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Growing Up In Sri Lanka

Rain + Thunder + Lighting = a bad mix!

And a bad mix is what loomed over us in Atlanta, this past Tuesday and Wednesday!

And this bad mix, nipped our power supply in the bud resulting in an outage in the wee hours of the morning.

Fortunately, I have been gifted with a daughter who entertains my brand of zany and she played along, making light (no pun intended here) of the situation as we got ready to start the day, with candles and flashlight apps lighting our way. On our ride to her school, we couldn’t help but reflect on how much we take electricity for granted. We flip a switch and voila – coffee is ready; turn a handle and hot water comes from our taps; turn a knob and oats are cooked; flip a switch and we are not stepping on the dog or bumping into a table or not wearing socks that don’t match. After I dropped her off, my thoughts were consumed by something else I had taken for granted: the country where I was born, when I was there.

When I was approached by Martin of “Withlocals“, to write a post on the workings of “Withlocals” in Sri Lanka; I struggled with what to write, first I thought I would recreate one of my mom’s traditional Sri Lankan recipes and feature it along with a write up, but, to date, I have yet to master my mom’s recipes-even when she provides me with step by step directions! However, when our power went out, I started thinking about how often it used to go out in Sri Lanka and how it never seemed to bother us then because what gets to be the norm, doesn’t seem to be uncomfortable anymore; and I figured I would take this post in a different direction.

I spent the first 9 years of my life in Sri Lanka, leaving it shortly after the treacherous civil riots of 1983. As a child, it was hard to make sense of the violence that erupted during that time, my memories of the past 9 years seemed to have been erased and replaced by those of the few months before our departure. And for years later, I never wanted to go back home!


Somehow, I managed to forget about the blackberries my cousins and I ate on walks we would take through tea plantations hugging the curves of a mountain;

I managed to forget about the bread and “cutlets” (expertly made by my mom) that the four of us stuffed ourselves silly with while enjoying each others company on a train ride;


I managed to forget about the waterfalls that took our breadth away when riding with my late uncle along winding, bumpy roads;


I managed to forget about the giddy feeling my cousins and I shared while watching a “Perahera“;


I managed to forget about our frequent trips to the beach because we lived so close to it (and Sri Lanka is a tiny island surrounded by some amazing beaches);


I managed to forget about a fascinating trip my family -uncles, aunts and cousins included- took to Sigiriya where, after looking at some amazing frescos my cousin enticed me onto a rope bridge and then began to shake it (yup, we made each other feel the love when we were younger! NOT!); 🙂

With age comes clarity, and the realization that a few negative things cannot erase a gazillion good ones…and there are days now when I long to go back to visit. For me, the best memories of Sri Lanka were with family and friends I knew.

Which brings me back to Martin and Withlocals; Withlocals is an organization that helps connect people travelling to Sri Lanka, with “hosts” who are individuals and/or families that provide one of a kind tours and at home dining experiences in Sri Lanka and other surrounding countries. If you ever find yourself contemplating a trip to Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Nepal or Malaysia, please check out Withlocals first to see if it would be something yall would be interested in.

Somehow, thanks to my mom, I managed to never forget about Sri Lankan food; from “Chinese rolls” (yup-you are confused, inspite of the name, they are a Sri lankan pastry), “cutlets”, “Kiribath”, “egg hoppers”, “string hoppers”, “wattalapam”, and “seeni sambol” – she continues to churn some amazing dishes out and at times I am glad I cannot cook these dishes like she can, because, if I did, I would be eating ALL the food!!!


Happy, Happy Friday!

~Here’s hoping yalls weekend is wonderful!

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Angie@Angie's Recipes

Tuesday 6th of May 2014

Sri Lanka looks so beautiful! Love the business concept of withlocals!

Jan @ Sprouts n Squats

Sunday 4th of May 2014

Wow so much about Sri Lanka looks and sounds so wonderful :) I'll admit it wasn't on my list of places to think to go travelling to but now it definitely is!

I hope you enjoyed your weekend!

Daniela @ FoodrecipesHQ

Sunday 4th of May 2014

I did not know you were born in Sri Lanka. Your pictures show a beautiful colorful country. I have the same thoughts when I experience electricity blackouts. It is such a huge part of our lives... we don't even realize we could't do most of what we do without it!