Sharing a beautiful moment with a stranger in Sri Lanka

When visiting Sri Lanka recently, I went to my favourite place to see the Elephants roaming around in the wilderness at Pinnawala.
Last time I was there in April, I had lunch with my driver at a little restaurant and was so surprised and delighted when the herd of elephants came charging down the street to take their bath in the river.
I had lunch at this restaurant and had a very sweet old man as a waiter. My dad had seen my photos of elephants going down the street whilst I was eating lunch and looking over the balcony to them charging below. He wanted the same experience so we visited this restaurant in the main street of Pinnawala which leads to the river, and yes where all the tourists go.
We again had this same little old man. So sweet, so mild in manner and most accomodating. Our meal wasn’t as good as last time, but he was very helpful. After we received the bill, I spoke to the old man about my last visit and said I’d seen him then. He said thank you and told us a little bit about how he had come to work there- how he travels 2 hours to get there from his home. There is no work where he lives, he’s in his 60’s, he needs work. He has to live there for a month and then visit home. He very humbly and matter of factly told us this story. He then nodded and smiled and went off about his business.
I had no money on me but asked dad for 500 Sri Lankan rupees straight away. I said I would pay it out of my own pocket later. This is the equivalent of $A5 or $US5. About the same cost as our entire meal.
We walked down and I walked straight up to the man and held his hand and placed it in his hand (I didn’t want his employer to see in case they took it.) I said “Sir, this is for you. Thank you.”
What a beautiful man – his sweet nature and smile had melted my heart. It wasn’t a lot for me to give, but I hope it helped him a little. He was so humble and kind – he expected nothing, this is why I gave it to him.
On our way back from viewing the elephants again, I came back and asked the man who was now standing on the street for a photo. Look at his beautiful smile! 

Random acts of kindness

Thank you sir! You made this a wonderful experience.
If you are ever in Pinnawala, visit this Hotel Elephant View Restaurant & Bar in the high street. 

The beautiful elephants of Sri Lanka

There are 100 posts I could write on these beautiful creatures and my wonderful visits this year, however I just wanted to share some photos quickly.

Elephant Orphanage

This year I was lick to visit Sri Lanka and the Elephant Orphange not once, but twice in a space of 2 months. This is something I’d been waiting 12 years to do! My father visited in 2002 and how amazing that for both of our second visits, we were united there!


We drove 2.5 hours from Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, to Pinnawala, the home of these gorgeous creatures. There are still wild elephants in National Parks in Sri Lanka however this is a famous place for protecting and educating people about the amazing creatures.


We first visited the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage which has more than 80 elephants. Here is the place where you can feed them fruit, give the babies milk and walk down to the river after them to see them bathe for 2 hours twice daily. We went twice in the one day to do this and thoroughly enjoyed just watching the herd of elephants paddle in the stream and enjoy this gorgeous environment.


The other incredible place, just 5 minutes down the road, is the Millenium Elephant Foundation. I was so happy to visit this wonderful organisation as I had seen some Elephants who appeared to be privately owned nearer the river going for rides and I didn’t like the way they were treated.


This is an educational facility for teaching people about the elephants, bringing in sick elephants, and helping those in the wild that they find who need care.

With Kapela, the wonderful guide there who helped me on both my visitors. Stuhti!

With Kapela, the wonderful guide there who helped me on both my visitors. Stuhti!

We got to ride the elephant bare back (Howdah’s are not accepted here as they can hurt the elephants greatly). We then walked into the river and shared a lovely bath with this beautiful animal.



Spending a whole day in this area is a minimum and if you have the time, stay over night and enjoy the beautiful rainforest surrounds.


Expect more posts on this as I plan to share more photos and videos of these wonderful creatures!

Please visit the and give generously to support the work they do. If you have a spare week or two, why not volunteer here!

Feeding the baby elephants

Feeding the baby elephants


Photos all from visit 2, June 6th 2013

(More photos to come from Visit 1 in April 2013)

Just taking my Porcupine for a walk

I’ve never seen a Porcupine in my life.

I’ve certainly never seen one crossing the road.

Nor would I expect to see one on a leash crossing the ROAD!

But low and behold…… here they are, 2 little funny porcupines on a lead being walked across the street by this woman.

I was in hysterics!

porcupines sri lanka

“Touch it madam” She says

“Oh no thank you, that’s ok” I politely reply.


“Madam it ok! Touch it!” She insists

“EMMA!!! Do not touch those things!” My dad screams from the back seat of the car.


I take photos of the hilarious little(well huge rather) things as she tries to get them into place for me and they shoot their spikes off their back.


I’m pretty sure – this is one of the craziest things I’ve seen in a while on my travels! Great laughs!