My son and I decided to visit our friend, Maureen and her family in Beruwala, during my son's August school holidays.
It was a very long overdue trip as we had been planning this trip on and off since 2016 when Maureen and I had first come across eachother at our friend Asanga's Permaculture workshop in Kurunegala.
This was a special trip to me, as I had never gone on a vacation alone with my son. We woke early, around 3.30am on that day and were at the Kandy Railway station by 4.30am to buy 2nd class tickets on the Kandy -Matara train which left the station at 5am.
The train journey was very comfortable (which was doubly emphasised by the fact that the return journey home was by bus-and not very comfortable at all...) although it got very crowded in the train towards the end. And we were in Aluthgama by around 11am. While we were waiting for Maureen and her family to come pick us us, Maureen adviced us to enjoy some ice cream at a nearby ice cream parlour-and this was indeed super news to my son, Seth (9 years) who was a little tired and crochety by that time. And the ice cream parlour was superb and served lovely genorous servings of Kothmale ice creams and sundaes at very affordable prices
Maureen, husband Dilanda, daughter Staria and son Jetaim came to pick us up and took us to a lovely lamprais lunch (rice and curries packed in a banana leaf) at Perera and Son's bakers. Afterwards we were taken to their lovely home on a 3 acre rubber plantation...Since we opted to occupy the tiny cob house, Maureen had arranged it nicely for us...
Our short stay with Maureen and her family was truly wonderful...Maureen and her husband are living an off grid life with their two children. They had previously held very busy lifestyles but had retired early from them due to feeling unfulfilled by the rat race most if not all Sri Lankans are competing in.
Maureen makes her own curd/yoghurt and butter from fresh milk, raises hens and ducks, recycles stuff and also makes lovely soap. She also makes jams and preserves from the fruits in season (we had her lovely passion fruit jam) and also the probiotic fermented tea- kambucha.
She is also on a journey into simplifying their lives and is in the process of decluttering her house. Seth and I were so awed to see that Maureen's house didn't have beds...! They sleep on a huge mattress on the floor...something my son and I too love to do here in Kandy..
They also harvest rain water and they follow the priniciples of Permaculture in the way they cultivate and also in the way they live.
Seth and I learnt quite a bit of new things while we were there. Dilanda taught us how to professionally light a wood fired stove.
We were given a small group class on how to tap rubber by one of the village ladies:
We also learnt to make ottapalu balls from the drippings of dried rubber leftover on the trees. Staria and Jetaim were very good at making them!:
After which they took us to a hot hot and yummy chicken and chees koththu dinner at Perera and son Bakers...