I arrived the PIN (People In Need) offices at 9.30 after a really long lie-in. I’d been given a very informative guide called Antony. He was a local Trinco with a great knowledge of the entire project that PIN had done. The first stop was to the village of Nadoohav Village.
The village was about an hour and a half away from the office. I was given a minibus and driver for the trip. The roads were really bad, and at some points we were at about a 45 degree angle from the road bending round unmade roads with potholes the size of small children. Pulling up to the village I noticed the repetitive pattern of the buildings. They had created a kind of artificial community. The residences had been relocated from the beach after the tsunami. They were once fishermen and now they had been moved inland they had been given cattle and crops to tend. This was quite a controversial thing to do at the time and the government had imposed about of 5 kilometres for the coast. This has now been reduced to 30 metres and even then it is not adhered to.
I was really impressed with the structures. They were of a high standard and looked durable. The people in them seemed happy and the children very honest with no kind of edge of wanting handouts. None of the people spoke English, so Anthony was dong a lot of translating for me. I met the head of the Muslim community and also some very engaging children.  I could sense the pride they had in their new homes although they had the garden covered in corrugated sheet to provide shelter and privacy which gave the garden a shack-like impression. But the houses were clean and their exteriors were well maintained.  The insides where very basic without much furniture, but in this heat you are outside most of the time. They had porches where the old men would sit and watch the world go by. There were lots of cattle around that had been provided by the INGOs, as well as a shop and school.

After quite an intense morning of shooting we moved on to Kinniya.
This village was actually the original one that most of the people had moved from, being on the coast right where the east coast took the brunt of the tsunami. The village had been rebuilt with very substantial, brightly-coloured structures to help identify the house and give them a little bit of individuality. At the same time a sense of uniformity was kept to avoid creating jealousy within the community.

The front of the houses had a port with a pitched roof running the length of it. The back fo the house had a kitchen and a place for a fire. Here the house backed onto next door.

Shooting in these conditions was really assisted by Antony, who really helped me achieve the shots I was after. Even though they provided an a/c minibus I thought it was essential to leave it at the entrance and travel on foot with my kit. I thought it would be ikpsooing arrving in a tinted window vehicle when it is strange enough when a white person is wandering around anyway. I wanted to try and make as little of an impression of that as I could. I thought this would be best done by trying to meet them on their level as much as I could. Not sure if it worked!

It was really tiring trying to work in that heat in the middle of the day.  I sweated though my tshirt in the first five minutes. The factor 20 I had on was all but useless.

Later that evening I headed to the beach to cool off and meet up with Dan. Here I met a very interesting American called Royal. A very tall and educated man with bright white hair and a slanted mouth. He was from New York. He had glasses and that intense look the he is trying to work you out and who you are even before you’ve spoken. He had been staying at the hotel that I dropped Dan at for over 2 ½ years and been in Sri Lanka for about 5. He had originally come out to clear mines for the UN. He was very interested in my project and had a friend called Dr Francesca that he really wanted me to meet.
I arranged to meet with her next day.