Day 5, Ratnapura/Amunatenna

Ratnapura Travel Blog

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The River

Day 5  Negombo - Amunatenna - Ratnapura

Finally it was there. The departure to the area of Ratnapura where my family lives in the small town of Amunatenna. We had to drive for about 5 to 6 hours but it seemed much shorter. Maybe because I was pretty nervous it just seemed shorter to me. We met up with my cousin Asiri Madusanka at the foot of the mountain near Ratnapura. He came into the van with a friend of his and he didn’t say anything to me really. That was pretty strange because I didn’t know what to do with that. Afterwards I found out he was just as nervous as I was at that point and he turned out to be really sweet ;).

People doing their laundry
I learned that he was not really my cousin by blood but him and his family where closest to my mother. They were related to the 2nd man my mother was with and who is also the father of the 2 boys. We drove up to the mountains trough amazing surroundings. Fields with tea plantantation as far as you could see and green mountaintops everywhere.

 

After half an hour we reached a house wich was pretty good for that area. It had a big fence around it and Andrew parked the van inside of the fence to “ hide” the van from the other people in the town. Because Andrew did a lot of searching for other Dutch children to find their relatives in this area, people know the van and would recognise it immediatley.

This lady was making stones. All by herself doing this work the whole day!!!
I got out of the van and was told that this was the house where Asiri Madusanka lives with his family. I would meet them here and go to my mother’s house from there. When I walked in I got the biggest shock of my life.

I saw my mother!

She was standing there right in front of me! I did very much not expect that!! I didn’t know what to do. All the plans I had just went up in smoke. I would go alone at first together with Nel who would film the whole event. My parents would wait and come a little later. None of that was happening! She was there! I screamed at my father to get the camera because she was there. They didn’t understand, they were totally panicking like: How do you mean “She is here!!” ?.

This lady was making stones. All by herself doing this work the whole day!!!
I don’t know!! She just is!!

 

She walked over to me and we held hands. I had no clue what to do. Im shouting at the camera things like: What do I do? What should I do? What can I do?.

She didn’t look at me but just held my hand and looked at everybody in the room. I watched her face and saw that her eyes were getting wet. At that point I just broke. I did the thing that I thought in advance was the last thing I would do.. I cried! I couldnt help it. Then she looked at me and took my hand. She was stroking my arm and then the rest told me to hold her but I couldn’t.

Little Child that was eating
I just couldn’t do that. But then Nel came up to us and put her arms around me more and then my mother hugged me and I hugged her back and we just cried. Same goes for Nel she was very emotional at that point aswell. I heard my parents saying they really recognised her now and how great this moment was. It was very surreal, like it wasn’t really happening. Then she took my hand and pulled me into a room. She wanted to be alone with me. She was stroking my hand and touching my hair. She was trying to speak to me wich ofcourse did not work. I shouted from the room to my parents to get my bag with the presents I had for her. I gave her the photobook with pictures of me growing up. She was so happy to see that. Then I gave her the necklace with the medallion. After that she cried again and we just held each other. After a while things were more calm and everybody was happy. I got to meet my aunt Indra Kanthi and her daughter (I don’t know her name) and her son was the cousin I had already seen, Asiri Madusanka. They were so good to me.
Little Child that was eating
Lovely people.. At that point everybody was in the room again and Andrew translated here and there.

 

I got to hear more about the situation they are in.

After she got pregnant my father left my mother. She had no money to take care of me and she was all alone so she decided to give me away for adoption. After that she met a new man. She did’nt marry him but she lived with him for 10 years untill he passed away 10 years ago. Together with him she had 2 sons, Nishantha & Yomal.

Market
Their father new about me all along and he was fine with that. My mother told me he was a good man and she had been very happy with him. I was very glad to hear that. A few days later I learned more about the family situation but I will tell you about it now since that is just much easier. The family of the 2nd man didn’t know about me and it’s for them we had to be so careful. They are watching my mother all the time and meddling all the time. They even tried to sell the 2 boys!!!! The 2nd man went away every month for a whole month to work in the city so he wasn’t there all the time. His brother was trying to sell Yomal & Nishantha while he was away! The ground on wich the house of my family is built belongs to the family of the 2nd man. Thats why they think they have power over them. Legally my family has just as much rights to the land as they have but they just claim it! They even fight with my family! Physically I mean! They have attacked my mother several times and Asiri Madusanka and Nishantha have fought with them several times aswell.
Market
As you can imagine I am now working on getting them away from there. Together with help from Andrew and Nel we try to arrange for a new piece if land and a new house.

 

After all this Andrew and Asiri Madusanka took me to see my mother’s house. We had to walk up to the mountain. I tried to ignore the neighbours (the brother of the 2nd man and his family) who were all staring at me. My brother Yomal was playing in the house with a friend of his and this friend couldn’t know about it. I couldn’t go in the house but I just watched from a distance. Asiri Madusanka took my camera to take some pictures of the house for me. After that I went back to the house of my aunt Indra (They are not really family by blood but they are the people who are most close to my mother and they think of themselves as my aunt, niece and nephew and I also felt it like that) There I went back into the room with my mother, Andrew and my nephew and I could ask questions to them.

Market
It was very nice for me I got all the answers that I needed. I also found out that my father could also be tracked if he is still alive. I know his name now and also the town where he used to live. I don’t know what I will do with that information yet. I will think about that later. I also know that they are Buddhists :).

 

After the talk I went outside and got some King’s Coconut Juice. Then another shock.. My brother was sitting on a bench right outside the house but together with his friend so I had to act natural. He was so gorgeous.. I couldn’t believe it. At once knew he was way too young to understand the whole thing. He is 15 and I thought that’s old enough.. but as I watched him I saw he was still very much a child.

Market
We looked at each other and he had a big smile on his face. It was amazing for me. The feeling I had inside was unbelievable. I sat down in between of his friend and him to take some pictures but I didn’t say anything yet. After that we went back into the van and left since all the neighbours were coming up to the house wanting to know what was going on. I would see them again the next day at the hotel where we didn’t have to be careful at all. Before I left I asked if I could see my oldest brother Nishantha but I heard he was (just like his father) going away every month for a whole month to work and he wouldn’t return before the 10th of January :(. His workplace was close so they would try to arrange for him and me to meet each other. I really wanted to see him. It sounds strange but meeting him was the most important thing for me. I don’t know why but in advance that was the thing I looked forward to the most.

 

We drove to a huge hotel in Ratnapura wich was very luxurious and really nice! A great place to calm down and rest.

Market
There were no other guests there only one other Dutch family with an adopted child. (A boy who was 12) and they would only stay for 1 night. He was still in touch with his mother and visited her every year, he was adopted when he was already 3 years old!!! We had a lovely dinner and I went to my room afterward and called Robin to talk about the whole thing. It was still very unreal. I was wondering about the next day and if my other brother would be there.. I slept very well that night inspite of all that was going on inside my head!

mypictures4u says:
This is so amazing.... Again, I have tears in my eyes.
Posted on: Jun 29, 2012
Petra2111 says:
Jeetje Devika, wat heb je dat mooi geschreven zeg! Prachtig, ik kan me voorstellen hoe je je moet hebben gevoeld. Ik word er al emotioneel van, laat staan jijzelf! Heel speciaal en hardstikke bedankt voor het delen met ons!! Veel liefs!!
Posted on: Apr 11, 2009
derekbilldaly says:
Wow Devika, this is really a special story that you have shared with us. Im sure it was a very beautiful and moving time in your life, Im so happy for you!
Posted on: Jan 05, 2009
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The River
The River
People doing their laundry
People doing their laundry
This lady was making stones. All b…
This lady was making stones. All …
This lady was making stones. All b…
This lady was making stones. All …
Little Child that was eating
Little Child that was eating
Little Child that was eating
Little Child that was eating
Market
Market
Market
Market
Market
Market
Market
Market
Market
Market
Market
Market
Market
Market
Little shop on the side of the road
Little shop on the side of the road
Entrance to the Buddhist Temple
Entrance to the Buddhist Temple
Bird :)
Bird :)
My aunt Indra Kanthi and her daugh…
My aunt Indra Kanthi and her daug…
My mother & Me
My mother & Me
My familys house
My family's house
My familys house - Yomal
My family's house - Yomal
Hotel in Ratnapura
Hotel in Ratnapura
The welcome drink :)
The welcome drink :)
Hotel in Ratnapura
Hotel in Ratnapura
Hema, she worked in the hotel in R…
Hema, she worked in the hotel in …
Garden of the hotel
Garden of the hotel
Garden of the hotel
Garden of the hotel
The Pool
The Pool
The Pool
The Pool
SwimingPool hotel in Ratnapura
SwimingPool hotel in Ratnapura
The Pool
The Pool
My fav. flower.. The Hibiscus
My fav. flower.. The Hibiscus
This was so pretty. An Hibiscus wi…
This was so pretty. An Hibiscus w…
Pretty flowers
Pretty flowers
Ratnapura
photo by: lilanimuna