Saturday, March 16 - "The Big Thud of Arrival"

or, "Morpheus Rides Tall in the Saddle"

After our 27-hour trip (stopovers in Chicago, Amsterdam, and Amman) we finally arrived at Colombo airport. When we got off the plane, we made a quick stop at the bathrooms. In the ladies' room, a woman attempted to help Monica wash her hands, and then asked for a tip. A few minutes later, after passing through customs, we realized that she had stolen the watch right off of Monica's wrist! Fortunately, it was the only larceny we encountered during the entire trip, but it was a rather disconcerting way to start.

Security was so tight at the airport that Katie couldn't come in to meet us. We tried to call the Peace Corps office, but we couldn't figure out the phone system. Finally, we decided to wait until Katie found us.

After an hour or so as we watched the sun come up outside, a man came up and asked, "Are you Monica?" He told us that Katie had asked him to find us and tell us to go to the bus stop. (She speaks nearly perfect Sinhala now - many times we'd see the doubletakes and surprised looks when this western woman spoke like a native.)


Lily-white and jet-lagged on the beach in Negombo.

Katie found us a nice hotel in Negombo, just north of the capital for our first day. We were okay for most of the morning, but it felt like late afternoon to us. We wandered around on the beach for a while, taking pictures like that one above. Finally, we went back to our room and slept like the dead. We arose long enough to eat dinner, slept for one more night, and didn't have any problems with jet lag for the rest of the trip.