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A trip to chaotic Colombo

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Hi everyone! I thought I’d share with you a little of my experience visiting the Sri Lankan capital Colombo last week. Rose Charities Sri Lanka CEO Anthony Richard and I traveled there together to do the bulk-purchasing of school supplies for the coming 2013 school year.  This was my first time really seeing the capital, having traveled right through and onward across the country to Kalmunai immediately upon my arrival. Hoo boy! Is it ever a bustling, chaotic, noisy, traffic-filled city, and so different from the laid-back feel of small-town Kalmunai! We spent most of our time in the market district, Pettah, where we were doing our purchasing. This is the busiest market in the country, and the busiest I have ever seen.  It’s a maze of narrow streets filled with small shops of every description, each with merchandise spilling out onto the sidewalk and surrounded by throngs of people looking for the best bargain. I’m told you can buy just about anything here, and I believe it! The tiny lanes  are completely jam packed at all times with three-wheelers, motorcycles, bicycles, and people carrying impossible loads on their carts or on their backs. You can barely walk in there let alone use a vehicle, and yet people come through with their full-sized delivery trucks turning the place into one of those unscramble-the-tiles-to-make-a-picture puzzles as people try to get their three-wheelers just a little farther to the outside or move their motorcycles into an alcove or duck into a shop themselves as these trucks squeeze through at a crawl with no more than inches to spare on either side. And of course everyone is honking and shouting constantly and the trucks are kicking up dust and belching blue-black smoke into everyone’s faces! What a scene! While I stood looking dumbstruck, Anthony took care of business and we managed to extricate ourselves  and return to Kalmunai the following day with the supplies needed to run all the Rose Charities preschools. Just another day at the office, Sri Lankan-style. : )

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