Random Thoughts from Sri Lanka: Heading Home

Yes, all good things must come to an end, and I’m trying to get in one final blog post before departing this beautiful and interesting part of the world.  Here are some random thoughts:

*  My wife and I had lunch today with Pavi Kulatunga, a junior journalism major at UMass, and her Dad — a succesful businessman who runs a tea business in the Southern part of the country.  We covered a lot of ground during our discussion, as a mini-rainstorm hit our hotel (I took video to capture the sound.)  As with many Sri Lankans we spoke with, Pavi and her Dad feel positive about the future of their country.

*  Elvis is alive.  And, so apparently is Karen Carpenter.  We heard both in our car rides to and from Colombo.  No Springsteen, though.

*  The British influence remains strong here and there are many formal rules to follow, much of it involving dress — we were not allowed to wear flip-flops or shorts around the hotel lobby area or restaurants after 7 p.m.  Seems silly.

*  Our string of getting sick on foreign trips continued when my wife got sick in the last day-and-a-half.  And, I couldn’t find the immodium.  Felt bad on that one.

*  On our looong drive to Colombo and then the airport today, we stopped off at one of the Buddhist temples, just to kind of absorb things, and get some photos.  We’ve become used to being magnets for people looking to “help” us and separate us from our money during this trip and for the most part we just politely said  “no.”  But when a few locals began trying to work us at the temple, we got a bit annoyed.  There’s got to be a line you don’t cross, no?

More to come….I’m headed to Germany then Washington then Boston, where the latest winter storm to end all winter storms has descended on Europe.  Hopefully the snow misers allow my connection to happen in Germany.  Wish me luck….

 

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About journalismprof

Steve joined the journalism faculty at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in August 2007 and has been working to incorporate multimedia across the curriculum. Since arriving at UMass, Steve has developed three courses modeled after his multimedia journalism course. The courses allow students to work in teams in a newsroom-like environment where they work on packages -- using video, audio and photos to tell stories. He is also working with students on developing amherstwire.com, a news Web site staffed completely by students. Steve has more than 25 years of experience as an editor and reporter for print and online publications, including 10 as an editor at washingtonpost.com. He also edits part-time for espn.com with the NFL and college football network.
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One Response to Random Thoughts from Sri Lanka: Heading Home

  1. Connie Griffin says:

    Steve, this was such a treat. I finally had the time to sit down over the holidays and read your chronicles of your trip with a cup of tea. Thank you for sharing your observations and insights; it sounds like you had some wonderful conversations, and I would swear that is Bill Clinton standing at the podium with the monks! 🙂 It’s always helpful to see that the rest of the world takes life a bit slower, at least in my opinion!

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