CategorySri Lanka

Sri Lanka Stories – Security

sri lanka security

–Part 2 of a series of stories from my trip to Sri Lanka, 39 years after being an AFS exchange student. Read other parts HERE.

Fresh off the boat — aircraft, that is — Sri Lanka Customs tells it like it is. All visitors are greeted with this friendly warning:

extremely dire Sri Lanka security warning, No drugs.

don’t even think about it.

Since luggage searching sure seemed to be strictly voluntary, I suspect there are a few smugglers who sneak through.

At home base in Mt. Lavinia, all I can say is I hope we don’t have to escape this house for any urgent reason. The

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for posterity – 2006 AFS family re-connection

I don’t know how long Blogspot will be around, but in 2006 I wrote of a miraculous time when, after decades, I finally met up with my Sri Lankan Sister in NYC. The site isn’t hosting all of the images anymore, but as long as I keep this site going, I’ll remember how I felt in 2006. The whole thing is copied here so I never forget.

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curried fish chowder

laurie’s curried fish chowder soup recipe

Is it a soup? Is it a chowder? It’s both!

Curried fish chowder

Curried fish chowder, or is it soup?

Although my holiday in Sri Lanka was 3 years ago, I think about it every day. I really miss the food, and frequently try to reproduce it. After I made this dish, my addictive curried fish chowder, I asked my husband if he was getting sick of having coconut milk and curry in virtually everything I make these days. Nope! What a silly question.

A few notes on the recipe:

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potato sambal – updated!

Baby Potato Sambal recipe

potato sambal/sambol

baby potato sambal |potato sambol

It was the photograph that made me save this recipe. I wonder if I can grow potatoes in my geographic area.  Baby taters are quite costy, per cubic inch. This recipe, fortunately, can be made with sliced potatoes. But…nah.

Please note that the recipe is for TWO SERVINGS. In fact, 2 quarter-pound servings. Not in this family. Also,  it assumes you have a pressure cooker. I wonder if I had one, would I use it? [2018 update: I’ve had an Instant Pot for almost a year now. watch  video HERE. I can do anything!!! ]

But anyway, boil them, let them cool, and peel them. I’m not sure I would bother peeling. I mean will bother.  [Another update: made ’em. loved ’em. didn’t even think of peeling baby potatoes, for crying out loud!]

Grinding isn’t a common American technique. I’ve tried using a mortar and pestal to grind and combine spices. It was a big failure for an impatient weakling. I ended up using our little coffee grinder, and that’s what I’ll use for this recipe. *P.S. Despite what Google says, consider a garlic pod to be one healthy clove.

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Sri Lanka Stories-Part 1

a bit about the evolving technology in Sri Lanka

Me on the beach in Maggona, Sri Lanka

Not a cell tower in sight!


In 1975 I was an AFS exchange student, one of 24 – better known as “The Fearless 24” — in the AFS Americans Abroad program. Our stay was just for the summer, which, for a small third-world Island, was actually a quite  satisfactory length of time. Being an AFS exchange student to Sri Lanka changed, or at least solidified, a huge part of who I am. It brought focus to my principles at the exact right age.

In December 2014, and dipping into the new year, I returned to the island where I reunited with friends and family to celebrate my host mother,  Yvonne Theabold’s 80th birthday. Guests came from far and wide, and for me it was a dream I never thought I would realize. I’ll be posting some stories from these incredible two weeks.

Part 1. Technology

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