Welcome to Sri Lanka

These young dudes welcomed us to Sri Lanka today.

It’s been a long day of travel. I left Minneapolis just after mid-day on Thursday, and arrived at my destination on the west coast of Sri Lanka at the equivalent of 2am on Saturday in Minneapolis (11am here in Sri Lanka). The boys in the photo above gave us a nice welcome during our 2-hour van ride, but that was merely the final leg of a long journey.

From MSP, I flew to JFK, where I met the other members of the World Vision Bloggers Tour. They are, as you might guess, a wonderful and diverse group of people. We’ve already had some great conversations, about which I will post in coming days. From there we flew for 12+ hours in an A380, the largest airplane currently flying. We arrived in Dubai in time to hear the call to evening prayers as we waited in the line in passport control.

We taxied into the “Old Town” district of Dubai, the name of which our cabbie mocked, for he said that just 5 years ago it was a military training field. Now it’s home to the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Even at 10pm, the walkways around the building and accompanying mall were jammed with thousands of people.

We ate dinner at a pizza place — all of Dubai is covered with Western chains of food and clothing. But what was impressive was the Dubai Fountain, which has a choreographed show every 30 minutes in the evenings.

Back at the Dubai Airport, we boarded a plane to Columbo, Sri Lanka, where we were greeted by World Vision staff, whisked to a van, and taken to our hotel on the coast, about 60 miles north of Columbo.

As I write this, I am both trying to stay awake until evening, so that I can sleep through the night, and enjoying the scene that’s taking place on the porch of my room, where the beautiful couple below is having their wedding photos taken.

As I’ve talked to my fellow bloggers on this trip, we do have one fear: that during this week of writing about what ails Sri Lanka and what World Vision is doing to counteract that, our traffic will slide. Without posts about John Piper or Chik-fil-A, readers might become uninterested.

I hope that won’t be the case here. You have my commitment that, in addition to a travelogue, I will post substantive and theological reflections, in keeping with my usual themes. I hope I can have a commitment from you that you’ll keep reading.

I’d love for you to follow us on the trip and consider sponsoring a child as well.

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  • Have a great time Tony and thank you for partnering with an organization like World Vision. I look forward to keeping up with your experiences and reflections.

  • Tony, I’m very glad to hear you and your team got to your destination safely.

    I’m a daily visitor, so speaking for myself I’ll continue to read your posts.

    I look forward to what you’ll be sharing during your time in Sri Lanka. You’re now part of an emerging parable in your visit there. It will no doubt inspire, enrich, and teach you. And perhaps even change you. And as you share your moments there with us, I’m confident it will inspire, enrich, and teach us as well.

  • Keith Rowley

    Mutual commitments between writers and readers, thats an interesting idea. It implies we are actually in some form of relationship that goes two ways. I never really thought that much about this difference between blogging and traditional media.

  • Well, for at least this one person, I will be relieved and grateful to read something other than commentary on stupidity and narrowness in the public arena. Need me some back-behind encouragement – so testimony that the gospel continues to bring life and hope instead of negativity and back-biting. Glad you’ll be one of those voices, Tony.

  • I’m in!

  • I do love your subtle sense of humor. This trip to Sri Lanka has increased my interest in you, not diminished it.

  • LP

    I’m more interested in Sri Lanka than commentary on what some nutty on either side says about a tropical storm or hurricane messing with the Republican Convention…

  • I care about this trip you’re taking, and reading what you have to say about it. Could you bring me back a picture of a sri lankan frog? Thanks! 🙂

  • KT

    I will be following your trip and enjoying your perspective. Thanks for doing this – for the children of Sri Lanka and for those of us back home who need to hear their stories.

  • Tim

    I too, have been looking forward to reading your perspectives on this trip. Glad you’re doing this.

  • Hey Tony,

    Looking forward to hearing more about your trip to Sri Lanka!