Monthly Archives: January 2013

The pieces slowly come together…


The mother-in-law of my landlord (we call her Granny) lives below me, so I talk to her and her housemaid (Nila) daily.  I always had a hard time communicating with Nila.  She always used words I almost knew in ways I didn’t.  And whenever I talked, she just nodded and smiled.  I always tried to write stuff down and ask people what she meant to try to improve my Sinhala so I could communicate with her better.  Due to some sudden circumstances, she went to her hometown last week and might not be coming back for a while.  So, a new person came yesterday to help Granny around the house.  She was introduced to me as, “This is Sujata.  Now you finally have someone else to speak Sinhala to.  Nila wasn’t good at Sinhala at all.”  I knew she was Tamil, but I didn’t know she didn’t speak Sinhala at all.  No matter how much I studied, it wasn’t going to solve our communications issues.  I also didn’t know Granny knew Tamil…






Every morning, Lena comes by for breakfast.  Lena means “squirrel” in Sinhalese.  I think it’s a good name.



At least once a day, I find myself saying, “What the F&*$%# are you and why are you in my house?!?!” to insects I’ve never seen before.  Everyday, they are different.  The same ones never come back.  The solution usually involves sweeping them out the door and praying they don’t come back while I’m asleep.

Visions of 2013

Visions of 2013



Dear 2013,

It is a week into 2013.  I am still looking back at all that I experienced and learned in 2012 and still struggling to make sense of it all.  What is it exactly that I learned?  How can I apply it to my future activities?  In 2013, what can I do in this country called Sri Lanka?  Though I’m not exactly sure, I’m going to take one small step towards progress and make this declaration: no matter how small, I will change this country and the lives of its people, for the better.  Until now, I was too scared to made such a bloated statement/declaration.  But if not, what did I come here to do exactly?  Why am I here?  So, my new year’s resolution is to believe what I see, have confidence in my decisions regarding what I see and take a more leadership role in affecting change.  I need to study up on liquid extraction techniques and adapt them to work better in this laboratory environment.  I need to learn GIS to organize Sri Lanka’s water quality data so that functional decisions can be made about future water quality improvement activities.  Set up an internship program so that that water quality analysis activities will continue in the long term.  Improve safety and efficiency of the lab.  These are what I think are the major issues of the water ministry.  So, I’ve laid it out.  My resolutions and missions for 2013.

↓↓↓2012のお正月:金華山を登った。New Year’s Day: Climbed Kinkazan Mountain in Ishinomaki↓↓↓

↓↓↓2013のお正月:スリーパーダーを登った。New Year’s Day 2013: Climbed Adam’s Peak.↓↓↓

次登るまで何があるかな?できるかな? What will I accomplish before I climb my next New Year’s Peak?