Joel visiting Kurunegala

This week kick-started with a Swedish (small) smörgåsbord, with Swedish candy, salted liquorice, herring, Kalles Kaviar, Knäckebröd and last and the BEST Marabou! 

In Sri Lanka it is custom to give your friends and your fellow employees something sweet when it's your birthday. Since my birthday was at the 6 of April when I was traveling with my parents, I couldn't give my friends any cakes, but I had made sure to ask my parents to bring some Swedish treats.

 As you might imagine, some of the foods where received well and others not as well.... 

Many of them had never tasted any of the foods, some of the candy they had seen before, so it was hilarious to see them taste this for their first time. Their faces when they tasted the Kaviar! , hahahha , thank you Sweden for having such particular treats.!!  

But I am impressed and grateful that all of them actually tried it all !  


In the end of the smörgåsords testing Joel arrived to Kurunegala ! He had travelled through the Hill Country before visiting me. People going to Kurunegala usually get the question "why are you going there, there is nothing to do?", but you do miss out if you don't stop here. Could be because I have lived here for a while, but if you travel to or through Kurunegala you should go up on the Elephant Rock where the big Buddha statue is located and walk slowly down the carved stairways in the sunset and you should take the Selyn Fair Trade Experience which takes place here. 

I took Joel on the Selyn Fair Trade Experience, which is a tour that I don't think Joel would normally look for himself but the tour gives you an authentic Sri Lankan experience where you gain an understanding of Sri Lanka's traditional handloom heritage and get a first hand knowledge about fair trade practices and you also receive an insight of the everyday life of the skilful artisans at Selyn. 

 Here we have an exited Joel who has just started the tour at the Dye Plant.
 Learning about the waste water management at the Dye Factory . 
Moving on, and on our way to the weaving workshop but on our way we stoped for a cooling King Coconut
It was the weaving workshop that Joel found the most interesting and fascinating location on the tour. Seeing the skills necessary to be able to weave a Saree or a tablemat etc. was impressive in his opinion. I quote: "eyeopening". It is truly an admirable skill that these women obtain! 
The Artisan is making a table mat made out of newspapers! and because of the tight or very finely weaved twines it becomes water resistant! What a fantastic and smart way of combining recycling practices and handlooms! These are on my shopping list on things that I must buy before going back home to Sweden ! 
We also visited the Kinder Garden that is attached to the weaving workshop to enable the women to work while their children are being looked after and educated.  For each time I come these lovely children become better and better at introducing themself in English and even answering a few questions!  
It was hard to sit beside Joel when eating lunch.... he ate with his fingers for the first time and as you can see he did not really master the arm. Pointing out the elbow up in my face. ... but we had a good laugh and with more practice he will soon be as a Sri Lankan , I see the potential ! ;D 
Gifts for his friends and family at home, wonder who will be the lucky ones! 
Looking out over Kurunegala from the Elephant Rock. This day it was a bit cloudy but still beautiful, you can see the clouds slowly rising from the town and the surrounding forests climbing up the mountain sides. One of the many beauties in Kurunegala.  Here the tour officially ended ....
And we continued to Kandyan Reach for some cocktails and to end the day with a proper last night togehter in Sri Lanka . 
Thank you Joel for your visit and see you again soon ! 


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