Friday, December 6, 2013

Hello again family and friends!  Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving.  For my Thanksgiving, a friend and I made a complete mess of ourselves eating Jaffna crabs.  Then we went for ice cream sundaes and drinks on the beach.  It wasn't turkey, but it was a great night nonetheless.  The next day I held my ballet workshop at the Fulbright Commission.  Nearly 30 people showed up for each of the children's and adults' classes.  It was so packed that moving around was a bit difficult, but I was happy to have attracted such a crowd.  The students really seemed to enjoy the class, and there will be another workshop on January 24th.

Dance workshop at the Fulbright Commission
Last weekend I moved to Kandy to begin lessons with the Surasenas.  Master Peter Surasena is a famous traditional dancer and his son Janika is a well-known dancer as well.  Both have performed Kandyan dance abroad.  Every day I have dancing class for about and hour and a half and then drumming for another half hour, plus I'm expected to practice every morning.  Both father and son teach and play the drum for me, and a 16-year-old student of Surasena's named Tishani helps demonstrate.  They seem to think I'm doing very well.  Their school is having a performance in February and they've asked me to perform a Kandyan piece as well as a ballet piece.  Considering how long it's been since I've performed ballet, should be... interesting.  Thankfully there is so little ballet in Sri Lanka that no one will know how terrible I am right now.

I'm currently living with the son Janika and his family.  There is a studio in the house and the father Peter lives next door.  All my food is provided, so there is no need to ever leave the house.  I can laze around cross stitching all day or play with my nangi (little sister) and malli (little brother) who are ridiculously adorable, good kids.  Yesterday I woke up from my nap to a little voice saying "Sarah-akki" (big sister) outside my door.  I opened it and my malli led me downstairs to where the two of them had made me a snack.  Made my week.  Today I bought some thread so we can make friendship bracelets.  Finally I get to hang out with people who share my love of crafts.  I thought I didn't like Sri Lankan food, but Janika's wife Inoka makes some delicious grub.  Yes, it's mostly curry, but I have a secret chocolate stash to add some variety.  Lastly, it's gloriously cool here.  Some nights I can sleep in a sweatshirt!  All in all, Kandy has been an extremely pleasant change of pace.         

Nangi playing with cards...

And malli.  We knocked over cards all day.



  1. Sounds like things are going better for you. How about an address now that you are in Kandy?

  2. Aunt Norine It's:

    Sarah Koehler c/o Mr. Surasena, 21/23 Aruppola, Kandy, Sri Lanka

    Yay for mini snack siblings! why have your siblings always tended to make food for you?