A few months ago, I announced that Rob and I were taking the big step and Moving to Asia. We were incredibly excited. It was so perfect – like all our dreams were coming true. But then Rob’s job offer from Michael Arnstein fell through after only 2 months. It breaks my heart to say this, but we are leaving Sri Lanka. In fact, we’ve already eaten our last Sri Lankan durian and gone. You’ll never guess where!
I believe that passion, curiosity, and the willingness to take risks and try new things can and should play a large role in making life decisions. That’s why Rob and I make a habit of going out on crazy limbs, whether we’re going to inland Indonesian Borneo looking for a particular durian species or attempting to live in Southeast Asia.
In April, Rob and I went out on another limb. Rob was hired to help with the development of several fruit orchards and fruit related projects in Sri Lanka. Some were for commercial profit, others designed to lay the ground work for a little ex-pat tropical fruitopia.
Alas, all the best intentions couldn’t hold up to this year’s monsoon. The driving rains and wind washed out the roads to the land, put all work to a stop, drowned the majority of the durian seedlings, and destroyed the buildings. According to Aljazeera, over 2,100 buildings were damaged in the worst storm alone. Worse, more than 50 people have been reported dead while another 30 are missing. That seems bad to us, but if you’ve paid attention to the news, the monsoon was even tougher on people in other places. Some sources are quoting the death toll in Northern India as being over 10,000.
|We stopped for our last durian at a small stand on the road to Colombo|
After that piece of news, simply being out of a job suddenly doesn’t sound all that bad. But it is a major bummer for us. After only two months on the job, Rob is suddenly out of work and we are scrambling to come up with other ideas. If you’ve noticed a few gaps between posts, this is why.
We would stay in Sri Lanka for awhile, but it’s simply not a viable option for us right now. We need an income, and at least right now there are no other agriculture or fruit related jobs available to foreigners. For now, unless we come up with a better idea, it looks like we’ll be heading back to the USA.
|Goodbyes have never been so sweet|
Since I’ve gotten a number of emails asking for advice on visiting/living in Sri Lanka, in the next week or so I’ll post our thoughts on the pros and cons of living in what is a beautiful but rough-around-the-edges country.
Whatever we end up doing, we’re definitely not finished trying new things. I’ve got just a few weeks left in Asia before I head back to the USA for the Woodstock Fruit Festival, so we jetted out of Sri Lanka. It’s a last minute decision to visit somewhere new and explore a new fruit with a following just as devoted as the durian’s. A bit rash, maybe, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from traveling it’s that opportunities rarely come around twice.
We’re not thrilled (yet!) with the whole turn of events, but we believe that everything
happens for a reason. When one door closes another one opens, right? Or maybe another fruit ripens!