Monday, September 19, 2016

Travel Monday: Feeling joy at the ancient Girihadu Seya

I had Girihadu Seya on my to-do list for 2016, and I managed to make a visit there. Girihadu Seya is situated in the Thiriyaya region of the Trincomalee District. It is located atop a 212ft rock near the Yan Oya estuary, and you will need to climb at least 300 steps to reach the place. Girihadu Seya was apparently where Thappassu and Balluka (devotees of the Buddha), who traveled from India to Sri Lanka, apparently placed a lock of the Buddha's hair. It is said to be the first Stupa constructed in Sri Lanka.

This place is actually quite off the beaten track. You wouldn't visit unless you had heard about it or where in the north-eastern part of the island. Although it is not as well-known, I found it to be an amazing place form an energetic perspective. You've heard me talk about energies and the feel of places in some of my past blogs, and this was definitely one of the few places in Sri Lanka where I've felt this uniquely joyful feeling.

Girihadu Seya came onto my radar because of a friend's recent visit to the place. I had never heard of this place nor the history behind it.The pictures and their experience just really intrigued me. I was fortunate to have been traveling in the north of Sri Lanka and it wasn't exactly on the itinerary for the road trip, but then I saw the turn-off sign, and I thought "I'm really meant to visit this place".

Thursday, September 1, 2016

An expat perspective on life with or without the indispensable domestic helper

It has been an interesting expat experience having the luxury of employing domestic help around the home. Back in the UK this would have been something I would never have considered for a number of reasons, the most obvious one being the financial outlay. But since living on the island, I've come to realize that Sri Lanka has a  long history of domestic work and it is considered the conventional norm, affordable, and pretty much indispensable once you've benefited from such services. Many of my colleagues, peers and friends employ domestic help for a range of household services.

A domestic helper is usually someone who works within the employer's private household performing a range of services for the individual or family from providing care for children and elderly dependents to gardening, housekeeping, including cleaning. cooking, laundry and household maintenance.

Sometimes they are called housekeepers, housemaids, houseboys, caretakers, nannies, cooks, gardeners, night guards and drivers. Many are live-in, while some live outside of the employers home. In countries where domestic help is the conventional norm, the homes (including apartments) have built-in separate quarters for domestic helpers.