Tag Archives: Alanya

A Visit from St. Nicholas

Last Friday (Dec. 6) was St. Nicholas’s Day. In my family, we celebrate by putting our stockings out in front of the fireplace for St. Nick’s visit during the night. I always considered myself lucky that St. Nick visited my family not once, but twice, during December.

St. Nicholas himself came from present-day Demre, a town in southern Turkey about four hours east of Alanya. In the 4th century, he had a reputation for secret gift-giving, serving as a model for the Santa Claus we know and love today. During the Byzantine Empire, St. Nicholas was also one of the many bishops who answered Constantine’s request to appear at the First Council of Nicea, where he was one of those who signed the Nicean Creed.

And so, it was a pleasant surprise to visit a Christmas Market (Noel Pazarı) here in Alanya last Sunday. To all the naysayers who worry about the rising Islamism or intolerance in Turkey, I’d like them to take a look at the wonderful market that the town organizes every year near the harbor.

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There was lots of food! Many of the local cultural associations in Alanya––from the Russians to the Lithuanians to the Germans to the Dutch––set up booths with their traditional sweets.

Amanda and I with our berliners!

You could buy all kinds of handmade crafts.

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I found the Polish booth.

There was even a Christmas tree!

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I also tried salep for the first time, a Turkish drink made from the flour of the tubers of orchids. It’s mixed with hot milk and sprinkled with cinnamon on top––so good!

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Happy holidays!

Castle Walls and Friday Bazaars

Last week, I had some free time in the afternoons to go exploring around Alanya. On Tuesday, it was exploring the area near Red Tower and the castle walls, climbing our way up the cliffs along the castle wall. On Friday, I made a solo expedition to the weekly bazaar, where local farmers line up their produce for sale in a vibrant outdoor market.

Only a week left.

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Turkey in Turkiye

We got back late last night after spending the Thanksgiving weekend in a whirlwind trip to Adana and Cyprus, after taking three flights and three days. Our actual Thanksgiving evening was spent in a restaurant in Adana, eating none other than Adana Kebap (so good!). Because we would be away, we celebrated Thanksgiving on the Tuesday before, inviting all of our Alanya friends to a giant turkey dinner.

We don’t have ovens in our apartments, so we were somewhat limited in what we could make, ordering a turkey from a local hotel and pies from a restaurant. Mara and I claimed the mashed potatoes, so we spent the afternoon peeling potatoes, boiling them in water, and mashing them up with copious amounts of butter and milk.

At one point, when Mara, Amanda, and I were peeling potatoes, Lindsay remarked, “Of course we have the Foley’s, O’Malley’s, and Galvin’s peeling potatoes.” Of course.

We decorated Yamaç Cafe with a box of Thanksgiving decorations that had been shipped from the U.S., then laid out all the food in a huge spread: turkey, mashed potatoes, salad, rice, baked carrots, brussels sprouts, gravy, stuffing, pies, and so on. We invited our host families for the meal, and slowly the restaurant began to fill up with our big Alanya family.

My host family was amused that we called the meat “turkey.” In fact, the Turkish word for the bird is hindi, which is also the word for someone from India. So really, the circle of confusion just continues!

While it’s hard to be away during the holidays, there’s so much to be thankful for here in Alanya. I am thankful for my friends and professors, those who have shared this wonderful experience with me. But I’m also incredibly thankful for my “Turkish family,” who has generously and open-heartedly welcomed me into their home and lives. I can’t say how lovely it is to see The Hunger Games in a movie theater full of Turkish teenagers, to play countless games of Okey, and to share meals that always include never-ending amounts of delicious food. (They even brought me a cake and a container of ashure to take home with me after the meal!) They are absolutely the best.

It was truly a Happy Thanksgiving.

Human Rights in Turkey

“Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world,” begins the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the document adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948 following the experience of WWII. And indeed, one of the triumphs of the 20th and 21st century has been a further expansion and recognition of this “inherent dignity” to all of humankind.

Yet there is still much to be done.

In Turkey, the 20th century was marked by repeated military coups, political violence, and an armed insurgency in the southeast by the PKK. The brutal crackdown of protests in Gezi Park last June provides one of the most recent examples of the constraints on the freedom of expression in Turkey.

In the early 2000s, the possibility of EU accession drove Turkey to institute a number of positive reforms in the arena of human rights: rewording some problematic articles in the Constitution and Penal Code, expanding the rights of minority groups like the Kurds, and limiting the application of the death penalty. But after this initial reform period, EU accession talks stalled after the admission of Cyprus into the EU in 2004. Consequently, the reforms also stopped. Only within the last couple months did the EU and Turkey resume negotiations, possibly again renewing the impetus for reform. Indeed, President Erdogan recently introduced a series of reform measures in his “Democratization Package” on Sept. 13.

Standing up for human rights

In Ankara, we met with representatives from İnsan Hakları Derneği, a human rights NGO (non-governmental organization, for those who aren’t familiar with all the acronyms in IR speak) in Turkey with its headquarters in Ankara.

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İHD is the oldest and biggest human rights association in Turkey. Established in 1986, today it has 30 branches across the country. While the association addresses a wide variety of issues within the realm of human rights, it tends to concentrate on issues of gender and freedom of expression, focusing on increasing awareness as well as providing free legal aid.

This can be a dangerous pursuit. In the early years of the association, two members were kidnapped and disappeared while they were working on cases of disappeared people. However, there has been much progress. While the organization does not face as much of a physical threat anymore, there still remains legal and administrative pressure on its activities.

We spoke with the International Affairs Secretary for İHD. He had recently been released from prison in April, after being held for 10 months for charges related to a speech he had made about international lobbying activities. He was ultimately released on the first hearing about his charges, but pretrial detention in Turkey can last up to five years. During the first seven months of imprisonment, neither he nor his lawyers had access to his indictment because it was under secrecy.

He was imprisoned under the pretenses of Turkey’s wide-scoping anti-terrorism law, which was introduced in 1991 to counter an insurgency by the PKK. However, due the wide-scoping language of the law, thousands of people––including many journalists––have been jailed. The definition of terrorism is so ambiguous that wide groups of individuals can be sent to prison. Very few of these individuals are accused of violent or criminal action, but instead are accused with promoting the aims of illegal organizations. To Turkey’s credit, the definition of what constitutes terrorist propaganda was narrowed last April, although the scope of the law remains an area of debate and criticism.

We discussed the possibility of EU accession as an incentive to improving human rights issues within Turkey, noting that the recent September 13th Democratization Package was passed just two weeks before the EU Progress Report. The president of İHD emphasized the need for the EU to establish an effective follow-up measure, highlighting an issue that we’ve examined time and time again in my classes this semester. While Turkey has many of the institutional frameworks in place, it lacks the administrative and social capabilities to ensure their implementation. Enforcement remains an issue. Nevertheless, the recent Democratization Package is promising, as it demonstrates an effort by the Justice and Development Party to address some of the issues within Turkey.

“In total, I am still an optimist,” our speaker told us about the reforms.

In the southeast of Turkey, the continuing crisis in Syria has had serious effects on those living near the border. Estimates vary, but there are currently around 800,000 Syrian refugees in Turkey, with around 200,000 in designated refugee camps. The refugees are particularly vulnerable to human rights abuses.

“For us, the right to life is the most basic right,” said the president of İHD. “If there is no right to life, you can’t talk about democracy or rights in any country.”

The international community has a serious role to play in finding a sustainable solution to this crisis.

Out of the closet: Addressing LGBT issues in Turkey

In Ankara, we also met with a woman from Kaos GL, an NGO that focuses in LGBT rights and issues within Turkey. When we arrived, their meeting room was currently being used by another workshop, so we walked to go sit at a bar nearby that’s known as a safe space among university students in the area.

Kaos GL began meeting as a group in 1994, but was formally established as an organization in 2005 when they began publishing a magazine. Today, they engage in various forms of outreach and education within the community to deal with continuing issues of discrimination.

In almost every major city in Turkey, you’ll find a set of rainbow stairs. (There’s even a set of rainbow stairs near the harbor in Alanya.) Originally one man started doing it in Istanbul, when he kept painting the stairs rainbow after the city municipality kept painting them back to normal. Soon, LGBT communities started painting rainbow stairs in each of their own cities.

An example of rainbow stairs inside a high rise in Ankara

For more information on human rights in Turkey, check out the following resources:

  • The Human Rights Watch’s 2013 Report on Turkey gives an overview of the current status quo and recent developments regarding human rights in Turkey
  • The U.S. State Department’s 2012 Human Rights Report on Turkey provides an extensive summary of the major obstacles to the guarantee of human rights in Turkey
  • Amnesty International keeps an active blog on Human Rights in Turkey with regular updates

Snapshots from Sapadere Canyon

Last weekend, we spent a Saturday morning exploring Sapadere Canyon, a natural park about an hour outside of Alanya. We explored some caves, climbed the trail, and went for a swim. The water was beautiful, but freezing––the kind of temperature that completely takes your breath away and stops your heartbeat.

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How to Explain Halloween

A pirate, a witch, and a butterfly walk into a Turkish elementary school.

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Or that’s how this story would begin if it were a joke. The punch line would have to involve something about being mobbed by second graders, kids pronouncing “candy” like “jan-dee” as if it were a Turkish word, and throwing candy and popcorn around when we ran out of things to do.

On the day after Halloween, Alex, Lindsay, and I headed to the elementary school where we volunteer as part of our CBL, or Community-Based Learning. Our plan was to teach second graders something about Halloween for their English class. We showed up to the school in our costumes, with bags of candy, masks, and popcorn in tow.

The result? Absolute, pure chaos. The very best kind.

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We began with an explanation of Halloween, acting out trick-or-treating and teaching them some basic vocabulary: mask, candy, witch, boo, pumpkin, and so on. We then had groups of children come up in groups to act out trick-or-treating as I played the role of the neighbor.

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I have no idea how much they actually understood of the whole lesson, but it was incredibly fun to fuel second graders’ sugar high and goofily attempt to explain Halloween.

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At one point, we just called kids up to the front of the classroom and dressed them up in different masks to the delight of their classmates.

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Back at the Lojman, we had also carved a pumpkin to celebrate the holiday, complete with a Turkish flag design.

Happy Halloween!

The Real World: Alanya

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It’s Friday afternoon here in Alanya. Even though it’s now into November, it’s still sunny and 75 degrees in this idyllic beach town. I always thought we had it good in California––turns out, it’s hard to beat the Mediterranean climate.

After the non-stop travel of my fall break, I’ve been equally swamped and busy with work in the past three weeks. Next week, we leave on our study tour, where we’ll travel as a group to see more of this enchanting country––from the Sufi legacy in Konya to the eerie lunar landscape of Cappadocia to Ataturk’s moseleum in Anakara. But until then, I’m busy studying for my economics midterm on Monday and writing an essay on Zafer Senocak’s Perilous Kinship for my Culture and Politics class.

Nevertheless, it’s only fair to take some time to update my family and friends on what I’ve been up to these past several weeks, seeing that they’ve been quite a roller coaster. As we like to joke on this trip, I’m pretty sure that the 9 of us are on some kind of horrible drama that doesn’t get picked up for the second season. Either that, or we’ve somehow found ourselves transplanted into a season of The Real World: Alanya. I guess it comes with the territory. Two months in, we’re all very aware of each other’s idiosyncrasies. But truth be told, I couldn’t ask for a better group with whom to share this all.

Iyi Bayramlar!

Our first week back coincided with the Kurban Bayramı, also known as the Feast of the Sacrifice or Eid al-Adha in Arabic. It’s one of the major  religious holidays within Islam and celebrates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael before God intervened. In Turkey, people have the whole week off from school and work, and  spend the time visiting with their extended family. University students return home for the week, and many families travel to their home villages for Bayram.

In honor of Abraham’s sacrifice, many traditional families still sacrifice an animal––usually a lamb or a goat––as part of the celebration. On Monday, you could see all kinds of sheep and goats tied up near the houses where we live.

There are all kinds of peculiarities that come along with this in an urban area like Alanya: I saw a family try to stuff a sheep into the back of their two-door car. The city designates an area outside of the city in which to conduct the sacrifices, so  I missed much of the animal carnage that comes along with the holiday. Once the animal is sacrificed, the meat is divided into thirds: one third goes to the family; one third goes to relatives, neighbors, and friends; and one third goes to the poor and needy.

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Since it was the Bayram, we got the week off from Turkish class (a.k.a. more beach time!).

On Thursday and Friday, we met up with our host families so that we could experience Bayram ourselves. My host family was out of town visiting relatives, so I was paired with Mara’s family for Thursday night.

We met up with Dilara, and spent the evening at the apartments of her uncles. Dilara’s father has seven brothers––all brothers––and we went to the apartments of two uncles over the course of the evening. (They lived just two floors apart from each other in the same building.)

It was so much fun to spend the night with their family, attempting to practice our Turkish and using a lot of sign language to communicate with each other. And my, the sweets! There were so many kinds of delicious desserts and sweets for the Bayram––baklava, cakes, pastries, candied pumpkin, and so much more.

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Visiting with Dilara’s family for Bayram.

On Friday night, Alex and I went over to the house of my host family. We had a wonderful dinner, shared all  kinds of YouTube videos, and thoroughly confused Müge with our pantomimed explanations of trick-or-treating and haunted houses.

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We were making fun of people who take photos of their food and put it on Instagram, so naturally I had to document my meal.

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Müge, me, and Alex in the living room.

It had been Dilara’s birthday earlier that week, so we walked to meet up with Dilara, Mara, and Matt, who were out to eat in celebration of her birthday. They had finished their meal, so we headed over to a cafe for dessert and waffles.

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I guess Matt wasn’t as excited as I was for Coffeemania’s waffles.

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Mara, Alex, Dilara, and Müge

Afterwards, we invited Dilara and Müge to the Lojman. We listened to music, and they taught us some Turkish wedding dances.

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Dans et! If these walls could talk, they’d only tell you how many impromptu dance parties have taken place in this room.

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Meet-up at Akdeniz University

The next weekend, Nese had organized a meeting for us with a group of students at Akdeniz University. We drove out to their campus on the other side of Alanya, which had a fantastic view of the Akdeniz (Turkish for Mediterranean Sea, literally “White Sea”). On campus, we were treated to sweets and tea in a conference room.

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We all drove over to a local restaurant for breakfast, where we were served a fantastic spread of all kinds of Turkish breakfast foods––all the candied fruits you can imagine, fried bread, eggs, vegetables, fruit, and çay, of course.

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Okay, shoot, I totally am one of those people who takes pictures of their food.

I sat down next to Damla, and we talked all about our families, dancing, boys, and things to do in Alanya. We exchanged phone numbers so we can meet up later this semester.

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Afterwards, we headed back down to the center of Alanya for a special talk with Professor İlber Ortaylı, one of leading historians in Turkey and director of the Topkapı Museum. During his talk, he argued that Turkey should look more towards the East––towards Russia and Iran––and avoid the European Union, focusing instead on bilateral negotiations with other countries. I didn’t agree with much of what he said, but it was illuminating to hear his viewpoint, especially as such a respected figure within Turkey.

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For whatever reason, this was the only photo I took inside of the cistern.

Our talk was hosted in an old cistern near the Red Tower. We had a short break before the talk, so Alex and I went exploring and found this absolutely breathtaking beach near the castle walls.

It ended up being one of my favorite spots in Alanya. I have no idea how we didn’t discover this spot sooner.

Highlights from the rest of the weekend included attempts at facial masks out of coffee grinds, Amanda singing Les Misérables to herself in a headscarf, shopping sprees at Makro Mart, beach trips, and making friends with the staff at Viking.

Also, this sunset:

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A little bit of Turkish pride

Every October 29, Turks celebrate Cumhuriyet Bayramı or Republic Day to commemorate the founding of the Turkish Republic on the same day in 1923 by Mustafa Kemal. School is off for the day; instead, schoolchildren gather in public to recite Turkish poems or sing songs to honor the history of the Republic.

After dinner on Tuesday, Alex and I followed the sounds of the music down to the harbor, where we found several hundred Alanyans crowded around a stage that had been constructed by the docks.

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The enthusiasm was contagious. Countless onlookers passionately waved Turkish flags in the air; everyone danced to the beat. At one point, someone in the crowd handed us a Turkish flag, so we joined in as well, waving the flag above our heads.

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Because honestly, I have to say I’m pretty grateful to be in Turkey too.

 

I’ve also had a blog post posted on the Junior Year Abroad Network for the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace & World Affairs. Check it out!

Nevertheless, this experience with “Tourist Turkey” has made me wonder: where’s the real Turkey? How can you find authenticity amidst banal internationalization?

Back to Paradise

After a whirlwind vacation through Istanbul, Prague, Budapest, and Vienna, it’s nice to return back to my routine.

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Especially when my routine includes daily runs dodging tourists along the harbor, trips to Cleopatra Beach to work on my tan (ha!), and endless cups of çay.

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It’s good to be back.

Life 101: Lessons in Turkey

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I’m currently at the Antalya airport, mooching off this café’s free wifi as I wait for my flight to board. (My flight leaves at 10:50 a.m., but I left Alanya in the dark of 4:40 a.m. in order to take a shuttle with everyone else.) As we begin our fall break and split to our separate travel plans, it seems like a natural opportunity to reflect on my time in Turkey so far. These past 35 days have gone by both fast and slow—it’s strange to think I’ve already been here for over a month, but then it also seems like these experiences fill quite more than a month. Time is a funny thing.

I’ve also learned a lot over these past several weeks. I know it’s cliché to talk about travel in this way, but I don’t quite know how else to put it. Instead, I’ll try to move beyond the clichés of “travel while you’re young” to keep track of all of the specific things I’ve learned thus far:

For example, I’ve learned that there’s few better ways to create a connection with someone else than learning some basic phrases in their native language. This morning, I was proud to know enough Turkish to be able to ask our bus driver how he was and talk about where our school was.

Helping out in the English class at the local middle school

Helping out in the English class at the local middle school

Living in such a tourist destination like Alanya, I’ve also further appreciated the importance of language—and how sad it is that most Americans only truly know one. Earlier this week, when we were trying to order pizza, the man on the phone asked us if we spoke Swedish or Danish, before passing the phone to someone who could speak better English. Many Alanyans speak some kind of combination of Russian, Danish, Swedish, German, or English along with Turkish. We had a conversation about this early on the trip with our tour guide in Istanbul. “Americans are lazy about language,” he told us, “but they can afford to be. You can’t travel to another country if you’re Turkish and expect someone to speak Turkish.”

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Sign in front of the bookstore in the Antalya airport

At the same time, I’ve learned to nod and mutter enough “Evets” when someone talks to me in Turkish and I have no clue what they’re talking about. Truth is, the smile and nod can also get you a long way.

I’ve learned that it’s better to walk. Walking allows you to slow down and appreciate your surroundings. It can also allow you to unexpectedly stumble upon a World Lacrosse Expo in the middle of the beach at night—just like Alex and I found after dinner one evening.

Lacrosse... in Turkey? (This was also several minutes before we almost got pegged in the head with the ball, twice.)

Lacrosse… in Turkey? (This was also several minutes before we almost got pegged in the head with the ball, twice.)

I’ve learned that it’s important to make time to write. While I kept a meticulous journal of each day during the study tour, I’m still making sure I write down a couple of sentences for every day even when we’re in class. As a result, this past months has been one of the best-documented times of my life. I’m so afraid to forget anything that I’m driven by this compulsion to obsessively capture as many moments as I can. However, it’s also given me a wonderful record of my experiences in Turkey to look back on once I’m home.

It's also great to receive letters too!

It’s also great to receive letters too!

I’ve learned how to develop a more serious resting face to ward off aggressive shopkeepers and hawkers. This is partly a cultural adaption—it’s very much an American thing to smile at everyone you meet and greet them accordingly. While Turks are equally just as friendly and hospitable, they also don’t go around randomly smiling at strangers (which admittedly can be pretty odd). It can give off the wrong impression. And so, I’ve also somewhat adapted to this habit.

Serious face? (Or maybe i still have some work to do...)

Serious face? (Or maybe i still have some work to do…)

I’ve learned that I can never live for too long away from the beach. It’s something that I truly fell in love with this summer when I lived in Santa Cruz, and it’s something of which I will never tire in Alanya. I love its changing colors—the way it can be like smooth silver in the morning and a rich blue in the heat of the afternoon. I love the waves, the sand, and the sun. I may never truly be able to tan, but I could honestly lie out there for weeks on end (with many reapplications of SPF 50, of course).

I’ve also learned that possibly the best way to cope with locking yourself out of your apartment is to create a blanket fort in the middle of your friends’ apartment and singing Disney songs obnoxiously at the top of your lungs. I’m incredibly thankful for the people I’ve met on this trip so far, and I couldn’t ask for better friends to share in this experience.

Palmistry, UNO Games, and Harry’s

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One of the special components of the McGhee program is the opportunity to participate in different options for Community-Based Learning (CBL) while you’re abroad. It’s an integral part of the experience because it allows you to get involved with the community and interact with the beautiful city and people of Alanya—whether it’s helping to plant a flowerbed at the waterfront or assisting special needs adults with a crafts workshop.

This semester, I signed up to help teach English at a local middle school in Alanya for my CBL. On Friday morning, we got a ride over to the school in the morning, where we met up with Mehmet Bey, who teaches us Turkish twice a week but also is a regular English teacher at the middle school. When we arrived, he gave us the basic run-down of the plan as we sipped cups of çay—first we’d help out with the seventh graders, then we’d go help out with the eighth graders.

We soon made our way up to the seventh grade classroom, being mobbed by students along the way who kept wanting to show off their English to us—“Hello! How are you! What’s your name!”

We introduced ourselves to the class, and then sat down with a group of students to help them go through the lesson. After so many years of language classes, I’ve always wondered how strange our conversations and readings must sound to native speakers. And so, it was a lot of fun to re-enact a dialogue with Amanda on the topic for the day as Sam and Pam. It went somewhere along the lines of this:

Sam: Hello, Pam! Let me see your palm.

Pam: Why do you want to see my palm?

Sam: I am studying palmistry. Palmistry can tell you about your personality and traits by reading the lines on your palm.

Pam: How does it work?

Sam: For example, you have strong lines on your palm, which means you must be optimistic.

Pam: I don’t believe it, but I need to go to the cinema at 4 o’clock.

Sam: Okay. Good bye!

I have no idea why Unit 1 of their textbooks includes a lesson on palmistry of all things—and I’m not quite sure any of the students understood what was going on—but it made for a very entertaining lesson.

After our lesson with the seventh graders, there was time for recess, so we went outside to join the rest of the kids. It was almost like we were celebrities—everywhere we went the kids would point at us, and then mob us with questions about what our names were and where we were from.

We then went to the eighth grade lesson, where Mehmet Bey handed us the textbook and told us what pages he wanted to go over today. And so, I somehow ended up leading the class through an impromptu lesson on the vocabulary for character traits.

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This time, the passage was an email from a girl to her friend back home about her new friends in London—“Let me tell you about Elaine. She is very rude and inconsiderate. I wish I had a true friend like you.” After reading it several times and going over the assigned questions, we worked on the pronunciation of some particularly difficult words: honest, punctual, ambitious, generous, etc. (Turkish is written phonetically, with 29 letters and 29 sounds—unfortunately, English isn’t quite as straightforward.)

At noon, we were picked up and had lunch at Yamaç Café before getting our stuff together to head down to the beach. (I can’t get there often enough!)

We had some time to read for class before getting ready for our reception that night. Every year, the McGhee Center hosts a huge reception for members of the Alanya community—host families, the mayor, and even the governor! It was hosted on this outdoor lawn, right next to Cleopatra Beach, with a huge buffet laid out for all of the guests. My host family came, so I was able to hang out with my host sister Müge and her friend Dilara, who is Mara’s host sister.

Afterwards, Müge and Dilara wanted to take us out to some places in Alanya. So, after the reception, we walked down to the waterfront near the Red Tower to listen to the free jazz festival that’s going on this weekend.

After watching the concert for a bit, we then played UNO for an hour or so at this café nearby, which has a huge collection of board games and cards that you can choose from.

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By midnight, we finally headed over to Harry’s, a bar on the main strip that plays live music on the nights. We had a wonderful time listening to the band, who played all kinds of American rock and had an absolutely gifted lead singer.

I can’t name a better way to top off a Friday night than jumping onto the dance floor with Mara singing every word to “I Will Survive.”

On another note, I’ve updated Georgetown’s OIP blog with a summary of my time in Turkey so far:

The dance group took us backstage, and dressed us in elaborate costumes that represented traditional garb from various regions in Turkey. Our instructions? “Just follow what we do.”

And so, the nine of us took the stage along with our professional friends, clumsily walking and clapping with the beat as we acted out a traditional wedding ceremony. I’m pretty sure our Turkish audience was quite bewildered why a group of clumsy Americans were also included in the show that night. (We were too.)

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