Continuation at Chronolgy - 3
Sunday, 19. Juni 2016 - 10. Newsletter 2016 from Carla’s Heritage Health Center
Once again a Newsletter - this time from Sri Lanka. I arrived here on June 15th and Asanka und Kalinga picked me up at the airport. We have planned to do several things this time regarding clearing a few things up and doing some more planning.
Anoja is still in Dubai and Asanka misses her very much and skypes with her at all day and night times. But as soon as things are really moving in Kalpitiya she will join us.
Of course Nilmelli und Sumith greeted me heartily and Nimelli spoils me every day with fresh fruits - here Papaya and Banana.
On the Friday after I arrived I was already invited to a childs birthday party at a relations place. The same as it is everywhere around the world such events are elaborate. There were around 30 adults and 20 children there!
On Thursday Asanka, Kalinga and I went to check the possibilities and costs of an emergency generator. Here in Sri Lanka power failures are not unknown and mostly without warning. And they can last for up to 5 hours. With all the equipment we have - especially the air conditioners - we would need a fairly large generator. Even second hand generators of that size (picture on the left) are still very expensive. If one considers that the temperatures during the day are around 30°C but the nights are normally cooler and one can easily do without an AC. It's healthier anyway! And most of the power failures are during the day. So we have changed the plans and will only be getting a 12V emergency generator (picture on the right) and install emergency lighting. This will only cost a fiftieth. The only doubts at the beginning concerned the refrigerators and the deepfreezers - the latter I will be bringing from Switzerland. But modern cooling systems are so well isolated that nothing will suffer if there is a power failure of around 4-5 hours and the cool inside will be sufficient. Nothing will suffer.
Before we looked at the generators we went to a garden center. We have to do some planning and budgeting for the landscaping as well. There is a tremendous selection of trees, bushes and plants:
The following reminded me of the time Carla and I spent in Pirenopolis in Brazil in 2010 with such a wonderful garden at the hotel with such lovely tropical flowers:
That is the way we want it too!
We gathered a lot of ideas and can now calculate the rough costs. We complimented our impressions and plans yesterday with a visit to the pubic town park here in Negombo:
The next newsletter will probably also come from Sri Lanka. I fly back on the 28th!
Until then best regards from
David with Asanka, Anoja, Kalinga and all the others as well
Saturday, 28th. May 2016 - 8th Newsletter 2016 from Carla’s Heritage Health Center
Another newsletter - once again from Switzerland. This time we have a lot of news.
My trip back on May 10th went smoothly once again but I had to re-adjust to the cold!
What I to be silent about until now, was that Asanka has fallen in love and wants to marry. I had to conceal this because his loved one Anoja could only now get separated them her (still) husband. He knows her well since his own time in Dubai and I met her in December 2014 for the first time.
Now I have met again and got to know her better on my last visit in Sri Lanka, as she had her vacation and was at home with her parents. The house of friends in the jungle in the last newsletter, where it was raining so much, is the home of her parents and the friends we stayed with near Dambullah were her sister and brother in law! We were all together in Dambullah:
However briefly after my departure Anoja had to go back to her job in Dubai, but will now be in a private room and move out from her (still) husbands place. She is planning to remain about two months there, until she goes back to Sri Lanka and Asanka!
Anoja working for several years in the ***** Fairmount Hotel in Dubai in the spa area. She also has training in manicures, pedicures, facials and massage and will be a great addition to the team. She has also worked as a maid at a European family and can cook, clean, wash, iron etc. Really a good thing for us!
The integration possibilities of Anoja in the therapy offers have motivated me to rethink and define our therapies in Kalpitiya, at the same time integrating Anoja with an additional supplementary offer and now to place it all on the homepage - http://www.chhc-sl.com/Our_Therapyrange/Theragem/theragem.html and others and the one with Anoja http://www.chhc-sl.com/Our_Therapyrange/Wellness/wellness.html.
Unfortunately, however, everything on the building site is currently shut down. We had short term problems with the authorities, but they are solved now. Normally with a water tank construction - and only this we have begun - one does not need building permission. However a normal water tank structure consists of a scaffold and on top of it the tank. However with us it is not a normal water tank construction, but a real building, because under the water tank there is a two story building with two rooms. Since we do not know exactly when we can start with the other structures - it depends on the property being sold here in Switzerland - and a building permit is also limited in validity time, we have to accept this pause. We want to avoid the cost of a second building permit application and the water tank construction would be finished quickly.
Some friends have told me that recently an interesting film on Sri Lanka was broadcasted on German television (ARD). I also missed it, but you can retrieve it from the archive and look at it, if you want to - http://www.ardmediathek.de/tv/L%C3%A4nder-Menschen-Abenteuer/Sri-Lanka-Die-leuchtende-Insel/NDR-ernsehen/Video?bcastId=14464364&documentId=35001232 .The film is in German but the pictures are worth looking at and everything is more or less self explanatory.
At the moment we can only plan - and there is still a lot to do in this respect. We already have the quotations for the solar warm water system - two 450 Liter tanks for the guesthouse and one 225 Liter tank for the main house. We will also soon have the quotation for the boundary wall at the front by the road - a lovely wall construction with wrought iron gates and grids which Kalinga and I designed together.
Under "Spiritual Healing" at the Therapy Offers on the homepage I have quoted Augustinus Aurelius, bishop of Hippo, philosopher, church father and saint (354 430). But he also said "Remember: A part of the road is behind you, another piece you have ahead of you. If you rest, then only in order to strengthen yourself, but not to give up." That's the way it is!
The next newsletter is sure to come from Sri Lanka. I fly to Colombo on June 14th!
Until then, best wishes from
David with Asanka, Anoja, Kalinga and everyone else
Monday, 9th May 2016 - 8th Newsletter 2016 from Carla’s Heritage Health Center
Just before my return to Switzerland. Departure tomorrow Tuesday 3:25 from Colombo via Doha to Zurich.
Some more pictures from Negombo where we have spent most of the time now. Nilmelli grates coconut, the Virgin Mary is on visit, even more fruit from their and neighbors garden - a kind of vegetables (very suitable for pickle, chutney), cranberries, two kinds of Jack Fruit:
On Saturday we went to Dambullah. There are the cave temples. The temples are under the name of "Golden Temple of Dambulla" since 1991 World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is really worth visiting even if you have to "climb" quite a way. More also under https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dambulla. Here are a few visual impressions:
We stayed close by with friends of Asanka and were treated like royalty. This meant that it was quite late and we finally decided to postpone the planned visit of the Lion Rock in Sigiriya and drove directly to Kalpitiya. The water tank construction is continuing to take shape and a part of of the fence shows how it should look after completion. Unfortunately, "our" bananas (we have a bush near the well) is not yet ripe. I would gladly have taken some with me to Switzerland!
The next newsletter will be coming from Switzerland.
Until then, best wishes from
David with Asanka and Kalinga and everyone else
Wednesday, 4th May 2016 - 7th Newsletter 2016 from Carla’s Heritage Health Center
The first week of this trip was quite stressful. I arrived on Wednesday and was greeted by "my family" here very warmly.
In Nilmelli and Sumiths garden flowers are blooming and everything sprouting - it rains at least briefly each day - and there are many flowers and fruits. Here are some pictures, among them of apple mangoes (they taste like apples) and cashew fruits:
On Friday morning we went to Kalpitiya. Now the plot now looks rather bare but we have ideas how we could replant it new and everything grows here very quickly. Our king coconut tree with rare divided branches is still standing and other beautiful palm trees as well. The fence is done and looks good. The water tank construction has already begun. The foundation is now ready and the cement pillars in the corners prepared. Next week, the cement floor will be already poured for the room on the first floor - restroom for security. Here also some pictures (in one picture is Kalinga to be seen with our neighbor Sunhar):
Last Friday evening I heard from the Land Registry Office in Switzerland that a certain person had refused - despite a written request (which she had demanded) and two phone calls - to send them a copy of her passport as required. Then the stress started again! As the executor of Carla's will LRR regarded his task as fulfilled, I had to take control of things myself. Thank God there are still relatives who help me and finally the aforementioned copy arrived at the Land Registry Office on Tuesday. Many thanks to all who helped! You can imagine my relief, as the Land Registry Office would have questioned the validity of all documents without that copy. Then we could have started all over again. All this has taken longer than necessary anyway and could have been settled one and a half years ago.
A small distraction from the stress was that Sumith on Sunday went to a party and afterwards took a few cousins and acquaintances back home to continue celebrating. And if they have party here they really celebrate!
We have also visited friends of Asanka who live in the jungle. And there was a thunderstorm! But when it rains here, it really does!
When we yesterday received the good news regarding the land registry, we found it appropriate to celebrate - I, Asanka, Kalinga and Sumith:
Today We have received further good news. When Indika had to resign, he had in this regard to sign several papers which I had prepared. But these are however not enough for the new registration and he had to sign another form. This he signed finally after a long back and forth at the beginning of March. But the papers were dated the end of 2015 and therefore, in order to submit, no longer valid. Our lawyer Shantha Niriella today morning gave us notice that Indika has now signed the new one. Now only we have to sign and then the re-registration can be completed.
Now we have taken and completed two big hurdles and it can go on further!
If I find the time, there will be another newsletter from Sri Lanka.
Until then, best wishes from
David with Asanka and Kalinga
Monday, 25th April 2016 - 6th Newsletter 2016 from Carla’s Heritage Health Center
At last a further newsletter - as I foresaw this time from Switzerland. It took a little longer, but I was very busy. But this time we really have a lot of news.
The last few days in Sri Lanka in March we were very busy. The last Sunday was pure stress! In the morning we went early to Colombo. I wanted to be on the safe side early enough and ask what documents I would have to provide to apply for a residence permit. At the Ministry of Immigration and Emigration, it was like at a bazaar! So many people! Anyhow, we fought our way to the third floor, where the immigration offices were. It was stifling hot and the elevator was turned off. Later I knew why - it was namely a power cut, with which they had also obviously reckoned.
But we "by chance" (there is no such thing as chance really, it just comes the way it must) met the right man and he willingly gave us answers to all our questions. It is now clear what documents I have to supply and everything else I have to do. His answer to our final question how long it would take, was, usually two weeks with luck only a week but if we applied directly to him (!) we would get it even on the same day. That is the way it works in Sri Lanka!
On Sunday evening we were invited by Kalinga to his parents home. There was one of my favorite whiskies Famous Grouse as an aperitif with various appetizers. I thought that was already the dinner because it was so filling, but after that there were other delicacies. It was a nice evening! The only thing was that there was a power failure before 5 o'clock in the afternoon in the whole district (this happens often in the larger cities in Sri Lanka), which lasted until the evening at 10 pm! Anyway, in Kalpitiya the purchase of an emergency generator is planned. But that decision was made before this happened.
On the last day I had some errands to do (especially buying fruits to take home!) and when we came home, a large bag was at the front door. Nilmelli had harvested cotton. From this cushions will be made!
Later I sat outside to get a little realxation, because I knew I had to start the exhausting journey home the next morning very early. I often sat outside but it was only this time that I really noticed something: The Bird Orchestra! Crazy! Singing and chirping like a concert. I later asked Asanka if he knew that he lived in paradise! He hat never noticed it. It was natural for him, nothing unusual! I was fascinated and recorded it for a few minutes. An example can be found at http://www.chhc-sl.com/Kontakt-Formular/kontakt-formular.php.
In the evening we made it cozy for all of us and Nilmelli made special Prawns and fish for me. Below, myself with Sumith and Asanka:
Shortly after midnight, we drove to the airport. Nilmelli and Sumith had stayed up so they could say goodbye to me. They are affectionate, warm, hospitable people and I'm looking forward to see them again. Hiruschka insisted on accompaning us to the airport. A very nice boy! Group photo at the airport:
There was a funny incident at the airport! When one enters the airport building, there is already the first security check. (Unlike Brussels as we unfortunately know!) When I went through the alarm rang. I was not really prepared for it and had forgotten my mobile phone, which was still in my trouser pocket. The rather tall male security officer wanted to check me and frisk me, but hesitated. Then he asked me, "Are you a boy or a girl?". I replied, "Do I look like a woman?". He: "It's just the earrings!" I really had to laugh! There are also in Sri Lanka men who wear earrings but it is not as common as with us and then especially in the big cities.
Asanka has been busy! We had already discussed with some Kalinga among other things that we wanted to have something which is common today in a lot of hotels. Electricity is namely also in Sri Lanka a cost point! We want to avoid that guests leave their room and leave everything turned on. One socket will still have power, if someone wants to charge a device or would like to leave their laptop turned on. But all other "energy guzzlers" (incl. Air conditioning) will be turned off when no one is in the room. I had already photographed such a switch at Hotel J in Negombo in order to show it to Kalinga
and Asanka has found a further one:
This gives me another idea. Behind the key (in both places) one can see scratches on the wall. Not nice! In Hotel J it had been repeatedly repainted. I must tell Kalinga that he must mount a small plexiglass plate between the wall and the switch.
Asanka has also ordered all construction materials for the fence and organized concrete poles, cement, other small materials and barbed wire.
The posts (like this one) have now been made and are ready and can be delivered to the site. On the right side of the plot (seen from the lagoon) there is already a fence and now we are making a fence at the back and on the left side. Later, a wall will be made at the front by the road. Barbed wire is unfortunately necessary, especially narrow rows at the bottom because of animals - as seen here - but we will try to keep everything looking as "soft" as possible - even if it is barbed wire. The gray concrete posts will be painted white and later braided palm leaves will decorate the inside of the fence. It will be necessary to replace them about every two years, but there are enough palm leaves and reasonable priced labor as well.
Kalinga and Asanka were already in Kalpitiya and made preparations. The foreman has again measured everything. They also met up with the former land owner Sunhar who has now built a small house for himself on the adjacent plot behind us which he proudly showed me the last time I was there and saw him. When be built he purchased a device in order to produce the necessary cement bricks himself. He had already told me that he had interest to produce the cement bricks for us and to deliver to us. I referred him to Kalinga and now they reached an agreement. Kalinga says the quality is very good. He will at least for now deliver the cement bricks for the construction of the water tank. Then we'll see. Also Kalinga has agreed with him that he can quarter his workers in the house against a fee because Sunhar himself has not yet moved in. Yet another problem that has been solved almost by itself! Everyone is so helpful!
Last Monday they started! Unfortunately, almost all Coconut palm trees have to be removed. Some of them are very old, some sick. But we can plant new ones afterwards. In the climatic conditions in Sri Lanka they grow very quickly. But we also want to be on the safe side. One must realize that there are annually some serious injuries and even deaths caused by falling coconuts. (More under http://www.welt.de/print-welt/article397374/Herabfallende-Kokosnuesse-sind-gefaehrlicher-als-Haifische.html.) On the website of DiePresse.com one can read under "The ten most dangerous nature killers": "Insects are responsible for the most fatalities, but in many countries they are considered a delicacy The hippo is more dangerous than the great white shark, the coconut holds seventh place."
The fence will now be built and the excavation started. Then comes the water tank construction! Here are a few visual impressions which Asanka just sent me:
And now a piece of very good news at the end of this newsletter. My stepdaughter has finally signed the papers for the land registration office here in Switzerland! They were delivered to me just a few hours before my departure and I have already forwarded them to the local office. Now nothing stands in the way against the sale of the property here. I can only hope that it will now go rapidly and that I will get the proceeds which I am hoping for. Then finally we can move forward!
Tomorrow Tuesday I am again travelling again to Sri Lanka and will stay until May 9. I'm curious how it now looks in Kalpitiya! Funnily enough it has turned out that my grandson Manuel, who soon takes a post in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia but first visits his girlfriend in the Philippines, flies the first part of his journey at the same time and with the same airline as I. So we fly from Zurich to Doha together, he then flies on to Manila, I to Colombo.
The next newsletter is sure to come from Sri Lanka.
Until then, best wishes from
David with Asanka and Kalinga and all others as well