not all who wander are lost.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Joe + Caroline

Joe was a serious looking man, super jacked, with lots of tattoos. To be honest, he scared me a bit. He paddled out into the lineup on his short board and then made a comment to me about having a lot of balls to have a longboard out at Rams. He was quiet, serious and didn't seem excited to have ANYONE joining him at the peak, let alone a little girl on a longboard. Then he saw me have a wave and his face lit up (though he tried to hide his delight) and he grunted a comment like "yeah, that was an alright wave"....and we've been friends ever since. Joe may look tough, and he may put it out there like he's a hardass, but inside he's just a sweet softie (but don't tell anyone that, or let Joe know that I know...!). We got to talking in the water and he said that he'd been really sick with a wicked cold for a few days. So after the surf I dropped off a healing care package of: oregano oil, colloidal silver, echinacea, vitamin c and zinc tablets, and some fresh ginger, along with instructions for how to take it. Well don't you know, he felt better after a day, and was cured after two days. As a thank you he invited me to dinner at his house, and that's when I met his "missus", Caroline- who is the sweetest, most darling, loving human being!! Of course, she is the Yin to Joes Yang, the softness to balance any of his hardness, and the Queen to his King. Dinner that night was a blast, and we've been eating dinner together nearly every night for the past two weeks. Caroline has the sweetest British accent, and a wicked sense of humor- which when combined (she says "what would happen if the whole world farted at the same time?!") is a recipe for intense laughter. Also, she's a brilliant belly dancer and teaches back home, so we have been meeting up in the afternoons, alternating between yoga with me and belly dancing via her. It's been a great way to break up the day, do some exercise and have a bit of "girl time"- because, as I'm sure you've seen from the photos, I've been surrounded by lots of men --not that I'm complaining ;)

Joe has been coming to Sri Lanka for about 25 years now, and I love to hear his stories! I am so incredibly in love with this country, so I find all of his exciting tales of how wild it was truly fascinating. Also, Joe was here for the tsunami. The building collapsed on him, he was washed to the railroad where he was tangled in debris, almost drowned and was later found unconscious. He was in the hospital here for 6 weeks before he was able to walk and move about. He surfed Rams every day for 5 weeks, no one out. He helped rebuild this town with his bare hands, and every year would come with money from the UK to distribute amongst the locals. He taught all of the local boys how to surf and (along with a few other expats) outfitted them with boards, fins and leashes. He is a beloved part of this community, with all of the locals treating him as family. He was here throughout Sri Lankas civil war, and now he's here through Sri Lankas growing popularity- as the breaks get crowded, the beaches fill up, and the prices rise. And as grumpy as he gets about this growth, I think he'll continue to come back- because just like he was willing to brave the Tamil Tigers and natural disasters, I think his love for this country runs so deep that nothing will ever turn him away.

So happy for the time that I've had with Joe and Caroline. They, too, feel like family, which is so nice to have when one is so far away.

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