Saturday, 29 April 2017

Thursday, 27 April 2017

On the Train Part 3

My smiling young friend that sat with me on the train from Nuwara Eliya to Ella.  He was very happy and jumped around a lot.  He was traveling with his family to visit relatives for the New Year holiday.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

On the Train Part 2

Different food sellers walked up and down the carriages selling samosas and yummy spicy peanuts.  They seemed to get on and off at different stations and the food varied slightly with each seller.  

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

On the Train

I used the trains to travel around Sri Lanka.  I wasn't the only one leaning out the window to admire the views and enjoy the breeze.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Colourful Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka was a country of vibrant and rich colours.  This lady in a village near Ella, was stringing her washing below a tree with bright orange flowers, with Ella Peak in the distance along with a eucalyptus tree.

Sunday, 23 April 2017

Elephants in the Mud

A highlight of the trip to Sri Lanka was visiting Udawalawe National Park and going on a safari to see elephants.  They were fantastic,  I loved this young one having a mud bath.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Friday, 21 April 2017

Whale watching

While in Mirissa in the south of Sri Lanka,  I went on a whale watching cruise for the morning.  We saw a whale - its body, its spout and its tale - all at different times.  Not sure if it was the same whale or different whales doing different things at different times.   There were more boats than whales out there!

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Monks on Mirissa Beach

Mirissa Beach in the south of Sri Lanka was a beautiful place to relax, swim and stroll on the sand.  These monks obviously thought the same.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Jami Ul-Afar Mosque

Known as the red mosque, the Jami Ul-Afar mosque is one of the largest and oldest in Colombo.  Colombo and Sri Lanka seemed to be a religiously diverse and tolerant country with mosques, Hindu and Buddhist temples and a wide variety of Christian churches in many areas

Monday, 17 April 2017


Street life in Pettah is colorful and busy neighbourhood in Colombo. The unique red and white brick work of Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque dominates the visual skyline. I had a brief morning exploring Colombo and would have loved to have spent more time exploring the markets and streets of this area.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

It's not Walla Walla

Well almost! I have been Australianising the Sri Lankan towns I pass through as many of the extra long names are diffucult to pronounce and to remember. On Friday the train passed through Watawala in the highlands on my way to Kandy.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Saturday Sri Lanka Sign

I have been traveling through a small part of Sri Lanka this week. Spotting signs such as this for milo. Same as home, but a different cricketer: the captain of the Sri Lanakan team, Angelo Mathews.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Salad and herbs

Laos markets are colorful with fresh produce such as this lettuce, dill and assorted greens in the street market in Luang Prabang when I was there in January.  

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Wednesday Weaving - Bamboo

Weaving bamboo into a hat, with woven fabric in the background.  This lady in the market in Luang Prabang could be seen as a modern multi-tasker.  She is selling rice, helping with child minding, weaving a hat and ready to sell some woven cloth.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Marigolds and the flag

The Australian flag, together with other flags, which are draped from the covered walkway into school, peeks through the marigolds and other Pii Mai flowers.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Cuteness and colour overload

Students from our sister school - a local Laos elementary school- shared a dancing and singing performance with us at the Pii Mai assembly on Friday.  They were soooooo cute!.  Lots of colour and action. They were wearing their Pii Mai colours as were the VIS students in the background.  Floral shirts everywhere.

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Sok Di Pii Mai - The Girls

Some of my Laos Grade 10 girls performed a traditional dance as part of Friday's Pii Mai celebrations.  They were gorgeous with flowers in their hair and richly coloured sinhs and scarfs. Am, Jane, Sassa and Angel were proud to share their culture with the VIS community.

A slightly jarring part of the celebrations was a fashion parade with student from the elementary school.  Girls in pink with lipstick, prancing and preening- so much for trying to break gender stereotypes!

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Saturday Signs - Sok Di Pii Mai

VIS loves big plastic banners.  This Pii Mai banner greeted us at school this week.  Here is Tora from Grade 11 welcoming me to school and the Pii Mai celebrations on Friday morning.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Pii Mai Orchid

The campus was decorated with flowers today in preparation for tomorrow's Pii Mai (Laos New Year) celebrations.  There will be flowers, a parade, a water blessing, swimming carnival and lots of throwing of water at people wearing loud Hawaiian type Pi Mai shirts. 

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Champa Flowers

The champa or frangipani trees are in full bloom at the moment. Their perfume is beautiful and fills the air, especially on the walk way near the office at school.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Colourful Singapore

The rainbow coloured shutters on the Ministry of Information building in Singapore looked wonderful in the setting sun. A striking building on the Quays it was originally a police station.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Why Can't I do this in Melbourne???

Catch a train from the airport!!!!!!!!
It was very very easy to catch a train (MRT) from Singapore airport to my hotel.  One easy change of line.  Easy to buy a pass with credit on FROM a PERSON!!!!!!. It came with 7 SGD credit which lasted the entire weekend,  - in from the airport, 3 other train trips and a bus ride.  

PLUS they stations were incredibly clean.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Singapore Skyline

I have been in Singapore for a conference for two days.  Great people and relevant and practical conference sessions.  Enjoying the colors and comforts of visiting a cosmopolitan city.  Great food - chilli crab by the river at Clarke's Quay last night and Hainese Chicken at a street restaurant tonight.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Saturday Signs - Learn to Dig

 A billboard promoting a "digger" school in front of a scene of environmental destruction - probably by the students on their diggers.