Break down! Car troubles in the countryside.
After teaching at the rural fishing village on a Friday afternoon, John drove Rachel and I back to Inspire Village. On our drive they were excited to show me the scenic route home. We had a grand plan to pick up some short eats (hot snack food sold at cafes and by the side of the road - usually spicy rotis, wady, and cutlets - basically all number of exciting delicious crunchy, lentil-ly or breaded goodies) and see the beautiful countryside. However, our plan was destined for failure. Not far into our scenic journey, their little car overheated so we had to pull over in a small village.
In a matter of minutes, local residents turned up to help us. After much prodding of the engine and various passers by weighing in and taking a look, we established that the water pipe had split. This meant that no water could get into the radiator. After a very confusing attempt to push the car into a convenient parking space we sat down and waited for help. Now you have to realise that this is not 'call the AA' territory. Rather, this is 'who do you know who can help' land. It wasn't long before one of their friends from Inspire Vilage appeared on his motorbike to help us. Off he went to a mechanic and returned with the necessary piece of new pipe.
During our wait I took a moment to look around at all the inquiring and helpful local visitors that we had. At one point I counted no fewer than 34 people! People driving past were even stopping to have a look at the car and to say hello. It was great to be in such a community and with people so willing to help. It turned out that fitting the pipe was actually a tricky job best suited to the morning, so after a 4 hour wait being fed tea and biscuits, we were kindly given a lift home. In the morning the car was fixed and returned to Inspire. Although being stranded in a random village in the Sri Lankan countryside was not how we'd normally opt to spend a Friday night, it was nonetheless an interesting and enlightening experience. The friendliness of people was what really stood out.