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Santa was very good to our team this season as we awoke on Christmas morning to a shiny new dive ladder and tank rack!  Then the team loaded up and headed east to the Uvawalawe Sanctuary.  Among the vivid green jungle, pristine lakes, and gently rising peaks, we encountered Christmas elephants that were not too shy to smile for our cameras!

The team gathers around our palm tree Christmas tree for a traditional holiday photo. Photo by Susannah H. Snowden.

Christmas Elephant!! The team gathers around to photograph our Christmas elephant. Photo by Susannah H. Snowden.

After a refreshing beverage of fresh coconut, we drove to Tissamaharama and enjoyed Christmas dinner at a classy restaurant with a beautiful view overlooking the lake.  The spread included foods from all over the world, including some western favorites like mashed potatoes and roasted chicken.  As much as we have enjoyed the curries, it was nice to have a taste of home for the holiday.  The team indulged in several courses while listening to traditional Burl Ives Christmas carols.  There was much good cheer and laughter to share around the table.  This has definitely been a Christmas to remember!

The view from the restaurant where the team enjoyed Christmas dinner. Photo by Orkan Köyaĝasıoĝlu