Saturday, August 23, 2008
I visited a village in the Nattandiya area north of Negombo, and met Gamini who used to work for me. The photo above is him in front of his current home with his son and wife who is pregnant with her second child.
He took me on a tour of the small village which included the paddy fields, the school and the temple as well as various homes. His wife's family home is about a stone's throw from his and I also visited his grandmother who is in her 90s but whose hair not dyed is still black. I am told it is to do with applying coconut oil on the scalp after the daily well bath.
As is typical in Sri Lanka, his wife's father had 2 acres of land which has now been divided equally amongst his 5 children with Gamini's wife getting her share which is 50 purches. He has now built the foundation of his home on this property, and will build the house in stages over a few years as when he can find money on this 50 purches. This is the story of village Sri Lanka where people who have small bits of land live in this sort of size ranchettes, reducing the land available for agriculture, where they grow fruit trees and timber trees in their home garden. When Gaminis children grow up I presume this property will be further subdivided.
The photos below are of goraka, the fresh fruit and then the dried ones from the tree on his property. Actually the inside of the goraka fruit is edible, though a little sour, and the sides are peeled and dried for the food additive common in Sri Lankan cooking.
On august 7th Asanka a boy who works on the farm, married Udeni, the daughter of Gamini who also works on the farm. The above is a family photo including the bride and groom. Gamini the brides father crashed a borrowed trishaw the following day and broke his knee cap and will be out of work for at least 3 months, causing severe constraints to me as well as to himself as he has to feed 3 other children and a wife, and are currently living on the farm on charity.
He is about 20 and she about 18 and it was her ticket to get out of an abusive household with an alcoholic father. An all too familiar story in these parts.
Friday, August 1, 2008
I went to the Chilaw fish market by the lagoon as the boats were unloading their catch last morning and here are some of the photos.