Thursday, December 29, 2011

A Kappadokian Christmas

Christmas was absolutely amazing this year. The Rotary organization put together a tour for us exchange students that was absolutely amazing.
I went to Ankara on December 22nd and was able to go to an early New Year's Eve party. I met many Rotarians and had a wonderful time. On the 23rd I met up with my exhchange family(:
When we were all on the bus traveling to Kappadokia I felt at home for the first time in weeks. These kids are truly amazing.
On our tour we got to see many different and mind blowing things. We had lunch at a Turkish restuarant where they served us Turkish Kebab and rice. We went to a museum that was a city built into rock. The architecture was amazing. There was an old church we saw that was absolutely stunning. What is even more amazing is that even though the museum was about to close for the day, they let us in anyways. Being a Rotary exchange student brings about many experiences others miss out on everyday.
While traveling we stopped at many different roadside shops where they sold traditional Turkish clothing and trinkets. At one of these stops, a friend and I were so engrossed in what we were doing that we didn't notice the bus leaving until it was already moving. Luckily the people in the back seat saw us waving goodbye and they stopped. (:
Another place we saw was a castle. It was a fairly long and steep walk up to the top, I can't even imagine being an army and trying to attack it. The view from the top of the castle (carved from the rock wall/cliff) was absolutely stunning. And there was also snow at the top. I was hoping to go a whole year without touching snow...but....we win some we lose some.
My friends and I celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve. We all had a nice dinner at the hotel we were occupying (literally. occupying. not just staying.) then we went to a traditional Turkish entertainment night. The entertainers went through the different steps of a proposal, bachelor/bachelorette party, and the wedding itself. There was also a belly dancer that was phenomal (so all the boys thought.) xD
The owners then played some songs and let our group of exchange students take the floor. We all got partners and started doing the Salsa, the Tango, regualar Ballroom dancing stuff. It was really a lot of fun.
while packing all of our stuff into our bus on Christmas Day, the Brasilians (who had never touched/seen snow) started an epic snowball fight. The waiting staff of the hotel even joined in our little battle. After 30 minutes of constant snowballs we all got on the bus. Soaking wet and happy as could be.
It has been less than a week and I already miss my exchange family. But luckily I only have 21 more days until I get to see them again. And this time its for 17 days instead of only 3. (:

Thursday, December 1, 2011


So much has happened since my last blog post, I dont even know where to start.
Let me first say, that I apologise for any spelling/grammar errors. My English has gotten quite bad but it seems to come in fits and starts.
Well. I have been pretty busy the last couple of weeks. I keep telling myself that I am going to skip school just because I can, but I love it to much. Skipping school doesnt seem like a rebelious act to me because I love it so much. My classmates and teachers are absolutely amazing. My conversation teacher has been making us write 1 essay a week much to the disgruntled remarks of my classmates. I absolutely love it. I am able to write an essay, but am asked by classmates to help them with their essays. I love being able to teach them things about my language.
I have also been studying my SAT alot. I am going to Ankara tomorrow to take the SAT AGAIN. I am actually quite excited to take it because its American in a way, and I kind of miss America.
I found out 2 weeks ago that there is an AFS exchange student here in Antalya. He's Belgian and his name is Robbe. He is a super nice kid, but has to return back to Belgium in a week or two. We were only able to hang out once because of our busy schedules but it is nice knowing that I am not the only exchanger in Antalya. For now at least.
Exams have started again in my school. My classmates are studying more than normal but we have fun anyways. They are slowly loosening up and realizing studying isnt the only thing in life. My Irish-Turkish friend Yasemin took me to see the new Twilight movie. I didnt know that there was going to be 2 parts to the last movie until the end of the movie when the credits started rolling. But, as you all know, that isnt surprising.
Even though there are many good things, the bad follow as well. I am feeling conflicted about moving host families. I want to stay with my current family longer because I absolutely love my host mom and host dad. My host mom is amazing. And even though my host dad has a bad habit of sneaking food on my plate when im not looking, he's pretty awesome too. The bad thing is my host brother. Every night my 13 year old host brother picks a fight with both of my host parents. He calls them names and treats them like they are his servants. A lot of times I am woken up at midnight from my host brother shouting. We aren't very close. At first he wanted to be an only child and resented the fact that he had to share his parents when his sister was gone, and now he complains to his cousins (my best friends) that he feels like an only child because we never talk or really interact. Im not really sure how to deal with it, but I am moving host families soon enough so it won't be a problem much longer.
The only other bad thing that happened was when 2 girls in my school decided to read my journal. I have been writing in cursive, because they can all semi-read English. Turns out they can semi-understand cursive to. The only thing they read was about how unhappy I was one day, but that was a really bad day. I absolutely love Turkey. Through all the ups and downs.
The weather is getting colder and winter has arrived in the form of t-shirt and jeans weather for me, and multiple layers of clothes and coats for everyone else in Antalya. My host dad always points to my feet indicating that I need to put socks on or I will get sick. It's quite entertaining(:
My Turkish improves every day but I am very frustrated with my slow progress. After I get back to Antalya from taking the SAT I am going to get a Turkish tudor.
I am also gearing up for the Rotary Christmas trip to Kappadokya. Im really excited to see my other exchangers(: it has been far to long.