Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Postcard from Jaffna

As part of the work we are doing here, last Thursday we traveled from near Colombo to a place called Killinochchi, to shadow a clinical psychiatrist for the day. Killinochchi is 10 hours away and is situated in the north of Sri Lanka. I can't write about it, but it was one of the most insightful days of my life and it is something I will never forget. As westerners, we really don't know how the other half live, and the problems we think that we have, are tiny in comparison.

Anyway, as we'd already traveled so far, we decided to spend the rest of the weekend in Jaffna, which is another hour north of Killinochchi. In the north of Sri Lanka, they are still recovering from the civil war and it resembles more of southern India than Sri Lanka because it is home to the Hindu and Tamil culture. There is definitely a contrast between the north and south in terms of food, colours and language, so it was great to be able to see it all.

On Saturday, we had a chill day. We we so tired from traveling, so we spent the day exploring Jaffna. The town itself doesn't actually have much there but we did see the fort, market and a Hindu temple named Nallur Kovil. We also got to eat some traditional Indian dishes which were actually really good!

Then on Sunday, we took a bus to the tip of Jaffna and got a very crammed and tightly squeezed boat onto one of Jaffna's islands. This is where the beauty of Jaffna really lies. We visited temple island, which had both a Buddhist temple and Hindu temple. I'm not religious really, but just exploring the island was amazing. The detail, hard work and colour in used in the temples are absolutely breath taking, and I'm so glad I got to visit the island.

The only downside of this little trip was the journey, but we managed to get a night bus back and I slept the whole way so it wasn't bad at all! Another amazing weekend overall.

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