Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Sri Lankan Cows are Fast

Oh one more thing. Had to add this photo. We were at a beach the other day and tried to pat this cow. And the cow got spooked and started bolting, so we bolted and the cow broke off its chain. The guy on the left is me running for my life. I thought it was charging me. Cows in Sri Lanka are quite fast. I think its cause they're not as fat.

Shavers, Kiwi's and chlorine

Hey guys,

Another hot hot day in the life of Sri Lanka. I don't think I'll whinge about our summers again. Like our summers probably get similar to how hot this is, except I think I've spent my last 10 summers working in an air-conditioned office. First tip for overcoming the heat; don't eat big meals. Why on earth do I make the same mistake almost daily. Rice expands. 2. the ocean won't cool you down in the middle of the day. Feels like your swimming in a bath of urine. 3. Remember to put your drink bottle in the freezer. Tap water has so much chlorine in it, you have to freeze it to make it bearable. 4. Go for a tok tok ride. Tok tok is like a local taxi without doors. The breeze sometimes provides relief.

So aside from the heat here, I've been completely amazed at the quality of products or maybe the lack of. My electric face shaver I bought in America burnt out the other day because it was the wrong voltage so I went into town and bought a new one for $6. The new one gives a nice uneven shave, with a sort of ripping sensation, and if your fast you can make from one side of your face to the other before the battery runs out.

Down to business. We've been working on fixing the roof lately at the property. The job that should've taken a few days has spread out to a couple of weeks. Firstly if you order some timber on Monday, they will say they will deliver it on Monday, but in reality they won't even have cut the timber off the tree until Friday. Anyway its so funny cause there's a kiwi guy who runs the resort in front of us. Every time he goes past, he's giving us a hard time about the roof still not being finished. Even round the other side of the world I'm still being hassled by kiwi's.

Aside from that little rant, I do love the people (some of the people) here. It still feels a little bit like every person in town just sees dollar signs when they see me walking down the street, but there are some people in this town who are amazing friends. Especially the kids. There's six kids in particular who the Pastor looks after who are the most polite kindest little kids ever. They come from the snake village and although they have parents in the village the live in Aragum Bay know so that they'll be able to get a proper education. Prob one of my highlights is when they stop by in the mornings on the way to school to say hello. And they are nearly always smiling.

Anways that's all from me.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sweat, solid waves, epic people

Hey everyone again!!!


Things are good here. The dog who tried to attack me on the first day is know sleeping at the foot of my tent. Our differences are now reconciled.

Since being here two weeks ago I really feel we've made some lifelong friendships with the local surfer guys. Like it seriously feels like I've known these boys for 6 months already. Prob my favorite thing so far is just to hang out with the guys. Actually one of the funnest moments was last night, it was a full moon, so a few of us went out with the local boys night surfing. Everyone was hooting and getting sick waves in the moonlight. So epic.

I'm really finding that my influence on these boys is growing everyday, so I'd love it if uz could pray that I'd continue to be a Godly example to them and be able to speak wisdom when the time comes. One of the photos is of me and Chewte (not sure how you spell that), he's prob my best mate here. You'll also see in another photo a couple of us in a kitchen. The Sri Lankan guy in the photo is Asanka. Asanka is pretty much the number one surfer in Sri Lanka. He runs a small cafe at the point which allows, he's an absolute champ and quite a humble guy.

Over the last few months Cody's been able to get alongside him and really wanted to bless him, so we've been doing a few service projects for him. We got to build him some kitchen benches and shelves for his cafe, make him a surfboard rack and redo his fence. I absolutely love doing these building projects.

What else, well the other day we went to the snake village to put a water purifier on their well. The snake village is pretty much the outcasts of society. I don't even know if they're legally allowed in the country. Their not part of the Tamal people group or of the Singelese and so they speak this really weird mixture of both. I mean I only know a few words in Tamal, but it was so hard to communicate. Anyways while a few of the team were doing the well, the rest of us played games with the kids and I don't think I've ever seen kids get so excited about playing what's the time mr wolf. The americans on the team thought the game was ridiculous and that I'd just made it up, but I don't care cause the kids loved it. Now please understand that I was running round in my thongs while all the other kids were bare foot, running round of thisles (massive ones, ones that make kids cry), and broken tiles, rubbish, etc. Somehow a piece of something slipped between my foot and my thong so I sat down to try pull it out. As soon as I did that basically the whole community gathered round pouring water on it and trying to assist. Then one guy pulls out a rusty safey pin and tries to jab it into my foot. As soon as one tried everyone was grabbing safety pins and trying to jab them in my foot. I tried to explain to them tetnis but I don't think they understood. Oh and we saw a cobra. Yewl!!

I'm pretty sure I've spoken about Cody and Tiff before, but they are an amazing couple with two little kids who have been here for 6 months know. Unfortunately they've had to go home to the states because Tiff's dad is in the last stages of cancer. Since being here they have had a huge impact on the community, like seriously kids are crying that they're leaving even though its only for a few months. So I'd appreciate it if uz could pray for the family and her dad and also pray for me and the small team in July that we'd be able to pick up where they left off.

Oh one more thing, I have no doubt in my mind that school teaching is not the job for me. The other day we went to a little primary school and had to teach english to the kids for the morning. Drove me and Victor absolutely crazy. My skill level at teaching children is probably 2 out of 10.

Other thoughts: missing u all, getting real good at speaking broken english. Had enough curry for two lifetimes. Definitely need to start cooking my own meals. Sri Lankan's are not very creative with their food at all. Although I really can't complain about the banana pancakes I've been having for breakfast, they're ace.

And finally, the surf has picked up today bout 5 foot, had the best session yet this morning.

Hope you enjoy the photos. And until next time Ponte vunga!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Secret blog

Hello all,

I didn't even tell people bout this blog on fb cause i did one 2 days ago so i guess its like a bonus one. Haha.

Yesterday was completely epic! For some of the team, it was the last day that they would be in Aragum Bay because today we head to a place called Ella. Ella apparently is amazing, but I'll talk about that another time. So because it was the last day they'de be here, we decided to do something special and take a few a the local boys to a distance surf spot and then take em out to lunch afterwards. They don't get to surf many other places than the point because it costs like $20 for the tok tok (small car) ride. Off we went to Ocannda. Super rad wave! To get there you travel along a series of dirt roads which pretty much is in the jungle, like sometimes you'll have to stop to wait for an elephant to get off the track. Elephants can do serious damage to a small tok tok so you don't try overtake. The landscape along the way is full of massive rocks which look like someone's just thrown them half in the ground. But when you get to Ocannda there's the biggest rock of all, and the Hindu's believe it has some kind of significance.

Was interesting and sad to see that along the way there was all these Hindu's walking alongside the road with heavy objects on their heads. The tok tok driver told us that they're walking to the big rock to worship I guess. Some of the people come from all parts of Sri Lanka and walk for 3 or 4 months to get there in July for a big festival.

Anyways, once we got there, we walked along this sandy track which opened out onto the beach to see an epic right hand point with no one on it. Felt just like the movie Endless Summer. Well there was actually 2 people already on there, they overtook us on the way, but none the less it still felt like an epic surf adventure. If you don't like surfing you can switch off for the next few sentences while I describe the break. So there's one big rock out the back and then another little one half way down the line. You can really take off right in front of the rock out the back because it breaks directly onto the oyster infested rock, but it kind of slopes down into the water like a big wedge. So it absolutely barrels super heavy out the back and once it starts to break on a little bit of water on the wedge you can get slotted for about 2 or 3 second, but its so scary because its about 30cm deep and it completely covered with oysters. A few of the guys got cut up pretty bad (which thinned out the crowd to just us)! Then after it blows out you do a few turns on big open face, and get as deep as you can in front of the second rock to try get barrelled again.

Was a super fun day. The boys really enjoyed it.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Keeping up with the keeffer

Hello everyone,

After being here a couple of days I'm truly amazed at the great impact that Surfing the Nations is having here. 

Its very encouraging to see the work that the Carothers family and Pontus and Andy have been doing. As a team over the next month of two we will be an extension of what they are doing. So.... they have sooooooo many relationships with the locals, especially the young kids, they absolutely love them. All I have to do is paddle out in the lineup at the point and say to one of the locals that I'm Cody's friend to which they all respond, “oh, me Cody best friends”. Its always good to see the practical blessing that these guys have been. ie. Like how to manage personal finances, build, cook, health, fix surfboards. Simple things like treating a wound.

So what have I been doing. Well pretty much the first day I was here, Zack, Johanna and I made friends with a local tok tok driver and he invited us to his home for dinner. Was a truly amazing experience. Its amazing the preconceived ideas one can have about a people race that I know nothing about. Everyone there was very welcoming, friendly and super excited to see us. It was an amazing night, they even took us canoeing on the lake to see the elephants close up. Was so rad! Oh and the meal portions are huge. But the weirdest part was the family didn't eat with us. They watched us eat and then waited till we left before they ate.

Aside from this the surf pumps here. For all the readers who surf.... the waves at Aragum bay are sooooo fun. It barrels off the take off, races for a bit and then opens up like Nationals at Noosa. And if anyone tells you the crowds are bad here, they're absolutely dreaming. No one even sits on the take off spot.

For those who donated boards, please pray that the kids will look after the boards. They have no idea how to look after a board. I saw a kid go left this morning at a right hand point break. I've been here about four days so far the locals have snapped 2 of their own boards, broken fins, and dinged others. Its ridiculous.

Oh one more thing if anyone has seen how awkward I am about physical affection then you would have laughed so hard watching me squirm the other day. In Sri Lankan culture its not unusual to see two men holding hands walking down the street and so when you introduce yourself and shake a guys hand they continue to hold it until the end of the conversation. ITS WEIRDING ME OUT SO MUCH!!

Anyway I'm absolutely loving this experience and loving the people. Miss you all!