December 27th, 2007 – by: Devika1985
Day 2 ��" Colombo - Negombo
The first time I visited Sri Lanka when I was 12 I remember the air was very strange. When I got out of the plane back then I almost couldnt breathe and I thought to myself: I cant stay here for 3 / 4 weeks! I will die then! So I thought this time it would be the same. The humid and warm climate and also maybe smog probably caused it back then but there weren’t a lot of things I remembered from that trip, but I did remember that! This time it was totally different maybe because I expected the worst.
It wasnt even that warm as I had imagined. The first traces of the changed flight schedule became very much visible when our transfer to the hotel didnt show up. Boy was I pissed! After a trip like that I just wanted to go to my hotelroom and take a shower. We arrived at 4 and at 6 there was still nobody there. We had talked to several employees of Holland International already who really tried to help us but nothing worked out. Finally some manager arrived who arranged a taxi for us. We arrived at the hotel at 6.30. The place looked real nice so that was a good sign. The rooms weren’t ready yet so we had to wait near the beach. That was really nice I took a walk on the beach and took some pictures of a pretty Catamaran wich was in front of the hotel. It was still not that warm yet but the sun was already up and climbing higher and higher. I was pretty sure I would be fried in the afternoon. Quite a change since it was below 0 at home when we left!
Early morning at the beach
Finally I got the key to my room and I took a nice long shower.
After that I went downstair to have breakfast wich was very lovely. Papaya Juice, Pineapple, little croissants with cheese and an omelet with tomato and mushrooms. Normally I never have breakfast but I was very much willing to make an exception for this one. :)
"Backyard" of the Blue Oceanic Hotel
After breakfast I went to my room and contacted Nel. Nel is a dutch lady who visits Sri Lanka a lot and does some volunteer work to help out with little projects. She helps people individually like when they need new teeth she takes them to the dentist because the people can’t afford that otherwise. She also sponsors a family and she helps the family out with a lot of things like buying schoolbooks, make sure they have enough food and clothes, things like that. Andrew ( a Sri Lankan Taxi driver ) arranged everything for me by translating between me and my family and passing on messages.
I met him trough Fardau, the girl I told you about in my Back to da Roots blog Part 1. I met Nel trough Andrew who helped me out when the phone connection wasn’t that well and I coulndt understand Andrew. She also arranged the DNA test together with Andrew. I still hadnt met either one of them and I would meet them today. I would contact Nel whenever I was ready and she would come to our hotel together with Andrew to meet me and to talk about the plans for that week. We agreed to meet up at 12 that afternoon.
After a loooooong trip with almost no sleep
After being bored for a while it was time to meet them. I was very excited about that. My parents and I were waiting for them downstairs while a marriage ceremony was being held at the hotel.
It was really nice with Sri Lankan music and very beautiful traditional clothes. The guests were wearing very fancy Sari’s in every colour. It was a very pretty sight. You can see the couple in the pictures aswell. They were very kind!
Unidentified Fruit. It wasnt a Pineapple!
Then Andrew & Nel arrived. I was so happy to see them. From the first moment it was great! They were very kind and friendly exactly like I had imagined. We went to sit down in the backyard of the hotel and had some drinks. Ofcourse I had also brought some presents for them and Fardau had also given me some things I had to give to them so first we did all those things and talked about Fardau and her situation. Andrew asked me if I would be okay with being interviewd by the newspaper from Colombo after meeting my family. It’s a great way to help out other children who are adopted.
My friend Fardau (and many others) have proven that unfortunately in those times things were not arranged correctly with the adoption papers. A lot of money was earned but people with the wrong motives and the children have to pay the price now since its so hard for them to find their families. A lot of children that were adopted in 1985 have this problem. A woman recruited other women back then to give away children for money. She took the babies from other mothers (the biological ones) and gave them to other mothers who pretented to be the biological mothers. So when the children think they have found their mother and even the adoptive parents recognise the mother, DNA testing can still prove that its not their real mother. As you can imagine this is really nasty. I can’t believe people actually did that. It’s horrible. It all stopped when another scheme that was also going on with adoption was discovered in 1987. The country was closed for adoption then for a little while and after that another agency took over and from that point on things were finally arranged correctly.
Negombo Beach near the hotel
My brother Djuri was adopted in the period right after the new agency took over so that’s good. I found out in these last months that Im really lucky. A lot of children who were born in 1985 and were adopted are not that lucky at all. I feel like I really slipped trough and Im very thankful for that. It also makes me very angry and Im trying to do everything I can to help out the other children who were a victim of this. Right now Im posting messages on Dutch websites with names of children from my country. Their mothers in Sri Lanka are looking for them and Im trying to find the children. I also hope that other people in Sri Lanka can help my friends who were not that lucky. Especially Fardau who did so much for me and she’s a great person she deserves it so much. Andrew asked me to help out by allowing a newspaper to Colombo to interview me and take some pictures. I really hope the newspaper will make the subject more known with the people there and I hope somebody will come forward with information for Fardau and all the others.
So ofcourse I agreed to the interview it was the least I could do.
After that we discussed the program. We decided to travel to Ratnapura (the area where my family lives) on the 30th of December and stay there untill the 1st of January. Before that we would do some sightseeing in the area. I really wanted to see as much as possible in the short time I had so I started immediatley and we went to the Mangrove Area in Negombo. We went trough the Mangrove with a boat wich was really pretty! The surroundings are so beautiful overthere! Very green with Palmtrees and Banana trees everywhere you look.
We saw some very nice birds and what I thought was really funny, a dead bat that was still hanging upside down from the powerline. Hahaha I felt so sorry for him but it was so funny at the same time. During the boatride we visited 2 places. A place where we saw a guy who climbed up to the top op a palmtree to extract some kind of ingedrient from it to make Arrack. Arrack is a Sri Lankan drink with a very high alcohol level (and is pretty disgusting if you ask me). After that we visited an illegal Arrack brewery. The lady there showed us how its done. She also had a monkey as a pet although the monkey was cute I thought it was so wrong to keep a monkey on a chain so I didn’t pay much attention to that.
Chamindra. Works at Blue Oceanic Hotel
After the boatride we went back to the hotel.
On the way back we visited a shop were they sell all kinds Batik products. From small napkins to huge wall covering pieces. I bought a little one with an imagine of a Buddha for my friend Danique. We got a tour from the little factory where it’s being made. That was very interesting. We saw all the steps of the proces from designing it to putting the wax on the cloths and colouring everything. Very nice experience to see this. I already saw it 10 years ago when I was 12 but back then I just wasn’t interested at all! When we got back at the hotel I slept for a few hours. In the evening I enjoyed a very nice Sri Lankan dinner at the hotel. I dont care that much for Asian food normally but this was allright. I was shocked by the amount of Dutch people that were at the hotel. I did not expect that! But we were still a tourist attraction to the staff since they know Im adopted they can tell and they come up to you with all kinds of questions all the time.
My key :)
That is something I will never get used to. Also funny how the people talk to me in Singalese and expect me to be able to translate to the “white” foreigners :). But it also works the other way around since on the KLM flight everybody spoke English to me haha so funny how people assume things :) I went up to my room to do some reading untill i was too tired. After a very nice first day I fell asleep (or better said I fell into a coma) at 10.