Upon arrival they had to do a health check using a thermal imaging camera. Then, they only had 4 customs officials for our entire flight. We met a nice family who are going to be volunteering in an orphange for a few weeks and then travelling to India.
When we finally made it through Customs, Joseph, our staff person from Relief International, when straight to the duty free on our way out (just like in Tel Aviv) and bought lots of alcohol.
Walking outside, we were hit with a wave of humdity, something like New Orleans in the summertime. We met our 2 guides at the airport, Rhaji and Shini and then drove about an hour until we reached the airport. We're staying at the Ceylon Continental Hotel. As my guide book said, 'it;s a 5-star workaday hotel that has the nicest staff.' The district we are in is in the High Security zone, with more checkpoints than i ever saw in Jerusalem. It's directly on the water, across the street from the World Trade Center Toers (2 of them) and right on the Indian Ocean.
After about 3 hours of sleep, we ate a delicious breakfast filled with rice and curry and headed out into town.
Now, back at the hotel, we almost got arrested on a Bajaj by accidentally filming the Presidents residence.
Overall, amazing so far. Completey humid, but very interesting to see politially. It's been an exciting beginning to what will likely be an unbelievable 3 weeks. I'll be posting photos and links to some of the sites we'll be seeing later on.
This just being the beginning, there will be a lot more about politics and culture as we continue on.