Tragedy at Dutch Bar

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Our quest to explore the country and find other Dutch Burghers led us to the Batticaloa area.

Humid Lenses

In case you were wondering just how humid Sri Lanka can get, check out the lens of my camera before and after cleaning it.  I tried to keep my equipment well wrapped, but a few moments without a lens cap and Mother Nature had given me a whole new type of filter. :|

Dutch Fort

We visited an old Dutch Fort near Batticaloa. First constructed in 1628, it has survived a great number of wars and disasters... including the Boxing Day Tsunami, which hit this area pretty hard.

Dutch Bar in Sri Lanka was heartbreaking to see.

Dutch Bar Tragedy

According to some of the people we spoke with, the houses in this area were hit particularly hard because of water colliding with more water coming up from the other side of the bar.

Batticaloa had a very large population of Burghers. Many of the families that survived have since been relocated. As we walked around the area, we looked for Burgher families that remained, speaking with a few as we found them.


Some homes have since been rebuilt. Some were left in ruins.


Dutch Bar Memorial

A memorial created for the area.

Dutch Bar Memorial

So many familiar last names...

Dutch Bar Memorial

We walked along the beach and came across some boys playing football. (Soccer/actual football.) My uncle - on the left - struck up a conversation with them. One of the young men was fluent in Sinhalese, English and Tamil - and was hoping to go to college.

Burgher Boys


It's surprising to see a forest on a beach, no?


We walked around the beach a bit as the afternoon wore on.

As I write this, the wind is kicking up around the house. We're bracing ourselves for another thunderstorm - and unfortunately what's likely to be another violent midwest summer. While the sound of rain against the roof used to be entirely soothing, it now delivers a mild warning. Waves crashing against the beach, while once a source of comfort, carry a similar message.

Nature can be as devastating as it is beautiful.

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