As you read this I will be on a Sri Lanka Airlines flight from London to that South Asian country for the peacebuilding NGO for whom I work. Sri Lanka is a beautiful island in many ways but has suffered from three decades of extremely violent armed conflict which resulted in tens of thousands of deaths.
As if that wasn't bad enough the Asian Tsunami of 2004 devastated the island, killed countless more and resulted in entire regions becoming homeless overnight. And at the moment, largely due to climate change that the inhabitants of the island did nothing to create, they are suffering floods which have wiped out large parts of the rice crop which means the spectre of food shortages now hangs over them again. Here's the current situation in a report from Al-Jazeera:
So, like many of the places I go to for work, it's a place that sets all of our travails into some context. Blogging here will slow down a little bit but do keep sending the stories through to firstname.lastname@example.org - it won't be the first time I post super-local stories from a very long way away indeed!