The smell of salt water, sounds of soft jazz and sight of the setting sun overwhelm my senses. I’m sitting on the green of the Galle Face Hotel sipping on a cocktail made of arrack and Pimm’s, garnished with mint, lime, and cinnamon.
Today marks the completion of three months in Sri Lanka, time is going by too quickly.
I spent the night on the train from Trinco to Colombo. In the afternoon I went to the American Center for a photo exhibition to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Fulbright. A Sri Lankan who received a Fulbright to go to Berkley had his photos of dias de los muertos celebrations in San Francisco. It was fitting to view this Mexican holiday, celebrated in America, through the lens of a Sri Lankan.
Looking back, the past three months have been eventful – to say the least. I’ve experienced a lot of firsts this year, and the Fulbright is certainly changing me. It’s hard to be aware of changes as they happen, especially in terms of personal development. But after three months, looking back, I’m sure I’ve changed.
Over these three months I’ve experienced a lot of firsts:
- my first time teaching
- my first time living on my own
- my first time living in a tropical climate
- my first Christmas abroad
- my first time traveling alone
- my first bachelor party, and wedding
- my first time living in a hostel
- my first time cooking curries
- my first time in Germany, Nepal, and Sri Lanka
- my first time living abroad without an expat community
This year has been challenging, but after three months I’ve found my groove. Life is going well for me here, and I look forward to the challenges of the next six months.