Weeks! #29: Sri Lanka and sickness

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So on Monday morning I got on the lane I thought I was catching all along,even though I should already have been in Colombo. Oh well.

It all went smoothly and there was time for a massage and breakfast at the Qantas First Class Lounge.

2014-07-14 10.11.13And then a gin and tonic between flights in Bangkok.

2014-07-14 20.03.18The view from my hotel room was fabulous.

2014-07-15 08.27.58Although apparently I wasn’t supposed to photograph it.

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As I had to pack a three day program into two days, it was pretty busy. The main reason for my visit was to speak at a conference on vocational education and then I was fitting in a bunch of meetings when I had a free moment. I loved the campaign the Sri Lankans were developing to show people that skills study is a good option for young people.

We also got to see some spectacular dancing at the conference reception.

With me in Colombo were Melinda from one of the Industry Skills Councils, and Markeeta who was last year’s Aboriginal ad Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year. After the dinner, we went to a place they had spotted the day before (they caught the right plane) called the Ministry of Crab.

I ate the chilli crab which was delicious but hot hot hot.

2014-07-15 20.54.05-1 - CopyThe old Dutch Hospital complex where the restaurant was, was also home to a number of other restaurants and bars. We found one that served mojitos which helped to deal with the aftermath of too much chilli.2014-07-15 22.05.58-1The next day started with meetings, had conferencing interspersed with more meetings. I did have to leave the hotel for some of the meetings and got to see the sun sinking in the sky from the back of a hotel car.

2014-07-16 17.49.04 - CopyI was also pleased to fit in a quick swim – some time to float in the pool, listening to the sea and allow the stress to ebb away. At least a bit – and then the English school boy cricket team came and started doing synchronised jumps into the pool. On the upside, it was a big pool.

Free from official responsibilities, Melinda, Markeeta and I headed back to the Dutch Hospital for dinner and more mojitos.

The restaurant had super funky light-up menus.

And mojitos!

2014-07-16 22.08.20Here we are.

2014-07-16 22.01.46Then it was Thursday morning and time to fly home.

We had six hours in Bangkok. At the end of hour two, I started vomiting.  I did that regularly for the next four hours.

2014-07-17 17.18.51I can assure you that gastro and international flights are not a good mix. For the first time ever on an international flight I did not watch anything, eat anything or drink anything. I lay there and slept or tried to sleep. The Qantas staff were lovely and looked after me. I felt terrible.

Then arrived in Sydney and heard about MH17 before I was even off the plane and decided mine wasn’t the worst flight experience of the last 24 hours.

I couldn’t believe that there was a reporter waiting a international arrivals who asked me if I’d flown in from Malaysia. I couldn’t even.

Anyway, once I got back to Canberra, I spent the day in bed. I was supposed to be going to Sydney the next day to line up manage our final 5×5 game against S2D2 on Saturday, but there was no way I could stand for that long.

I did manage to sit at the football and watch Jude though.

The boys had a lego-a-thon over the weekend.

It was still very cold.

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And George was pretty relaxed.

2014-07-19 17.56.48-1By Sunday afternoon I was well enough to bake a banana cake.

2014-07-20 16.58.27-1And then, inescapably, work beckoned – I had to frock up and head to dinner at the Indian High Commissioner’s residence to welcome a delegation of Indians we were hosting for the next week. The gastro had gone at least, but a cold was emerging, but work…

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The week that was…week 24: Sri Lanka and back to derby

2013-06-10 08.44.44So when I woke up on Monday morning, this was the view from my hotel window. Hello Colombo!

As with all work trips, most of the time was spent working, but most of the photos were taken elsewhere. Here are some meeting photos just to prove I was working.

 

We spent the week in meetings with the Asia Development Bank, the Sri Lankan government and then some other aid agencies discussing the reform of the Sri Lankan vocational education sector. Very interesting and I hope the project comes off.

We did get to have a few meetings at nice lunch locations though. Colombo does have some very funky little places.

We also had an hour or so for some shopping which we did in a cool place called Barefoot.

We got taken out for some lovely dinners by Sri Lankan government folk.

And had a little bit of time to relax at the hotel and marvel at the giant sized wedding cake and enormous koi.

And on my last afternoon, I had some time to wander down the Galle Face and check out the beach.

Then it was time to fly home – catching the flight out of Colombo at 1.30am. Slept the entire way to Singapore.

Returned home on World Gin Day.

2013-06-15 17.10.07And then, after a good night’s sleep, even managed derby trainign the next day.

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