Fulbright to Sri Lanka Update

Wednesday, 20 January 2016
My appointment to Pakistan didn't pan out (it apparently can take years to get clearance from the Pakistani government to enter the country) so the Fulbright folks asked if I'd like to go to Sri Lanka instead. Absolutely. What an opportunity, right?!

(Map from travel.nationalgeographic.com)

Last week I signed the official grant papers and booked my plane ticket. I will be going for three months and while there I will interview journalists who covered the civil war conflict. I may also conduct focus groups with reporters and photographers. This research is in line with my previous agenda regarding influences on reporting from conflict zones. (My dissertation was on this topic.)

As I start preparing to go, my feelings are all over the place. I'm beyond thrilled for the opportunity to represent the Fulbright program as a scholar and to spend time in a new country. I am also nervous about living in a new country - especially one that has a different culture than we are used to. There will be a few instances of culture shock. I have already read articles about faux pas that Westerners commit such as touching someone - or food - with the left hand (considered to be unclean). Also shaking your head "no" in India and Sri Lanka can be read as a sort of head waggle that means "yes."

I'm searching for accommodations and there are so many websites such as Airbnb and FlipKey that I'm at a bit of a loss. Thankfully a property broker got back to me today and will start searching. James will come and go, using Sri Lanka and Colombo as a base to go back to India and explore the island. 

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