Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tourist In My Own Town

Our school recently underwent an accreditation visit, a time where a team visits our school and probes into all aspects of school life. We will find out the final recommendation of the team later, but we really enjoyed the time with them while they were here. One gal flew in from Cameroon, Africa. Her flights were only available once a week, so she came a few days early. I took her down to Ulus. This is the 'old part' of town. I decided that day to take my camera and become a tourist. So many things have become normal to me here, but I found it interesting to view it through the eyes of my blog-readers. Here are a few photos I took...this gentleman was outside his house scrubbing some huge kettles. I asked the lady if I could take a picture. She was so touched, she found me later on in the day and thanked me again.
This is a mosque in Ulus. The law here requires that a mosque be within walking distance of every resident of this country.
Scarves, pashminas, and old style shoes...
The Turkish women dry vegetables each summer like this. Then they re-hydrate them, stuff them with rice/spices/meat and enjoy a delicious Turkish food called dolma (which means 'stuffed')...the purple is eggplant, the reds are peppers.
This is a dry foods vendor...nuts, fruits, etc. I usually try at least 1 thing I've never tried before when we go by these shops. Here you get to taste test. I have to remember to tell my children not to sample fruits when we grocery shop back in America!

The most beautiful spot, to me, in Ulus is the old castle. You can see the 500 year old wall snaking through the town. Houses have been built right into it, but there are still remnants of the wall.
This is looking down at houses and a mosque from the castle.
You can see the roughly-built homes, called Gecekondus. This means, "Night house." As the law states, if you can put a roof on a piece of property overnight, you can call it your own. Many times we spy kittens jumping roof to roof here.
Annika is showing us the old part of her town. Don't miss the satellite dish!
You can see the old mixed with the new. Gecekondus are gradually being replaced with new apartment buildings. I will miss the little old shacks when they are all gone.
The big sisters enjoyed a day on the town with mom. I told them I'd buy them 1 thing. The original choice of a bag of candy-coated nuts at the dried fruit stand was quickly replaced by a little porcelien box as their treat for the day. The store owner was quite entertained when I told them I had to buy 4 boxes for 4 little girls and that Benaiah did NOT get one. He laughed until he cried. Little did I know that Papa had pulled Esther's tooth while I was gone. She used her box to hide the tooth for the tooth fairy that night!Come visit us! We'll take you to Ulus. I might even buy you a bag of candy-coated nuts!


Melanie Keffer said...

How charming!! Absolutely wonderful. So rich with adventure! I don't know how you don't feel like a Mrs. Pollifax or somebody. My kids would love it!


P. S. I felt so sorry for you and Benaiah in the last post.

The Fish Family said...

Great photos - I love my photos that I took like that of Singapore - those are the ones that I like to show other people - you know the markets with the foods in the big bins and all.

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