The day started, as I was getting used to, with a 5 hour bus ride from Kilinochchi to Mannar, via Vavunia. This time, I took a bit of a break in Vavunia to check it out. I was surprised at how developed it was, almost like Colombo! It is a metropolitan city, housing people from all over Sri Lanka. A startlingly beautiful university, a main street that rivals those in Colombo, a truly awesome place! But, I only had time for a quick sugar with tea and I was off to Mannar.
By the time I arrived, it was afternoon. I tried giving Mr. Kamal and Mr. Tomcruise a call, but both seemed busy – so I had a relaxing walk with my camera and epic lense (my 70-200 f/2.8) to the causeway to the mainland. At least, that’s where I thought I was heading. After a few K’s I realised the causeway wasn’t that far. Checked my compass on my watch and it turns out I was heading north instead of south – towards Thalaimannar. Still a beautiful walk however.
By now, it was almost 7:30 (it was a really long walk) and I was getting hungry. I ordered a buryani (a really sweet fried rice with absolutely delicious fried chicken on top). Then something awkward, as the food came, so did Mr. Tomcruise and Mr. Kamal. So, I hopped on the back of Mr. Tomcruise’s scooter (I know, manly, eh?) and we scooted off to Choice hotel.
I whipped open my buryani (it was OK, I had ordered take-away from Choice Hotel anyway) and the boys ordered chicken noodles. We cracked open some ginger beers, and got to chatting about their nascent businesses. I tried to instil in them some of the ideas of social businesses – of capital rather than donations; of cross-subsidization to cut costs; etc. and tried to give them a few ideas about side-businesses that could run — outsourced photo editing, souvenir calendars for the annual (10,000 person strong) pilgrimage to the local church and more. They seemed keen on becoming tour-guides, and I can only recommend them – great English, great knowledge of the area and a sense of fun that comes from their youth.
After dinner, I showed them the minimum photo editing they would need to be outsourced image-editors (cropping using the rule of thirds, correcting curves, getting rid of highlights, etc.) and we swapped some music: Tamil classical music and pop for the Knife and the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. I wonder what they will think!
*Photos to come*