That’s Wild

 

Last Friday, I went to the funeral for my friend, my father’s mentor and someone who was an important part of my family. All who spoke commented on his passion and living life to the fullest with a great commitment to family, dentistry, tennis and horseback riding. My wish for myself and for you is that you grab the reins of life and GALLOP! Since no one knows how long they have, take every opportunity to hug those you love and strive to make your dreams come true.

In honor of Dr. Harold Ravins, I give you “THAT’S WILD!” from our trip this summer in Sri Lanka:


The first thing that was WILD about Sri Lanka was the people’s friendliness. We were invited by Jude, a tuk tuk driver, to his home to try Hoppers (like crepes).  When we first saw him on the street in Negombo (our second day in Sri Lanka), we spoke our words of Ayubowan (hello) and keva indioppa (eat string hoppers). He could not believe we had not eaten hoppers and invited us to his home. “You get in tuk tuk. No charge. Come to my house. I make hoppers in my store. No Charge.” He could not believe we had not had this treat. We went with him, met his wife and son. They fed us, talked with us about their country and were incredibly hospitable. The banana hoppers were my favorite. They were our age but with 3 children and 24 years of marriage unlike our few months since our December wedding. George kept saying “Semia Rasai” (which means tasty wife: they kept laughing!) They taught us new words like “Ade mama rasai ape keva” (Today I eat tasty hoppers) and “Heta mama nuera yaneva” (Tomorrow I am going to Kandy). The people of Sri Lanka really made us feel welcome.

When we were in Nila Veli, we met friendly families but we also saw the remains of the Civil War and the 2004 tsunami. Walking to the beach through barbed wire was unsettling, even though the soldiers with machine guns were friendly and loved to hear our attempts at speaking Singhala. There are only Singhalese in the Sri Lankan army, no Tamils allowed which means the whole army is Buddhist. Wrap your head around that!



Seeing the ancient cities with the children from the East who were also at  Anuradhapura for the first time and wanting photos with the white people (that would be us!) was incredible. Due to the fighting, it is only now that Sri Lankans are free to travel in their own country. We stayed near Sigiria and were told, “don’t walk around at night, the wild elephants might kill you.” George and I have been to many countries and been told many things, but that was the WILDEST thing I had heard. The elephants took food from a farmer’s garden so a local man killed an elephant. Since the elephants remember, they have come back to the area and killed some humans.

We saw elephants in the street in Kandy dressed up to return a relic to the Temple of the Tooth after Poya. I was amazed to see elephants in red clothes; I had no way of knowing that was only the beginning of elephants in ceremonies. When we were in Kataragama for the Perahera festival, we stayed at the YMBA (just like the song YMCA but this is the Young Man’s Buddhist Association! We were welcome guests but they were shocked when we stayed a second night.)

At the Perahera, the elephants are a critical part of the festival. God is taken by elephants dressed in red clothes to his girlfriend. This enormous pilgrimage festival is sacred to Buddhist, Hindu and Muslims and there are many dancing groups dressed up as peacocks (another sacred animal) and there are hundreds of people bathing in the river and sleeping on site for two weeks. If you go to Sri Lanka, I highly recommend participating in this event.

We think those are some things that are WILD about Sri Lanka! We think it is WILD that we have over 1300 views on our blog. Thanks for reading about our adventures and PLEASE leave us your comments about your thoughts, travels and living life to the fullest!

In loving honor and remembrance of our friend, Dr. Harold Ravins. “THAT’s WILD!”

Lisa Ellen Niver

Lisa Ellen Niver, M.A. Education, is a television host, travel journalist as well as a passionate artist, educator and writer who has explored 101 countries, 6 continents and sailed on cruise ships for seven years on the high seas and backpacked for three years in Asia. She is the founder of We Said Go Travel which was read in 212 countries in 2018 and named #3 on the top 1000 Travel Blog and the top female travel blogger 3 times in 2019. Find her talking travel at KTLA TV and in her We Said Go Travel videos with over one million views on her YouTube channel. She has hosted Facebook Live for USA Today 10best, is verified on both Twitter and Facebook, has over 150,000 followers across social media and ran fifteen travel competitions publishing over 2500 writers and photographers from 75 countries. She has been a finalist for six Southern California Journalism Awards in the past three years and won an award for her Jewish Journal article. Niver has written for AARP, American Airways, Delta Sky, En Route (Air Canada), Hemispheres (United Airlines), Jewish Journal, Luxury Magazine, Ms. Magazine, Myanmar Times, National Geographic, POPSUGAR, Robb Report, Saturday Evening Post, Scuba Diver Life, Sierra Club, Ski Utah, Smithsonian, Trivago, USA Today 10best, Wharton Magazine and Yahoo. She is writing a book, “Brave Rebel: 50 Scary Challenges Before 50,” about her most recent travels and challenges. Look for her underwater SCUBA diving, in her art studio making ceramics or helping people find their next dream trip. http://lisaniver.com/one-page/

One response to “That’s Wild

  1. Thank you for all your comments by email to me about our blog! Please feel free to post your comments on the blog!
    Lisa

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