Through travel, we experience the world in new ways.
The opportunity to visit a foreign place, and to be fortunate enough to connect with local people, share food with them, and hear their stories, is a true gift. Kate Coffey and I were given that gift when we recently spent time in Sri Lanka, volunteering with BIZ+, a program sponsored by Land O’Lakes, an American-based dairy cooperative, and funded by USAID.
This past November and December, Kate, who had already spent a year in the South Asian island country in 2017, made a return trip. She was welcomed back to continue her work as a business consultant, working with a variety of small and medium size enterprises who had received international aid. I jumped at the invitation to spend the month of December in the land formerly known as Ceylon, to assist with the collection of a number of human-interest stories focused on those who have directly benefited from the BIZ+ program. We both returned home from our travels impressed by the beauty of the country and the warmth and resilience of its people, who have endured so much, including the recent tragic Easter weekend attack of terrorists who claimed more than 250 lives.
On Saturday, May 18, we will present the highlights from our stay in the stunning country, located in the Indian Ocean to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal and to the southeast of the Arabian Sea. We will talk about our work in the culturally rich, politically-troubled republic that has a documented history spanning 3,000 years. And we will serve a number of delectable dishes, a sampling Sri Lankan cuisine. The event is a fundraiser for the Vanni Resource Self-Development Organization, a women’s cooperative that operates a restaurant on a main highway linking the central district of the island to the North. Tickets are $20 and available at the Gallery @ Cove Commons and online at tasteofsrilanka.brownpapertickets.com. The event is at the Library Annex at 6 p.m. Seating is limited.
Correction: the headline of this story intially said "Get a little taste of Sri Lanka Friday evening" the event is actually Saturday. The Undercurrent apologizes for the error.