We left our hearts in Sri Lanka

So what does Sri Lanka mean? On our way back to Negombo I asked Jinoy, our driver and
guide who took care of us for the last 5 days of our 10 days trip. He explained and my
understanding is that it means “Special Land”. Therefore Sri Shannon would mean “Special

We are very grateful for the wonderful job Jinoy did to accompany us and take care of our
traveling logistics. Jinoy is charming, friendly and a reliable driver/worker. We are very fond of
him. On the road, my husband and I took turn sitting in the front seat next to him. Along the
drive, he explained about the way different groups of people dress, so we had an idea of how to
tell if the ladies walking on the street are Tamil ladies, Sinhalese ladies or Muslim ladies. We
learned the difference between the three groups, the languages and cultures. Then we learned
about the different regions (tamaric trees instead of coconut trees lining the road heading south)
as we drove down south from the hill country. We stopped at a vegetable stand on the hilly road
to Nuwara Eliya to buy carrots and tomatoes, and we tasted buffalo curd on the roadside on our
way to Galle. He took us to a snack place where we tried local pastries and tea before boarding
our train at Nanu-Oya. He waited on the platform with us for more than an hour when the train
was late! Then he picked us up again at Ella and brought us safely to Ella’s secret paradise.
When we arrived at Tissamaharama, he arranged for us to swim at the swimming pool of a nice
hotel without extra cost after lunch. This was our request. We had an enjoyable swim. At each
place he did his best to show us what we wanted to see, such as visiting the Tsunami Photo
Museum and Sea Turtle Hatchery. He knew we like to visit the local market, so he took us, went
along with us and did all the bargaining and talking for us when we bought our fruits.
We are very pleased with having Jinoy drive us and take care of us during this Sri Lankan trip. It
became a special special trip for us. Not only did we see the beauty of this special land, most
amazingly we got to know good local people like Neel and Jinoy and their families. We came not
knowing what to expect, we left bringing back many fond memories and precious friendship
much more than we had expected.

Peggy and Joseph Zee
(visited 22nd June-2nd July, 2017)