Surprises, we love surprises

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Two year old boy, happy to have his picture taken

The past week has been filled with all kinds of surprises. Mostly good surprises. We’ve been invited to people’s homes for tea, taken out on little tours around the village and in the surrounding area, been out on a fishing boat twice, played with children, swimming with a turtle, bought fresh seafood while snorkeling with fishermen, laughing with new friends, surfing and learned a bit of Sinhala. All those good surprises happen without any planning, we find ourselves in situations we could never have imagined in beforehand. And it’s good fun!

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Wiva, Andrew and Mona in the tuktuk

Yesterday we went for a tour that our friend/”brother”/surf teacher/tour guide Mona had invited us to. When we got into the tuktuk we realized we didn’t really know what we were going to see or what was going to happen along the tour. Something about tea and batik we had understood, and therefor we were quite surprised when the first stop was at a gem, stone and jewelry factory! Nice to see, and after the salesmen tried to sell us expensive jewelry for €1800, we did actually buy a ring to replace my wedding ring that doesn’t fit in this tropical heat. A thin silver ring with a tiny pink stone to remind of Sri Lanka. This one was €15 which more suited our budget.

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Simple, pretty silver ring

After that first stop we drove through beautiful green landscape with rice fields, coconut trees, mountains in the distance, passing small villages, fruit stands along the road and rubber plantations. Next stop was at Galaboda tea plantation where we had a nice tour of the plantation, the factory and then had a tea tasting. The two of us enjoyed the tea tasting of different black and green teas, but the Tuktuk Man and Mona thought the teas weren’t that good without sugar… Most Sri Lankan people like to drink their tea with sugar in it.

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Organic tea plantation

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Tea factory

Another good surprise yesterday was that we’re becoming more and more close to the Sri Lankan family we’ve spent a lot of time with the past week, so yesterday the boys started to make a lot more jokes and laughed with us. We really like that!

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Woman working in tea factory

After the not-sweet-enough tea tasting we took off to a batik factory. Wow! That was a colorful time! And it was nice to see the many steps of making these beautiful batik clothes, bed sheets and decorations.

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Playful pictures

We did buy some clothes at very good prices at the factory, and when leaving we also were encouraged to give the tour guiding lady some tips. Sometimes it is so hard to know how much to give, and yesterday it was clear that 100 Rupees were not enough, her face expression said it all, so we gave 200 and that was apparently a little better.

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Batik clothes drying outside

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Making patterns with hot wax

After the tour and a late lunch at the family’s house, we got another surprise we never would have imagined, first we got invited by a man on the street to see the house he and his family and friends are working on and that he and his future wife will live in. He then invited us to come to the wedding at the house on Friday! He asked us to promise to come, and his friends said they were hoping we would come and that no presents were needed. Of course we want to go, and we said yes and again decided to extend our stay here in Weligama!

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Friendly people giving us coconut water

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Niece and nephew of the groom

Our “plan” at the moment is to head up north to Colombo in the beginning of next week to extend our visas and then go to Negombo where we have a house sit booked.
Who knows what will happen, plans change and surprises might come along the way!

Take care and enjoy whatever surprises today might bring.
//Wivan

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Wax decoration in batik factory

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Sewing in the batik factory

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Coloring

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Coloring in buckets

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Heating away the wax and rinsing the clothes

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Anders buying a sarong

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Traveling with six kids

Pippi Longstocking is my breakfast company!

Pippi Longstocking is my breakfast company!

Just read the latest post from Leo Babuta on Zen Habits, where he gives tips about traveling with kids. At the moment he and his wife are travelling around Europe for four weeks with all of their six (!) children.

What hits me is that the tips also work for me in life in general, as well as tips for traveling with grown ups.

Democratic planning
Have them take responsibilities
Pack light
Take turns being leaders
Let them take care of their own stuff
Give them a spirit of adventure
Be flexible
Don’t rush
Realize they get frustrated too

Drop expectations
Remind ourselves to be grateful

See, this is good for all of us to remember, a way to approach all different situations, with or without six kids and at home or during travels.

Thanks Leo, you are inspiring and well formulated and I also love the way you approach the challenges you have during travels; eating, exercise and work and look forward to reading how it all went.

// Wivan

Five for change

In an article about us (yes, it’s in Swedish) that’s published in the local Swedish newspaper Skånska Dagbladet today, we give five tips or suggestions on how to start a personal change. We’ve translated it for you, lovely blog readers, and would love to hear your comments or additions to the list.

 

Anders & Wivans best tips and questions for those who are ready to make a change of some sort.

  •  Why do you want a change? Is it something you want to “dodge from” or something you are longing for?
  • Give your self time to reflect. Where are you today? How would you like your life/situation? What are you dreaming of?
  • Find your role models. There are books, movies, You Tube, blogs, seminars, TED talks, friends and acquaints – who inspires you?
  • Dare to try! Each change starts with a small step. Let things take time and keep on – we never know until we actually tried.
Summer of 2007 in Halmstad

Summer of 2007 in Halmstad