Goodbye Fieldhouse, Hello Hikkaduwa

Goodbye Fieldhouse, Hello Hikkaduwa
Hello dear friends and family,
On Monday 16th I headed back to Colombo with two of the other volunteers, Brenna and Yufei, as hey also needed to extend their visas. It was sad to leave the fieldhouse and to say goodbye to everyone, they had all become my Sri Lankan family. I am so grateful to have met so many amazing people who have taken me under their wing, and guided me with their knowledge and experience. A massive thank you to Kylie! I can’t wait to hopefully come back and help out on your project next year, ya legend!
Sawana (one of my favourite staff members) and myself
Everyone I met at the fieldhouse was incredible and I will miss them all dearly. I will especially miss my volunteer girls, and the staff who would let me follow them around in the kitchen and occasionally help out. I will also miss the field boys, especially Supun and Sarath who were always cheekily talking and giggling about everyone in Sinhalese. Although I will definitely be back…there’s no doubt in my mind about that. So a big thank you to everyone who made my time at the fieldhouse as great as it could be!
Supun and Sarath
The night we wore weird Chinese face masks supplied by Cheng. From left: Yufei, Bri, Kylie, me, Cheng
In Colombo we had some drinks that evening and enjoyed our last night together. On Tuesday morning we all went to the immigration office to extend our visas. Oh what a process. First you fill out a form, then take the form to the man, the man takes your form and passport, then gives it back, then you sit and wait for your interview. As one person goes into the interview room, everyone moves up a chair – it’s like musical chairs – and of course you get the occasional person trying to cut the line by sneaking into a spare chair. As we were only extending for a month we got given a number and had to wait on the other side of the room. Once our number was called we were told to go to the other counter to pay. Then we had to wait again for our number to be called to receive our passport with the new visa. My gosh, it is a long, tricky process…surely it could be simpler? It took us over two hours, but we did it.
Once the visa ordeal was over I said goodbye to Yufei and Brenna and they hopped on a bus back to Colombo Fort, to begin their arduous journey back to the fieldhouse. I had become really close to Yufei so it was sad to say bye to her, but she will be hopefully coming to study in Australia next year, so this definitely isn’t goodbye!
I went back to my guesthouse, got my things together and left for Hikkaduwa, a surf town on the south coast of Sri Lanka. While I was waiting for my train to Hikka, a few other trains came through and I almost hopped on the wrong one. ‘Does this go to Hikkaduwa?’ and the response I get is a smile and a head waggle. Don’t get me wrong , I absolutely love the head waggle, but sometimes I feel like screaming ‘IS THAT A YES OR A NO?!’ Hahah. So I hopped on and off when I realised no other tourists were getting onto the packed train. The next train that came through was my one, and we all piled in, packed like sardines. Some fellow backpackers and I stood the 2.5 hour train ride to Hikkaduwa as it was so busy.
When I arrived I got a tuk tuk to Vernon’s Guesthouse, recommended by a friend from back home. It was nice to settle in and dump by backpack. The guesthouse is right on the beach, right at the break where all of the surfers go. I went next door to Funky De Bar where I had a beer and enjoyed the beautiful sunset. I was joined by Saya, one of the staff members, as it was pretty quiet in the bar, and it was really nice to chat with him. One beer turned into more beers, arrack and a super fun night.
So lucky to have this stunning sunset!

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