Friday, October 12, 2012

Peace Corps Email #13

Original Sent Date: May 4, 2005

Turkey, Easter

Hello America…

Time for my mass e-mail home…

I just returned from Turkey on the 1st of May…barely in time for Easter here.

Turkey was just wonderful…I’ll send out my pictures soon, but the sheer volume of pretty things to look at just amazed me after nearly 8 months in this communist-minded country.  I went to at pretty much every mosque in the city, plus the Hagia Sophia and the Cistern.  Plus, I got to see Kyle—which was a treat in itself (even though he informed Mom my hair is too long and I have turned into a hippy. Thanks Kyle).  Kyle, Matt, Brian, Mark, Nate, and I spent every day walking through the city while spending time with all the Australians who were there to commemorate Gallipoli Day—which was explained to me as their version of D-Day.  I wouldn’t necessarily think of taking a vacation to Normandy for commemorate our D-Day, but all the Australians I met thought of this as no more than a vacation… Turkey was so pretty—so much art and all these huge buildings.  I went to the Grand Bazaar (the oldest mall in the world) and then did a Turkish bath.

Wonderful.  I can’t even describe…

One day, Kyle, Nate, and I took off to walk to the Dolmabance Palace, which turned out to be almost in Asia.  The day, including the 2.5 hours at the museum, took over 6 hours.  Exhausting, but this palace was so worth it.  It had been where a bunch of Sultans had lived so we got to see a harem and a bunch of fabulous art (I am rather starved for art in Moldova…).
Plus, we also saw the bed where Ata Turk died, the hero of Turkey.  We also found a statue of him at some park and all sat on his lap.  I just really think it’s cool that the hero of Turkey is named Ata Turk.  The small pleasures, right?

The entire vacation, we managed to eat nearly all of our meals on the street.  Maybe that wasn’t the best idea, as Kyle, Brian, and Mark all ended up sick at some point, but I loved the sheep kabobs.

Actually, the best kabob I had turned out to be made out of sheep intestines.  It was tastier than you would imagine…yum.  We also made the smart choice of eating clams from some guy on the sidewalk.

It seems like all the choices I make are just stellar, but I never got sick.  My stomach must have toughened up in Moldova.  Oh!  If any of you has a lot of free time, we found the best Doritos (mind, I had not eaten
a Dorito in over 7 months) called a la Turcia.  I think someone should start a campaign to bring those to America and then mail them to me in Moldova.

I came home to Easter in Moldova…which actually was Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday full of celebrations.  Wooof.  Most of the Moldovans didn’t eat meat, dairy, eggs, or oil for the entire season of Lent, so Easter is basically an exercise in gorging yourself in meat.  Overwhelming.

Monday morning I was woken up at 9 and told it was time to start eating…and only meat.  My host parents tell me that sometimes it’s hard on your system to try to eat so much meat after so long of a break, so you need to drink plenty to help it along.

So, we drank everclear along with my breakfast.  I went back to bed immediately after…only to be woken up later for a brunch of ice cream and beer.  We do have 15 newly hatched chickens at my house, so it really feels like a Hallmark Easter (only we’ve replaced chocolate with meat and eggs with alcohol).

Since they were only hours old, they slept in my host dad’s bed.  I’m not sure where he slept, but I figure I should mind my own business about some things.  As long as they’re not in my bed, I have no problem.

Well, I hope everything’s going well back home for you all… take care!


PS—I am still looking for financial help for the camp for my kids.  I would greatly appreciate it if some of you would be willing to pass along the information I sent out earlier to friends, family members, or employers who might be able to help.  If needed, I am very willing to send the information out again.  Just let me know! donate now button.

Romania got the best concerts

Kyle and I on Ata Turk's Lap

The broken down car provided a ton of entertainment

Where I had my fancy Turkish bath

Me and the boys

I got charged for this picture.  Such a tourist.

Nate eats seafood from a street vendor.

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