Monday, July 07, 2008
Gunaydin (Turkish for “good morning” even though it sounds strangely like “goodnight”)
This last week and a half at the Kres’ has been encouraging and a complete turnaround from our first chaotic week. We have started our English conversation program as planned, and it is going very well. Our theme for the summer is “Around the World” so as were teaching English we’re also studying other countries. For the first few days we traveled around the US, and then finished the week by having the older kids present on Turkey. We were floored by the amount of effort and excitement the kids put into their presentation of their country. We were so proud to see them practicing their English. It made for a great ending to the week. The language barrier, which at first seemed daunting is less of an issue as we learn more about each individual kid’s personalities. With the little Turkish we know and the little English they know combined with some charades we can generally get our point across and it makes for a fun time. As we settled into the routine, we had more time to focus on building relationships with the kids and we are now realizing how truly hard it is going to be to leave them at the end of the summer.
We hope all of you at home had a good and safe 4th of July. We celebrated ours a day early at an international gathering hosted by a British couple….but don’t worry, they got out an American flag and we all sang the Star Spangled Banner (as well as some other “American” songs we’d never heard), and we were thankful to eat some American food.
We got to celebrate our first completed week of our scheduled program at the Kres’ by going on an overnight excursion to Olympos. We stayed the night in tree houses and night-hiked up to the famous naturally burning flames. We ended by visiting Demre, the town of the original Santa Clause, St. Nicholas.
Although the weekend was fun we were excited to go back to the Kres’ and see the kids. Keep us in your prayers so that we may show Gods love through our actions, and for energy because it is only supposed to get hotter before we leave, as well as Tans’ule (the owner of the Kres’ we work at) as she is under many stresses. It’s comforting to know we have prayer support back home.
Hope you all are having a great summer,
Caitlin, Mandy, Katelyn and Liz