Thursday, April 30, 2015

April 2015

Cam had to stop at the cargo office in Gelibolu to pick up a package.  Sitting on the passenger side of the vehicle, I saw something different out my window.  So when Cam jumped out to get his package, Nicole and Sam and I walked back up the street to have a look and snap a couple of photos.

A goat tied up outside of a paint store.

It's kind of cute.  It was still there a week later, but the last time we were by there it wasn't. Hopefully it has moved on to greener pastures.
While we were snapping the photos, I glanced across the street and saw one of my English students, and a former teacher from the English school walking down the street together.  We crossed the street and I received a "Turkish style" greeting from both men (a kiss on both cheeks).  This was disconcerting - much too familiar for my liking but "When in Rome ..." Afterwards, I was just grateful they didn't use the "hand kiss, forehead to hand" gesture which shows respect for the elderly!

Nicole and her first turtle of spring!

The bus shelter.

Sam sitting in the bus shelter.

Cam had to work out of the house for most of  a week in mid April, which interfered with his chauffeuring duties.  As it turned out we only had to take "the" bus into town once in order to get Nicole to her volunteer job at the language school.

There has been road improvement going on throughout our time on the Peninsula.  Last fall, the road was widened near the entrance to our village and a large metal bus shelter was erected.  Sadly it was only a few weeks until  a storm blew the all metal shelter off the road and into the ditch.  A few weeks later it was lifted back onto the road, but as you can see it happened again - only this time, no one has bothered to return it to the road.

Because cars, insurance and road tax are costly, bus travel is very good in Turkey.  When we take "the" bus into Gelibolu we walk up to the highway and stand so the buses headed in the direction we want to go can see us.  Many little villages have a 15 or 20 passenger bus which keeps a regular bus schedule  past our door and if they have room they will pull over and pick us up.  Right now a one way ticket (paid at the destination) from our door to Gelibolu is 5 TL.  We've also been picked up by larger coach style buses which connect larger cities.  The return trip is just a case of standing in the right spot and flagging down the bus you want - except on Saturdays when we waited two hours and finally called Cam for a rescue on his lunch break.

A warship in the Gelibolu harbour.

Mevlevihanesi - We got a look inside this unique building - the worship location for the Sufi religion.

Sam's basketball finished for the season on April 19.  By the final weekend, there was just one other boy coming to practice (Meilei) and they'd changed the time from an afternoon practice to a morning practice so that the coach could teach Sam and Meilei as well as a group of little players.

Meilei, Sam and Kemal Mustafa Ataturk (the founder of modern Turkey)

Taking a rest and watching the younger children practice.

My sewing machine has gotten quite a work out in the last year.  Nicole has been sewing a great deal and I've completed a few projects too.  When it developed some sort of electrical problem in the last six months or so Nicole and I were wondering if we'd have to live without it.  Thankfully Cam diagnosed the problem and tried, with the help of a colleague, to get parts for a repair.  When that didn't work, the colleague, found a Pfaff repair shop 90 minutes from us in Tekirdag.  So this month we made two trips to Tekirdag, the first to drop off the machine and the second to bring it home.  For about $60 Canadian, the technician (who used to work for Levi's in Germany), repaired the problem with solder, replaced a bulb, adjusted the tension and sold me two packages of machine needles and 10 bobbins. I put the sewing machine to use last week and it works perfectly.  Yeah!

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.