After my slightly hectic and delayed arrival into Colombo airport at around 5:30AM it was a glorious relief to see Sakula and his driver waiting for me at arrivals. I was quickly guided through the street and ushered into their car from the chaos in front of the airport. An amazing amount of people had purchased large household appliances from duty free and were trying to navigate their new refrigerators and washing machines though the maze of people and luggage. Though I was incredibly excited to start seeing glimpses of this new country on the drive to Mawanella the combination of air conditioning and a very comfortable back seat proved too enticing and I quickly fell asleep.
It felt like just minutes had passed when I heard “we are here.” I awoke as we pulled into the front driveway of Green View Home Stay and yes! The view I was seeing no matter which way I looked was very green. Overhanging bows of leaves provided a canopy overhead and up a small quirky staircase (“watch your head”) was the main house – a cheery bright yellow.
After a couple of minutes to collect myself I was slowly introduced to the kind and welcoming members of Sakula’s family (father Sunil and mother Padmini) and the staff, some of which had been with the family for over 20 years.
Try as I might on that first day the combination of jet lag and almost two full days traveling through planes and airports kept me from being awake for long and I mostly napped the day away in my comfortable bed enjoying the air con. I did however manage to wake up long enough for rough approximations of breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The food served at Green View has been diverse, surprising, and delicious. And no matter how much I attempt to eat of the incredible spreads given to me it’s a disappointment that I can’t finish every bite!
Breakfasts have been especially long and leisurely for me. I sit on the terrace and eat and drink slowly. I watch the tuk tuks and people go by on the roads alongside the nearby rice paddies. I especially love watching when the weather changes from sunny to cloudy to pouring rain and then back to sun all in the span of 30 minutes or so.
In the afternoons Sakula’s dogs bark and play before returning for a pat or a snack (whichever is readily available) and then jumping back into the fray. The cats glide majestically around the property, sleeping in patches of sunlight.
I have been introduced to the Sunil’s garden with all its miraculously varied plant life; cacao, durian, all spice, red banana, vanilla bean, jackfruit, and more.
I have not eaten rambutan in years and they are, if anything, much better than any I remember having had before!
Now I am sitting and writing and feeling the breeze blow and listening to the birds chirping outside my window.