Sunday, April 19, 2015

Gelibolu Melevihanesi or How the Murray's Crashed Mohammad's Birthday Celebartion

I saw this poster last Saturday - for an event at Gelibolu Melevihanesi on Sunday.


We've wanted a peak into this unique building since we discovered it.  

So we went - and of course got it wrong!

A Melevihanesi lodge is the worship location for Sufi followers. We visited the birthplace of this mystic religion in Konya and watched a ceremony where the dervishes meditate or/pray by turning or whirling. Here's a link to some of what you might expect to see at a dervish ceremony. (We respected the request not to take photos or video of the ceremony when we visited the Melevihanesi at Cappadocia, so this is someone else's video.)

We knew immediately upon entering the building that something else was going.  There were chairs in the centre of the building where the dervishes would usually meditate. We were greeted by a man who gave us each a rolled up piece of coloured paper with a small candy attached. The papers each had a different verse from the Koran written in Turkish. We could smell food cooking.We sat as near the back as possible. The band came in eventually and played a single song and then an older man with a white beard came in and sat down behind a table at the front.

There was no introductions but a man  began to pass a microphone among people in the crowd who asked questions of the white-bearded man. The crowd of mostly women and children, listened without reacting - no visible signs of agreement, or disapproval and no applause.. My Turkish is just good enough to understand words and some phrases. I listened hard, especially when one of the questions concerned jihad, but I came away none the wiser. Even after the Q&A started there was a continuous ebb and flow of people through the doors, so we didn't make a spectacle of ourselves when we left after an hour.

From our translation of the poster before we went, we knew that it was a birthday celebration, but not for whom. Rumi, the founder's birthday, is in September.  After the fact we learned that it was a celebration of Mohammad's birthday. On the upside we did get a peak inside.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

February 2015

For a short month we were really busy.  Sam is still playing basketball twice each week.  His physical condition has really improved and he's giving his teammates and trainers lots of opportunities to practice their English.

I'm still teaching English a couple of evenings a week.  Work is slow for Cam, so he comes along most nights and provides another voice in the classroom.  Nicole volunteers once each week in their pre-school room during English hour.  She also had an opportunity to teach English to a grade four class and a grade 7 class this month.  

Water, water everywhere.

Demolition complete.

Big news this month is the rebuilding of our retaining wall. They aren't finished yet, but the crew is making good progress. (see below)  All the cement for this project is being hand mixed on the ground in the lane and transported by wheel barrow.  All the rock is "recycled" from the old wall.  

There is a lot of work going on in our lane.  The neighbours two doors down are getting new sidewalk tiles and the neighbours on the other side of them are getting a new roof.  Both work crews arrive randomly and leave piles of debris.  

The roofers also appear to have acquired our watering hose (and broken) our hose reel.

February 24, Johanna flew back to Canada to go to work.  She filled her own big suitcase. I gave her my big suitcase and she could have easily filled another one.  We stayed overnight with her in Istanbul. I took her to the airport at 6 a.m. for her 8:10 a.m. flight.  

Istanbul traffic is legendary.  One reason is the huge number of transport trucks moving goods in and out of Europe.  The license plate from this truck says it's registered in Iran, you can see the yellow plate written in Arabic on the trailer door.  Sadly the license plate is less visible.

On the way home from Istanbul, we stopped at the Florya Mall so we could get some bacon from the Macro Centre.  This little grocery store sells all the regular Turkish products, side by side with grocery products from home we don't see in our local Kipa (grocery).  Among other things we got some Cheerios, a bottle of HP, a container each of mint jelly, and horseradish and two packages of bacon. The prices are about what you'd expect for "imported" groceries.  We all enjoy Turkish food, but it's nice to have flavours which remind us of home.

We have a cast iron Dutch oven at home.  Cam has been "YouTube learning" so he can use it when we go camping this summer.  When we found one for sale at The Macro Centre, we couldn't resist.