Home, very Sweet Home

I live on a small island in the Salish Sea off the west coast of Canada.  It’s small, it’s semi-rural, you pretty much know everyone.  Or at least know of them.  I’m surrounded by ocean and forests galore. I’ve lived there for close to 20 years, choosing nature over the cement of the city.

Working in Sri Lanka in 2016/2017, I ended up being based in Colombo the capital of Sri Lanka.  A cosmopolitan city where coffee is $5 and yoga classes are $20.  There’s traffic to beat the band – a heck of a lot of it!  And the usual stinky smells of a large metropolitan city in tropical climes.  It was not my favourite place and I much preferred heading north and east to the businesses I would work with, surrounded by the sea or by paddy fields and the jungle.

This time round I had a little more sense.  I asked (begged!) to be based outside of Colombo and to have a little place with a kitchen where I could cook my own food and be self-sufficient.  Voila …. I’m living in Matara with the Indian Ocean right on my doorstep.

This is no trial let me tell ya!  Yes it has no A/C which is a tad challenging when the humidity hits 85%+, but with those sea breezes and a little fan going, all is good.

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It’s even better when the local fisherman offers you a massive lobster and you have to turn it down as you don’t have a pot large enough to cook it in.  Instead you grab some local prawns and toss them in a little oil with a thai slaw salad for dinner.

And for dessert some fresh papaya from the back yard of one of the business owners I met yesterday.

Two out of the three businesses I worked with yesterday all offered coconut water direct from the king coconut itself … such a thirst quencher.

I’m in foodie heaven here.

About Kate Coffey

After 30 or so years in the investment management industry, 2013 saw me turn my life up-side-down, making my way first to Nepal, then Bangladesh during that first ‘year away’. The year took me on a journey I did not expect, had me fall in love with Nepal and its people, and become inspired at the work of Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC) located in Bhainsepati - 2 hours east of Kathmandu in the Saanga foothills. Since 2014, I have returned to SIRC numerous times, working closely with the folks there in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes. In the past two years, my work in Nepal has expanded to the Bo M. Karlsson Foundation www.bomkarlsson.com and the Spinal Cord Injured Network Nepal. In Bangladesh I marvelled at the strength and resilience of marginalized women who have the courage and audacity to break the rules and make a better life for themselves and their children through microfinance programs with BRAC. 2016-2017 saw me embark on a totally new experience in Sri Lanka, a place I never would have chosen to end up in. It’s the 40C+ heat, big humidity and tropical snakes & animals that scared me! But I ended up love love loving! my time there, working with predominantly Tamil small business owners in remote villages in the north and east of the country, trying their best to recover their businesses and the lives of their employees, after decades of a civil war. My time in Sri Lanka made me realize my hard-earned business skills and experience can really be put to good use! The work the BIZ+ team and I did there ended up earning me International Volunteer of the Year Award in December 2017, presented on Capitol Hill, Washington DC no less. I am currently home on Bowen Island, in the west coast of Canada, shoring up my finances before I head off to who knows where, for my next expert volunteer assignment. This blog initially started out as a travelogue of sorts to keep friends and family worldwide updated while I was off on my travels in 2013-2014. Since then it has morphed into a life story of the many places I have lived and worked and of the wonderful people I have met along the way. I hope you enjoy.
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3 Responses to Home, very Sweet Home

  1. Bill G says:

    Hi, Kate:

    Sounds and looks idyllic!

    Take good care.


    On Sat, Nov 17, 2018, 3:21 AM Bowen to Bangladesh Kate Coffey posted: “I live on a small island in the Salish Sea of the > west coast of Canada. It’s small, it’s semi-rural, you pretty much know > everyone, or at least know of them. I’m surrounded by ocean and forests > galore. I’ve lived there for close to 20 years, choosing na” >

  2. LoadsofBirdies&Pars says:

    Place looks fantastic Kate. It’s safe there too I assume?

    • Kate Coffey says:

      It is. There’s no protests, marches or anything, only really in Colombo and at that only in Batteramulla which is home to the parliament. The closest thing likely to attack me is the monitor lizards! !

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