Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Ancient Ruins, Chocolate Chip Cookies and Football Games

So, I've realized that I haven't really posted anything about what I've done since about Christmas.  I've let you know a few bits and pieces here and there, but nothing too big.  I kind of wish I was better at this "blogging" thing.  I want to post more often, but somehow find myself constantly busy, despite the fact that the stack of books I've read over the past six months keeps growing and growing.  Anyways, I want to give you a quick update of what I've been doing, and how I've been doing over the past month or so.

So... soon after Christmas, was New Years.

Riad and me

Riad and me dancing like Turkish people

New Years was seriously, a really great night! I went to a party with Riad and his host family with a few other Rotary families.  We got to count down the new year in a foreign language, then attempt to sing and dance along with all the Turks. Turks really know how to have a good time. :)

The rest of January was mainly going to school, and well, school is school.  It wasn't too exciting.  I read a bunch. 

The last week of January and first week in February was a semester break from school! So, I got two weeks off of school.  For a few days the first week I went to Manisa and I stayed with my friend from Canada.  It was so much fun! One day her host family took us to a village where they make a lot of Nazar (evil eyes) things, then to a horse farm, and then we drove up a mountain, where I had a stomachache and we got a flat tire.  It was quite an adventure.  Another day, I went into Izmir to see my friends there. The last full day I had, which just happened to be my 18TH BIRTHDAY, I went to Ephesus, and I got to meet up with one of my friends back home from Ohio, then went to have dinner at a restaurant with my exchange friends who stay in Izmir.  Being with my exchange friends is really great.  I don't get to see them very often because I'm in Bursa, about five hours from most of them, but whenever I get together with them I always have a blast.  I know there are a few students in my group who will probably be my friends for a really long time, and I'm really happy I had the chance to spend a few days with them this month.  

Shannon and me at the horse farm

On February 1 Shannon made cinnamon rolls with her host mom, then at midnight for my birthday we stuck a candle on one and we had a little party!

My friend Emma and me at Ephesus!

The rest of the break I mainly just spent hanging out with my host family or exploring Bursa with Riad. On the last day of break, I switched host families, and moved in with the Ermutlu family.  Riad and I just switched host families, so I knew this family pretty well before I came.  To my surprise, the amount of stuff I own here in Turkey has nearly doubled over the past few months.  Anyways, here's a picture of my new host family and I:

New host family

I really am enjoying my new host family, and my host mom are having a lot of fun cooking together! I taught her how to make chocolate chip cookies, and then she taught me how to make stuffed grape leaves. Mmm :)

Me making making cookies


Learning new things is fun!

So.... I think two weeks ago, I went to a wedding on Saturday for the daughter of my Rotary Club President, then on Sunday Riad and I went to a Bursaspor soccer game.  

Host moms!

Riad and me

My host mom teaching me how to dance like a Turk


Before the soccer game Riad and I had some nice Kofte Ekmek (Meatball  Sandwich) 

Last week and this week there's been an AIESEC program at my school with international university students coming in to give presentations to English classes.  AIESEC is basically international non-profit organization that lets students do various interning and leadership training internationally and it's all run by young people, which is extra cool!  So, last week we had a boy from Indonesia, and this week there is a girl from Egypt, both accompanied by a Turkish student.  It's been really neat to be with these students, and I've had fun getting to know more people and learn about more cultures.  I'm ready to go to Egypt and Indonesia now!

Yesterday, Riad and I gave presentations IN TURKISH to a Rotary club in Inegol, a city about an hour from Bursa.  It was our first time presenting in Turkish, and it didn't go terribly!  The club president even gave us some nice gifts that represent his city and Rotary club at the end. 

In this picture, I'm awkwardly like, "this is my first time speaking Turkish to a lot of people. I'm an exchange student!"

And in this one, I'm like, "LOOK! IT'S AMERICA :))))"
I feel like there's something else I want to share with you guys... but I can't think of it right now. 


Today my host mom and I were going over the Rotary schedule for the next few months, and I have some pretty exciting Rotary trips and things to do ahead of me.  With my family coming to visit me in the summer, and various Rotary trips all over Turkey, I'm really excited for everything ahead of me.  I'm not so much excited with the fact that I'll be sitting in Ohio in about four and a half months, but I'm REALLY looking forward to the next four and a half months I have here in Turkey. I'll keep you up to date with all my trips as soon as I know more! Now I'm going to go get ready for bed, and hopefully I'll be updating again soon!  Iyi geceler :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

So ya know...

So, do you remember when my last blog got a virus or something about 4 months ago? Well I just copied some of the old blog posts into this blog.  I didn't get all of them, and I didn't copy the pictures, but they're finally here on this site. There might be random extra letters or random parts missing from when I copied them from my WordPress account, but I think you'll get the gist.  I know I'm due for a proper blog post soon... but today I'm really tired and am now going to bed... but, I PROMISE one will be on it's way soon.  I have one almost ready, and another one in my head at the moment.  Iyi geceler :))

Also, here's a birthday shout out to my cousin, Markus! Doğum günün kutlu olsun :)

Thursday, February 7, 2013


So today at dinner, my host dad was trying to tell me that if I were still hungry, I could get more food, but instead he awkwardly told me in half Turkish, half English, so we came up with a new language, Turkglish. I don't know if that's the official name for half English, half Turkish, but it's the official name in the Erdoğan household. I'm really good at Turkglish.