Yesterday I ended up having a long leisurely breakfast and chat with some of the other guests here, which was particularly nice because one of them, Grace, is an American (from New Mexico) doing relief work. She's just out of college and starting an MFA in fiction in the fall, so we had plenty to talk about with writing. But I'm very interested in the work she's doing helping to get a convent school (and the neighboring public school) back up on its feet. Also helping out others in the neighborhood, channelling donations to do things like buy a replacement sewing machine so a seamstress can start her business up again, or buy a load of vegetables so that a vegetable-seller has capital to start his business up again. She's also helping to run a $30/month sponsor system for children who lost one or both parents in the tsunami, which buys basic toiletries, food (lentils and rice and milk powder, essentially), school books, that kind of thing. Grace has kindly offered to take me down to Hikkaduwa and Galle, two of the badly hit areas, this weekend -- I haven't seen any real effects of the tsunami where I've been, so this is invaluable. And on Monday morning, I'll go to work with her and get a sense of her school and the situation there. I'm hoping I can direct some more support her way.
Afternoon, worked in Barista, got some good writing done in air-conditioned comfort. Swung by Suchetha's office briefly to download some files I needed, and then changed for dinner with my relatives. My aunt is visiting Sri Lanka for a few days, so we had hoppers at the Swimming Club with my uncle and aunt by marriage and their three kids. Yummy food, I ate too much of it, but my digestive system appears to be back up to speed. This morning, breakfast and then a last bit of shopping with the aunties; the girls tell me they know where I can get nice embroidered tops to wear with jeans, which I have been wanting badly for some time, and so far not been able to find. Wish me luck! :-)