Sunday, November 25, 2012


I was able to travel to Izmir for Thanksgiving dinner with my fellow exchange students during the weekend after Thanksgiving.  We spent the majority of the afternoon and evening making food, making a mess of one of the host family's home, and having wonderful exchange student bonding time.  It was so brave of one of the host families to let a group of 10 teenagers take over their kitchen for a day, but it was an absolutely beautiful home and they had a huge kitchen for us to cook in, so it was perfect.  We had a turkey IN TURKEY along with a bunch of other traditional Thanksgiving foods, accompanied by tacos and Brazilian food prepared by our Mexican and Brazilian exchange students.  Everything was absolutely wonderful and delicious.  I'm so thankful to have been able to go to Izmir and share this day with my friends because it will be a Thanksgiving I will always remember and I got to share it with some of the best exchange students I know.  So, I guess to answer the question that I got way to many times when I announced to people I would be going to Turkey... Yes, I suppose we do (under special circumstances) celebrate Thanksgiving in Turkey.

Cooking away!
Monica and I made a delicious pie!
This is Torvald.  I really don't know how to caption this picture...


Digging in! Yummmmy!

Nearly everyone is in this picture.  I could not have asked for a better group of students to share my exchange with, I love you guys!

Friday, November 16, 2012

I'm Back :)

Alrighty, so my last blog got a virus, so I'm now here at should just redirect to here at some point, I'm not sure if it does yet or not, so I'm giving the new site just in case. I've done a lot since I last blogged, so I've been posting random pictures and telling you about all of my adventures I've had over the past three or four weeks! See below for my new stories :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Tenth November

10th November is the day that the Turks mourn the death and remember the life if Atatürk, their national hero. I was up early to go with the other exchange student, Riad, and his host mom, Gülçin, to a service at a city center in Bursa to remember Atatürk. The ceremony was really quick and consisted of a few words about Atatürk, some banners and plaques being presented in his honor, torches being lit, a moment of silence and the national anthem. It's actually a really big deal. All of the schools have their own ceremonies and even traffic is stopped for the moment of silence. I don't really know whether to call it a moment of silence or not because there were really loud sirens going off for the entire minute. I don't know why, it has to do with Atatürk because I heard the same sound on TV later in the evening.

After the ceremony I went out to breakfast with Riad, Gülçin and a group of her friends. Riad and I got to practice our Turkish which was really funny. We just find things and say that they're really nice, or not nice. It's really simple, but because our levels are about the same, we have a good time trying to make Turkish conversation with each other. Later in the morning we went to a Sultan's tomb and to the Green Mosque. We found a group of people from Malaysia at the mosque, so we followed them and their English-speaking tour guide around while in the mosque. It was my first time in a mosque, so I was really excited and Riad was able to explain what everything was to me. I love learning!

The rest of the morning and afternoon we walked around Bursa together, going into different shops and walking though the silk bazaar. It was raining all afternoon, and as we were walking down the street, a car splashed water all over my legs. It was so cold, but so funny at the same time. It wasn't so bad. I felt like I was in a movie, I didn't think cars actually did that in real life. For lunch we had ISKENDER which is a traditional Turkish dish with meat, pita bread, tomato sauce and yogurt, it sounds a little weird, but it's absolutely delicious, especially because they pour melted butter all over it. I looked at Gülçin and said, “So many kilos!!!” I've started to really like Turkish food. I wasn't really a fan at first, but I really like the really rich and fattening Turkish foods we get at the restaurants. I'm not a huge fan of everything, but there are certain foods that I really like, such as iskender. After lunch I returned home and spent the rest of my evening at home. I really enjoy Riad and his host family, so I'm really glad I was able to go out with them today. I got to practice my Turkish, which was so nice. Thanks so much for the awesome day guys! Çok teşekkür ederim. 

There was a huge crowd for the ceremony!
We got to get a picture with two of the bandies. It felt like home :) 

Riad and I in front of the tomb.

This man was reciting the Quran I believe.

Here is a statue of Ataturk with the plaques and torches burning.  I counted like 20 Turkish flags when I was standing next to that statue.

Riad and I in a store.