that to receive a call on a Saturday morning??”)
Dang it! It’s not a call. It’s the alarm! (I obviously am not smart enough to set a different ring tone for it…grrrr!)
Getting my act together, I realize I am 30 mins away from being picked up to go to Trinco (yea, you heard that right! Trincomalee)
I’m in the van, settled cozy on the last seat.
Having dozed off for the first quarter of the journey from Colombo to Trinco, I wake up to my van whizzing past lush green paddy fields and clear blue skies.
Awake and all charged up, I do what I do best: Stare (dumbfounded) at all that we are whizzing past.
When I was in high school, to keep myself awake to study for those dreadful board exams, all I needed was the aroma from a hot cup of fresh filter coffee. It used to get me all charged up. It still does.
But somehow, the sight of this natural splendor has a far superior effect in charging me up.
I’ve been in Sri Lanka for a year now and have traveled widely. Everywhere I’ve been, the country’s natural beauty has never failed to fascinate me. To be honest, I have waited for this day to come. The day when my patience and curiosity get rewarded with a weekend in the East of Sri Lanka.
Driving through Kaudulla National Park is refreshing. The wildlife is spectacular. (At work, all through the week, I see ‘wild life’ of another kind. The kind you come across in Advertising)
I swing my neck doing 180 degrees in 0.07 seconds. Never mind the crackling sound, what my eyes see is worth a thousand snapshots. A serene lake…blue…so BLUE it would put most paint manufacturers to shame.
My van slows down. Ralph, my Dutch friend, is busy clicking away with his 8 mega pixel camera, while I’m just soaking all this in. No pictures, no video…nothing can match the real experience (Also helps if your camera is conked and the best you can take away is the ‘experience’)
Anyways, the whole point of this trip is to donate a maternity bed and trolley to ahospital in Gomarankadawela, a needy village in the East.
My van’s following the truck carrying the beds.
The movement is ‘stop-and-go’ thanks to the frequent checkpoints (‘Stop-and-go’ traffic rang a bell, didn’t it?) But I appreciate it. It gives me more time to admire all the beauty around me.
We get to Trinco around 2 pm.