Living among the locals

Woman vs. Nature in rural Sri Lanka

There is plenty of wildlife in the Nile and even in the desert, where I come from. But we never see them; they’re either hiding in the sand or under the water where I never swam. The Nile Delta is also one of the earliest places on earth to be inhabited by humans so the animals ran away a long time ago.

By the time I landed on the fertile soil of rural Sri Lanka, which became a popular tourist destination just a couple of years ago, the wildest creatures I had ever come across were the white ants and the camels.

This, as you might have guessed, was not the case in the island nation, which primarily belongs to nature and wildlife. Down there, the humans are mere humble inhabitants that make way for the creatures around them to grow.

I will soon tell you about all about the wild animals that I encountered, but first I want to start with the rain. For some reason, I moved to Sri Lanka in mid July, which is the middle of the rainy season in the Deep South.

For my first few days there, the sun was shining and the weather was great. But “one day”, as Forrest Gump once noted, “it started raining and it didn’t quit for four months.”

And just like him, I lived through every kind of rain there is, including stinging rain, heavy rain, horizontal rain, and bouncing rain.

While the fireflies were charming, the frogs and the snakes that have mistaken my room for a pond time and time again were terrifying.With the rain came cooler breezes and cozy ambience that I very much enjoyed while sipping my Ceylon tea, but also it brought more mosquitos and flies and all sorts of creatures.

Rainy Season

It took me some time at the beginning to get used to get used to these new dynamics. As you can imagine, I initially overreacted, but just a little bit.

One rainy day, I reached for my cardigan and I find this little guy hanging there. As you can see, it’s a camouflage butterfly that freezes to blend in the background. Thus, shooing makes absolutely no difference.

Woman vs. Nature in rural Sri Lanka

At this point, I just didn’t know where to hide. I was constantly running away from nature, but it was too late to escape. Eventually, I had no choice but to make peace with my neighbors, including the green lizard at my doormat.

As well as the peacocks and monkeys standing outside the window.

Woman vs. Nature in rural Sri Lanka

Not to mention this little monster in the garden separating me from the hammock.

About Yasmin Helal

Having lived in the GCC, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Iraq, and Iran, Yasmin is a journalist who enjoys writing travel and culture features.

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