Sunday, February 21, 2016

Moratuwa Once Again: Sunday In Sri Lanka

The seeming whirlwind of the past couple days has brought us 'home' to our hotel in Moratuwa, with its close up views of oceans and trains - two of my favourite things (after raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens).

The staff may have shuddered upon seeing me again.: 'There's the lady who's clueless about the call button...' Sadly, my button pushing incident on the ANA flight in didn't prepare me for the arrangement of switches at our Moratuwa hotel. Our first night here I doggedly clicked away until I hit the right switch to turn off the bedside lamps. Belatedly, I realized that the fourth square didn't actually click - because it's a BUTTON. With a very faint outline of a bell on it. Oops. Another great opportunity to offer profuse apologies. 

Pat and Gary will be based here the first half of the next couple weeks, but I leave tomorrow at 4 AM from our hotel. Well, we all leave at 4 AM, since Pat and Gary are kindly coming to see me off. Partly because they want to avert anything similar to me getting on the wrong shuttle  to the wrong baggage claim at the Vegas airport. But mostly because they love me. It's a bit unbelievable that two weeks have already zipped past. But they were active and fruitful weeks.

Since I have to take a melatonin tab and go to bed soon, I'll keep it brief tonite. But I'll post more about the last few days (and one whole foodie post - I heard Kathy is waiting for that one!) while I'm journeying home, alone, since I'll have plenty of time by myself (insert sappy crying emoticon here). Odds are more realistic that I'll have additional interesting conversations with total strangers like the young Buddhist monk next to me on the flight into Colombo. (If I were on Facebook, he'd already be my friend.) 

I will miss Pat and Gary; the time together has been amazing. And I can't think of a more delightful last morning than one spent with our extended church family. We left the bird sanctuary bungalow just after 6:30 this morning, driving a couple hours through miles and miles of switchbacks and terraced tea estates to join in the 8:30ish service at the Methodist church in Dunsinane.

This happened to be Communion Sunday.  Before the adults come up to receive the sacraments, all the children came forward and each were given a candy - what a wonderful way to be included and to learn that the life found  in Christ is sweet. 

Worship was rousingly rhythmic and fully engaged. And, again, we were privileged to pray for people after Gary's rousing and relevantly illustrated sermon, which was as rousingly interpreted by Reverend Richard, who travelled with us from Nuwara Eliya. To do this, he had to ride the bus for over two hours to get home, and Sumi, his lovely wife, covered the preaching at their own church. We were blessed time and again by this kind of selfless generosity through many people. 

After service and a short cup of tea, we looked in briefly as Reverend Richard greeted the students gathered in the classroom adjacent to the church sanctuary. On Sundays, the church hosts classes for the children of tea plantation workers, taught by an English teacher who drives in from his main school location (& he just happens to be Buddhist). We were sent on our way by smiles and friendly waves.t

It's off to beddy-bye for us. Oo - but not until after we eat this lovely watalappam (very special Sri Lankan custard that reminds me all at once of the most amazing bread pudding, pecan pie, rice pudding and flan) just delivered - and lovingly  prepared by - the indefatigable Deepthi!

More to come over the next travel days! - Cyndy

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