I’m traveling through Sri Lanka (literal translation: Jewel of the Indian Ocean), where Internet access is spotty at best, so this will be the first of several short blogs.
Driving through the countryside in the central area of Sri Lanka, there is much agriculture, especially rice paddies. Often you will see these structures in the fields.
Any idea what it is you are looking at? Hint: There are usually four of them, one in each corner of a field.
ANSWER: This is a watchtower. At night hired workers will mouth these towers, protecting the fields from wild elephants and wild boars, both of which can devastate a crop in a couple of hours. The men will sing all night long, chant Buddhist prayers and otherwise keep themselves awake. With approximately 6,000 wild elephants, Sri Lankans appear to live in peaceful co-existence with their wild animal brethren.