Friday, January 3, 2014

2013's Parting Shots!

This pictorial blog salutes friends and work colleagues – professionals and development practitioners in their own right – who made 2013 all the more memorable and manageable. Until we meet again!

Although 2013 was not exactly an annus horribilis  it was certainly one of peaks and troughs – stress, emotional and psychological hardship - as I'm sure many will attest to - often in the extreme. Its often under these circumstances that the most unlikely, intense and enduring friendships are forged. This is acknowledged and celebrated. No judgement or opinion will be passed, for once, on people, systems, institutions or governments – 2013 was what it was and we hope that 2014 will be far better. For the people of Afghanistan, who all deserve so much more, the struggle goes on. We carry part of your burden and hope that we can continue to be part of this journey. Equally, we thank you all for your very generous and gracious hospitality - a privilege and truly unforgettable experience!

Not quite the Full Monty but certainly mature male models with a great future! Coming to a store near you - very soon!

Colleagues from the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock
All smiles - relaxing times before going our separate ways

Feet up ..... and enjoying the autumn sunshine. What a life at Le Baronne!

Mmmmmmm - something is definitely brewing here!

Premature departures - the Kabul Cabal!

Rebels without a cause ..... grounded yet again!

Obviously, Pedro has been stirring sheeeeet again!

Early days - so full of promise and potential

The boyz - big, bigger, biggest & Christophe

Spot the Aussie!

Party time at Kabul's GV

IWMP Kick off

Out and about in Mazar-e-Sharif - in good safe hands....

With VIPs at MAIL - Kabul

Baz and Thomas under 'deep' cover......

Great Indian hospitality and fun times with friends abroad


Serious integrated water resource management business

Le Baronne's friendly staff

Guru David on the couch offering some sound hydrological advice

Women in agriculture - special ones at that

Mission Helmand: Accomplished!

Where the bloody well are we? We definitely need a Guy with GIS and mapping skills!!

Another tall storey!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Sugared and Spiced in Sri Lanka!


A Smorgasbord of some of Sri Lanka's Finest Fresh Produce

 Pics and text by Barry Greville-Eyres


Far more than just a Sri Lankan icon ..... a quality product and brand recognized globally for decades 
Broken Orange Pekoe (BOP) a signature and top Sri Lankan tea

Curry dhal, pol sambol (a delicious dry blend of chilli and coconut) and wholemeal rotti - fine, simple  food whether enjoyed for breakfast, lunch or dinner

Water buffalo curd and palm treacle enjoyed with fresh banana and papaya - a wholesome and refreshingly different breakfast

3 vegetable curry selections, mixed coconut sambol and string hoppers made from rice flour


A hopper - bowl shaped pancake on the heat .....

Hoppers - egg pancakes
Another favourite - kotthu rotti - chopped rotti, vegetables and chicken spiced/seasoned and stir fried before being served with a never ending variety of sambols

Digging in at a local eatery in the highland town of Nuwara Eliya

Durian fruit - or alternatively a wonderful traditional weapon

Dragon fruit
Two varieties of rambutan 

Going bananas ..... countless varieties on offer including cooking bananas

Rehydrate and refresh yourself with the 'king' of coconuts

Star fruit

Star water melon

Foot long perky nana!

Mangosteen - yet another exotic Asian fruit

Freshest fish

Prawns ready for the pan

Game fish

Assorted reef fish

More assorted reef fish

Negombo's fish market - very educational!


The gals sampling the local brew at a Negombo roadside tavern and waiting for a light snack


On the menu - scrumptious devilled prawns followed by.......

Pan fried JT or King Fish

No disguising the delight here.... 

Tuna steak anyone?

A mobile bakery doing the rounds


Pulses play an important part in Sri Lankan cuisine

Sugar, spice and all things nice?

Freshest vegetables - the variety is incredible!

Yet more veggies ....

A nation of smiling faces .....


Royalty at the Galle Oriental Bakery
Short eats - a legacy of Dutch colonial rule - interesting sweet and savoury pastries

Ye Olde Bakery!

A cinnamon sapling yet still capable of producing this exquisite spice


Once the thin outer green bark is removed the inner cambium is bruised and softened my rolling it with a round metal object before being stripped away completely - once dried this becomes the cinnamon quill or stick

Green and dried cinnamon quills 

Dried quills are pounded and reduced to fine cinnamon powder