Thursday, May 29, 2008

the pond in front of the lodge from where we caught our fish

our cooking arrangements a glimpse of photos

Spot the fire with three dishes on the go at the same time!!!

a new glimpse of Ratmale

It has been just over a year since I last stayed here, as I have been busy with my planting in Hingurakgoda, and therefore while always visiting this place never stayed the night. I still have a kitchen to build and sort out the water tank and a few other areas before this becomes the livable lodge lovable lodge it is planned to be. I spent the 10 days over Vesak holidays in Polonnaruwa, first to oversee the sowing of my paddy fields before the Vesak Poya (see I then moved over to Ratmale 15 km from the agricultural site to Kumbuk Pokuna to ascertain what is required and plan to finish the rest of the work as soon as possible.

Needless to say the man I am relying on to get the work started does not see the urgency, and have to subtlely get him moving to get the work done, and my presence at the place would I hope get him to be a little more serious.

I had Gamini and Sagara join me. We really lived off the land. We first had to clear the place, cut the underbrush, sweep the area, clean the pond, bring some order and clean and mop the place that had gathered dust.

Most of the fish we ate as well as the 4 large lullas were caught in the pond in front of the lodge as the photos will attest to the size of the fish and we ate some fried and dried some in the sun to eat later in the week as waw karavala. The kitchen is yet to be built and accordingly we cooked by the side of the pond as seen in the photos, and in front of the house to minimize the area we have to take care of from predators while the food is cooking.

The people in the village descend here in the evenings to have their bath, but at nightfall it is deserted as everyone heads home before dark to avoid confronting an elephant. We are therefore really left with the feeling we are in the middle of the jungle and the elephants, who have better sight at night than humans are watching us from their vantage, while we scurry around to catch bait in the canal for fishing the big fish in the main pond.

We even invited some friends in the village one night for dinner cooked in the outside fires, as we promised them safe passage in the cab to their homes due to the fear of elephants in the dark.

I even slept in the 7ft bed for the first time in the verandah to experience what it would be like with mosquitoes, stars and wind and slept soundly!