Tuesday, December 25, 2007

It's Christmas today!

It is 50 degrees in Istanbul...there are a few Christmas lights scattered around the city, but it hardly feels like a holiday. There are even exams and tests....BUT my parents will be here in just a few hours, so I am absolutely excited!

We haven't had Internet at home, so I've been a little behind in the blogging, but here are a few pictures from last week.

My friend Denis went back to the US, it was sad and made me not want to think about leaving!

For the "slaughter" holiday...you visit families and they feed you the fresh meat. There were veggies though too and chocolate...so I was okay!

My Greek friend Sotaris...it's his first time bowling!!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

I painted Nelly! (and another naked girl!)

Another naked girl...she was suppose to be laying down, but it really looks like she is flying and I kind of like it that way.

This is Nelly...if you couldn't tell, or if you couldn't tell by the title of the post. I love and miss her so much!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Probably the worst "holiday" ever...

The red is blood...and you can see the cows in the back ground waiting for their death.

Yes, this is hanging cow, freshly slaughtered.

So in Islam, they celebrate the angel coming to stop Abraham from killing Isaac. They do this by sacrificing cows and lambs in the streets, then eating it. I saw little girls this morning carrying bags of meat to their family members...Nothing like giving dead animal to someone you love!

I can't be completely sarcastic, although I do find it disgusting and barbaric. A lot of the meat is also given to the poor, so there are good intentions behind all the killing. But aren't there supposively good intentions behind war too?

sorry for the absence.

Tanju's two little cousins and me. His mom gave me a head scarf from Mecca. (which I'm wearing) The girls were adorable. We played cat's cradle with string. It's universal I suppose! I can't wait to go back!

Tanju's awesome parents and me! I love his parents! They made me so many great meals. And his mom kept saying "Eat eat eat" but in Turkish, of course!! It was so funny. I definitely felt at home!

The boat/yatch! My friend Deniz has this boat that we went out on the Bosphorus on. It was great, but so so cold. Reminded my of walking down Michigan Avenue when it's 10 below zero...

Freezing! Even below deck!!

The captain!

Monday, December 10, 2007


Katie, Jason, and Bryce grating potatos and onions!

Gabe forming the latkes......

Everyone is sooo full after latkes!!!!! Edie gave me the best recipe!!!


I still love Oprah, even on the campaign trail.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

First night of Hanukkah (and third!)

Martine and I lighted the candles! Well, she did it and I sang the prayers. I think it was her first Jewish experience! Really, it was quite lovely. (I changed the picture because Martine is a lot cuter than what the first one looked like!! This is actually the third night, many people were over and it was good Jewish times!)

All the Jewish boys want me to make latkes, so in the next 8 days sometime we'll be frying up some potatoes! YUM!

(Now we made plans to make them on Sunday at one of the girl's place!!!!!!!!!)

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Saturday painting.

I think I have already mentioned that my best friend lives with an artist and there is a studio in the apartment. We were both drawing with pastels, but then Mustafa (the owner/painter) graduated us to paints. So I have painted two pictures now. I really love it, it's relaxing for me. Although I have used water colors when I was little, I have never actually painted. And yes, my mom is an art teacher, but we always did different things like ceramics, print making, photography, paper marbling. But for some reason, we never really just painted.

This was my first painting. I like it, she's so happy!

I painted this one yesterday. I like her too. My friend teases me about another naked girl. But I think bodies are so beautiful and vulnerable when they're naked that you can really see the emotion more than if it's covered in clothing.

This is Troy's first painting, it's not done though. And he really was challenged because I drew on the canvas first and then used the other one so he had to cover up the lines that I left. It's funny when we paint together because I do mine really really fast and he is so slow and intricate. He has many details and thinks about what he is doing a lot. Where I just paint what feels right....but I think Troy is very good and more importantly, unique.

Mustafa asked me yesterday if I would still come over and paint when Troy left in January and of course I said yes. So I am excited that I can still spend time with Mustafa and still be able to paint.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ode to Troy

The shores where ANZAC landed. (ANZAC is Australian and New Zealand Army Corp, thank you Troy!)

We also went to Galipolli where the Australians, British, French and New Zealanders invaded Turkey (then the Ottoman Empire) in 1915. The cliffs weren't quite Normandy, but it was still pretty incredible.

Pretty incredible sunset.

Practicing my photography skills..but it's kind of cool how he is holding the sun.

At the theater in Teregama...this place was definitely off the beaten path, but it was great to see and almost no tourist...probably because it was winter and almost closing time...but still.

Me...in the AGEAN SEA!!!!

Serkan, Troy, and I at Troy in front of the fake Trojan horse that was made in 1975.

When the German's found Troy, the city was too well intact and they kept digging deeper, ruining much of what was left of the great city. But it is still impressive to see. I don't know if Homer's writing are any more "alive" to me, but I was still excited about seeing the city.

Really our trip was great. I was quite the backseat driver since I can't drive manual, but Troy was patient. He is by far my best friend here and I tell him everything. I hate to think that he'll leave in a month and a half. I have other friends here, many actually, but when you make real friends, it's always hard to see them go or to leave them. It was the same with Rachel and Joy. It's a bitter sweet thing to travel. I have always met incredible people, but then inevitably, you have to let them go. They pop into your life and give you so much to take with you, and then they are gone. Not that I don't see Rachel or Joy and I know I will see Troy again, but maybe I am selfish to want them with me all the time. But I like to think my best friends make me a better person, and wanting to be better isn't selfish.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

British International School

I went to the BIS to see if I could volunteer there. And they will let me. So twice a week I will work with ESL students. I'm really looking forward to it. They were excited that I was a native English speaker. So I am assuming the other aides or volunteers are Turkish.

Last Friday I went to workout at the university facilities. They really really nice, but it costs 5 YTL, about $4. On the weekends it is 10 YTL. I think I am just spoiled that at Ball State it was free. I really hate paying, but I will go again tomorrow. It felt really good to get some exercise besides walking up five hills a day.

We got a shower rod and curtain and had a man install them...the bathroom issues have quickly been solved......no more water everywhere. It's a beautiful thing.

I have come to the conclusion that I will most likely have to live in the US for at least two years to get my Masters and have two years experience under my belt. Unless I get right into DoDDs, any good international school will want/expect two years at least. Maybe Katie can have a baby while I am home and I won't have to fly back and forth a million times. =)

Friday, November 16, 2007

Joy and the girls!!

After a great Saturday morning drawing and painting with Troy and Mustafa, the girls arrived from Baumholder!

(Drawing in Mustafa's studio. Troy lives with an artist who comes and paints during the day. It is so relaxing to set back and not think of anything but the lines, colors, shades...)

Seeing Joy was so overwhelming. Leaving Germany was really hard for me and a lot of those emotions came back, but since it's Joy she quickly smoothed them. The girls were so adorable and had a really hard time calling me Andrea instead of "Miss Wiese." We did so many things, I think we were all so exhausted.

Emily and Sarah inside the Blue Mosque

The girls and I in front of Aya Sofya! The inside really is incredible.

Palace Cistern
It is a vast underground water storage tank originally built by Constantine the Great. It was enlarged by Justinian in the 6th century. The cistern was largely neglected after the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453.

Sarah, Emily, and Ataturk!!!!

Topkapi Palace...the first Ottoman Palace built in Constantinople.

Joy with the girls..it was Sarah and Emily's first steps in ASIA!

This was Emily and Sarah's first time playing tavla (backgammon) and they both beat my really good friend Hakan!

Joy, Emily, and Sarah outside of Istanbul Modern...it was a great modern art museum. Some of the works really challenged my views on the Middle East.

So as you can see, we did soooo much. I love sharing the culture here. And everything I do something, I see something new and different. I can't wait to see them again!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Last of Ankara!

Rotary is truly amazing! They paid $2000 per bus for 22 buses to take students from Istanbul to Ankara for the anniversary of Ataturk's death. They went to the mansolenm and the Independence War Museum. While we were there we had tea with the top official in the Turkish military, but for me the highlight was the students asking me questions to practice their English...they were so cute!! They get so excited to use it especially with a real "American."
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more from Rotary!

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To Ankara with Rotary!!

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Friday, November 02, 2007

Boat...do you like it mom??
A street....obviously.
Inside the temple...
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