Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mevlâna (Whirling Dervish Festival)

It was a wonderful experience going to the whirling dervish festival in Konya. This time I met some Turkey AFSers from other countries such as Germany, Italy, Venezula, Taiwain, etc. That was a lot of fun! The whirling dervishes continuously spin around in a circle (sometimes for hours) in a spiritual honor of God. There is a whole process that goes on: it's hard for me to explain but if you're interested you can check out the link which gives the details. I don't understand how they can just spin for so long without getting dizzy. It's truly amazing. After the festival, the rest of the exchange students went home but only us four Trabzoners stayed for our "end of the semester" orientation. The night before (at the hotel) we had a lot of fun experiencing the snow in Ankara. Of course, I'm used to lots of snow, but Victor and Cristina had never seen it before and were very excited! That was interesting..anyway, I wanted to keep this post short. I'm busy working on various college things and preparing for my life when I return back home (which I hate to think about..) I'm anxious for Christmas, although it will be quite different here. I'm sure I will enjoy it regardless. Also, my books finally came in the mail! The ones my parents sent me from back home. yayyyy for reading! Here are some pictures of the festival:

Turkey AFSers!



Friday, December 3, 2010

Aralık (December)

I've now settled into my fourth month of living here (December) and I can't believe three months have already gone by! It has just gone by way too fast...really. I wish the time would slow down but I know it won't :( Well, I'm really getting a hang of the Turkish language and it's hard to believe that after just a few months I can speak and understand it to this extent. Of course my skills aren't even close to being excellent, it's good enough so that people can understand me, and that's whats important! Because I can speak and understand a lot more now, I'm very close with my classmates and we have a lot of fun. I usually become a source of laughter/entertainment :) And I'm okay with that! I love my host family so much. My sisters are just so wonderful. We are a real family they are just so special to me. I recently started taking a traditional Turkish folklore dance class with the three other American students here. Now that's interesting, I'll tell you that much hahaha. We are learning how to dance "Horon" - the traditional dance of Trabzon. It's really fun but complicated because of the different steps and how fast its done. Here's a link to a video of it: now of course we don't look like that AT ALL, and there are only four of us; but that's what its suppose to look like when you're actually good at it:) The other day we demonstrated what we had learned so far for our Turkish teacher. She really enjoyed that I think;) 
Because it's the holiday season and Christmas is coming up, us four Trabzon students are going to get gifts for the Samsun students (like a "secret santa" gift exchange thingy). Even far away from home, we still want to keep the holiday spirit alive! It's weird to think I won't be home for Christmas- I bet my family is saying " All I want for Christmas is for Danielle to come back home!" or maybe they are saying the exact opposite: "All I want for Christmas is for Danielle to never come back!" Hahaha, just kidding:P Hmmm..I forgot to mention anything about Thanksgiving! Yes, I did celebrate it, sort of. I was very thankful and reflective this year. I tried to explain its meaning to my Turkish classmates. I drew a turkey on the chalkboard. They were a bit confused. They don't eat "turkey" much here in "Turkey" - hehe:) It's actually called "hindi" in Turkish. And Türks prefer their country to be called "Türkiye" pronounced 'Turk-ee-yay' because they are sick of all the turkey jokes..hahaha. QUICK HISTORY FACT: it's kinda funny because the Türks originally evolved from the Huns, you know, the scary warrior people in Mulan? Yeah, those guys, except they weren't all scary like that- that was just an exaggerated portrayal. Anyway, that was a really long time ago, but now the Huns live in Hungary and are no longer Türks, although there is a still a connection. Both countries don't particulary get along now, so that's why Hungary is "hungry" for Türkiye "turkey". hahaha, okay i'm done with that. Hmm what else, what else. bilmiyorum yaaaa. i like my american friends, we have a lot of fun. and laugh a lot. tonight i had fun dancing with my little sister, while my other sisters watched and laughed. i'm not saying i was ever a good dancer to begin with, but i must say my dancing skills are now equivalent to napoleon dynamites. be jealous. i'm sorry this post was sort of random, its hard to collect my thoughts now, especially since i'm forgetting proper english. PARDON! tamam, bitti! Here are some photos of where I live and my TÖMER language classroom:)


(Black Sea)