If you know me personally, you may know how important my Sri Lankan heritage is to me. In August of 2019, I had the chance to travel back to Sri Lanka. It had been about five years since my last visit and in that time, I’ve opened Empower Massage Therapy! So it was really fun to share massage therapy with friends and family in SL. Pictured above, is me working on my dear friend Manjula. Manjula is a school teacher and mother of two, so she of course deserved some bodywork! You can’t see it in this picture, but Manjula’s home overlooks the tea plantations in Hatton, Sri Lanka. The view is one of my favorite in Sri Lanka. Below is a photo of the view!
Here is the view from Manjula’s home in Hatton, Sri Lanka. The green hills are tea fields, which you can find throughout the central highlands of the island. Tea is a major export from Sri Lanka.
Manjula’s niece, Yashoda is preparing for A-Level exams, which is an exam that Sri Lankan students must take at the end of their high school career. It is infamous for being an extremely stressful exam, as it determines the student’s ability to study at a university or travel to study in a different country. Yashoda had been having migraines and difficulty sleeping in preparation for the exam, so of course I had to help her out with some bodywork!
I also visited Bloom Academy, which is an afterschool English language academy that my father started in 2018. The academy is just a few meters away from his childhood home in Blackpool, Sri Lanka
Here is a photo of my Dad’s childhood home in Blackpool, Sri Lanka.
In addition to visiting old friends and relatives, I also made some new friends! Here are two friends I made at the Kandy Central Market in the city of Kandy. This is their ayurvedic spice shop, where I purchased some oils, balms and spices.
I was also lucky enough to refresh my Kandyan dance skills with a dance master named Anura Surasena. His family has been teaching and performing traditional Kandyan dance for generations. I joined in on a class with some younger dancers in the village of Rattota, where the dance school in located.