In early November of this year, as my wife and I took a dawn swim at one of the loveliest beaches in the world, Unawatuna (rated the 7th most beautiful beach on Earth by Conde Nast this year!), near Galle, in Sri Lanka, we could hardly have imagined that many of the lovely people we met there would be dead less than two months later; the beautiful old hotel we stayed in, as well as Auntie Moharram’s lovely seaside restaurant (where she showed off the new bar she was planning to put in) swept away. A friend of one of my closest friends, Ramani, has had her parents, husband, and both children killed. Five percent of the population of Sri Lanka is affected (homeless, injured, dead). As it happens, my wife and I had Christmas dinner two nights ago with a high-ranking offical of the Sri Lankan government, with whom we fondly shared many memories of our time there. And then the next morning, this wave of incomprehensible destruction. And as we are all too aware, it is not just Sri Lanka. We mourn also the thousands of victims in India, Thailand, and Indonesia. The New York Times has a list of ways to help here. I will update this post as I get more information on how to help most effectively.
The first picture shows me and Auntie Moharram in her restaurant, the second is where we were staying; both no longer exist. The third is a more recent picture of the area.