|Us with our offerings at the Tooth temple- mine was huge!|
After some brief exploring (Kandy was pretty disappointing), we hopped back into the van and headed to a tea plantation, built back in the 1930s. Sri Lanka produces the world-famous Ceylon tea and we were really looking forward to seeing how it was made. Like many things in Sri Lanka, we didn't exactly get what we were hoping for but it was an experience, nevertheless. The manager give us a personal tour of the small-ish factory, which smelled like we were inside a Lipton tea bag! However, the conditions in which people were working were pretty dismal. Supposedly a recent strike increased their daily wage from $2 to $5 but the manager definitely ordered them around in a demeaning fashion. Sri Lanka is probably the only place when people's faces light up in stunning smiles when they catch you staring at them. But this was not the case here. Back in undergraduate, I signed a petition boycotted Starbucks for almost a year in hopes that they'd support Fairtrade practices. Seeing the way they treated the tea workers reminded me why. I'm glad we saw it and I'm glad they took us to a place that was off the radar of most tourists- the next day we took a potty stop at a massive tourist trap tea plantation- it would have been interesting to how our tea experience differed if we went there instead.
Our "family" at a tea plantation: Namahl, Sean, Alissa, Deb, Dawn and Me
|Our van in the ditch: Dawn calls this "type 2 fun: good story, not-so-good time"|
Happy dogs with happy elephants (post-feeding)
|Weird massages with the medicine men|
Also, my friend Martin put together an amazing HD video from Nusa Lembongan in Bali- definitely check that out too!