Wednesday, April 4, 2007

That Was The Year That was......

When M returned to work in SL for five weeks while we stayed in the UK last summer, he was told, for budget reasons, 40% of the tsunami team expats would be losing jobs early. After a lot of shenanigans, & a job offer in Sri Lanka which then never materialised, M, at the eleventh hour, with six weeks to go before unemployment loomed again, was promoted to deputy Operations Director till Sept 07, and is trying to get used to the resulting massive workload and frenzied activity of a big operational job. The family are still trying to get used to it too.

Looking back on the past year, apart from the stress of A’s illness, M’s uncertain job situation & heat/stress induced skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, impetigo & prickly heat (to name but a few), we have all been pretty healthy & avoided Dengue, Chikungunya & Typhoid so far. We have also survived the CRAZY traffic & wandering cows. However I would not like to repeat a year like last year too often, or ever again in fact!

Life here has many frustrations and stresses, some we have got used to, some not. And there’s lots we miss about home too. Here are a few things:

We Still Miss:……..
Our family & friends back home, Oxford- our church & city, seasons, biking & hiking, beautiful buildings, cold weather, country pubs, , ENERGY, our kitchen, (me), choice & variety of food, our comfy mattress(!), quality in anything and everything, Grandparents, cosy beds & fires (our son), being able to go skiing (M) and dinner with friends.

We have got used to:……..
Cockroaches, geckos & marauding ants co-habiting with us (well almost), sleeping under mozzie nets, rats in our roof, monkeys playing tag along our walls, soldiers every 100m on the street, road blocks & police checks, mangy street dogs everywhere, cows having right of way in the streets.

We haven’t got used to:…
Bureaucracy, inefficiency, power cuts, the quantity of rain in a tropical downpour, rubbish everywhere, CRAZY driving, traffic congestion, the size of the pot holes, the city grinding to a halt when the police do 100% checking, workmen wearing hard hats & flip flops, what people transport on a bicycle (e.g. bed, table, bench), the heat & humidity, big spiders, a very different work ethic, and the lying which is so much a part of everyday life.

We like:…..
Our son’s school, A’s nursery, Mike’s work, Sri Lankans’ love of children, our Christian Tamil house help, Mike’s regular tuktuk driver, blue sky days, year round open air swimming, beautiful beaches & tea plantations, tropical birds and animals, staying in lovely hotels cheaply!

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