We finally made it to Sri Lanka!! We got here at 5 o’clock in the morning (7:30 p.m. Eastern time), and after a nap and a quick shower, our adventure in the “pearl of the Indian Ocean” began! We are all very tired, but our guide keeps us going. Today we took a tour of the old town, and saw the remains of Sri Lanka’s colonial past. Every building has a sort of decadent charm about it, and the guide explained that many of the areas we saw today were closed off and guarded by the military because of the Civil War that lasted until a few years ago. The echoes of the Civil War are still tangible everywhere, but it is clear that the city and its people are making an effort to go back to its ancient splendor. Later in the afternoon we participated in a cooking demonstration, and we learned how to make typical Sri Lankan dishes, such as dhal, and a number of different curries. We had fun chopping vegetables and stirring the ingredients that were sizzling in traditional clay cookware, and we later enjoyed an amazing meal in good company. We will all gain at least 5 pounds on this trip!!!