Missionary positions

There are more Christian missionaries with English teaching positions in Sri Lanka than the other countries we’ve visited.

They aren’t well-regarded by the people we’ve spoken to. This reaction is typical: “they want to teach me English and expect that in return I’ll change to their religion? That’s crazy!” The conversation continued: “They tell me Jesus died for my sins? That’s supposed to make me feel obligated somehow? And beautiful innocent little babies come preloaded with lots of sin? How can that be?”

Nevertheless, the belief system arrived with colonists from England and Holland and has deep, if small, roots in this 75% Buddhist country. In that 25% non-Buddhist group, Christians are far outnumbered by Hindu and Muslim people.

Wilpattu National Park

Around these parts, the leopard is the most difficult to find and photograph. Upon the first rumor of a leopard sighting, ten big trucks full of photographers go pounding down the trail in pursuit. It’s hard to imagine any self-respecting leopard staying put, but apparently they consider human activity to be harmless and silly enough to ignore us.

Stupas, ancient ruins and temple dogs

We visited our Sinhala friend whom we met during our Peace Corps service. She showed us around Anuradhapura’s archeological sites and then we enjoyed a delicious supper with her nice family!

This stupa may have lost its top during the 29-year civil war with the Tamil Tigers. There is usually a crest gem at the very top; I’m guessing that whoever shot off the spire did so to get the crest gem.