Wednesday, October 29, 2008

AFS Camp in Izmir

Okay so I finally was able to get a hold of a computer about 5 days after I returned from Izmir. As I said in my last post, I went to an AFS camp this past week with the other 34 exchange students. And I must say despite some of my bad luck there (you'll here about it soon), I had an amazing time. It was possibly on of the best weeks of my life. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Us exchange students get along really well! There wasn't a single person there that I disliked.

One thing that I really liked about this camp was that I got to get to know all the other non-American exchange students much better. I felt so comfortable there and was able to just be very open with the people there, more open than I have ever been with some of my friends in the states. I can honestly say that I am going to miss them all terribly when this year is over.

Anyways, the hotel we stayed at was AMAZING! It was sooo green everywhere and all the rooms were seprate houses so the hotel felt more like a resort. We were right by the beach which was cool but very clear. The food was very tasty and they had backgammon board galore (its a very popular game in Turkey) and a table tennis table.

So what we did there...Every morning we had Turkish lessons from about 930-100. The starting time always varied, depending on when our couselors got to bed. After the Turkish lessons, we would eat lunch and then have sessions, in which we were split up into small groups and discussed different topics. The topics ranged from the difference in values between Turkey and your home country to Pictionary with sterotypes. Although at times they seemed stupid and pointless, I think we all got something out of it whether we realize it or not.

However this week three things happened that I could have done with out. The first of these happened early Tuesday morning, when I was getting ready to go to bed...at 3 in the morning.

I enter my room ready for some sleep and begin to empty my pockets. When I'm done I turn off the main lights and head to my bed in the pitch black dark to turn on the lamp above my bed. I fumble for the switch and eventually find it. Realived, I flipped it. nothing. I flip it again...and again.......and again. still nothing. So naturally, as any other clear thinking person would do, I search for the lamp in the darkness. My hands find there way to the spot where the lamp should be above my bed and search around that spot. When my hand slips into a hole full of wires. A blue light illuminates the room and I feel a jolt of electric energy run through me. Next thing I know I'm on the other side of the room, my arm shaking. Don't worry though I was okay, it didn't hurt it was just...shocking. Granted I had a hard time sleeping after being energized like a battery. The worst part about it was that I went through that traumatizing experience and didn't even get super powers out of it.

The second thing happened when I woke up. I had felt much better that morning and was ready to tell my story with as much epicness and exaggeration stuffed in. I do all my morning routines: shower, dress, wake up my roommate, get my iPod, stuff pens in my pocket and find some paper, and grab my camera. After getting my camera, I remember all the pictures I had taken the day before and decide to check them. But alas I could not. Somehow from the time I had last looked at my camera and that morning, my LCD screen had devoloped a disease I like to call shattered. Naturally I was upset and storm out to discover the perpetrator. After excersising my ingenious detective skills I discover that on of the AFS volenteers had accidentally dropped it and didnt notice the shattered LCD screen but promised to pay for it so no harm done. I still have the photos but have yet to be able to put them on the computer because the only computer we have at home right now is my dad's work computer. So when we get the other computer fixed I'll start posting more pictures. In the meantime there are plenty of nice pictures on facebook.

The third thing that happened...well I dont really feel like making a big story about it so pretty much on thursday we played music and danced a lot my shoes couldn't handle my fridiculous dance moves so they broke. But I had fun doing it so thats all that matters.

On friday we went to Efes which is like this super cool ancient roman city and it would have made some amazing pictures had my camera be in a non shattered condition. After that we went to St. Mary's Place which is where Mary lived after Jesus died. So that was pretty cool. Afterward we hung out in Izmir having fun until it was finally time to say goodbye. It was sad leaving all the exchange students and the comfort of they're comfort and it was hard on many people. Tears were shed, not by me of course, but they were shed.

By the end of the camp I came to the realization that I actually was having problems adapting. I didn't realize it before but after this week I realized that I haven't been trying to intergrate with my family, my school, or the language. That I've been holding on to my memories back in the states too much and need to let go. So as I left I promised myself that I was going to really work hard to learn the language and put myself out there more.

All in all I think it was a pretty good week. I had fun, improved my turkish, experienced electricity first hand, found out I wasn't the only one having problems, OH and there was a bon fire! I forgot to mention that. Really really big bonfire where we all just chilled, sung beatles and campfire songs, and lay on each other. It was a lot of fun. So yea pretty good week. I could go on to talk about how my last 5 days have been but I think it would make this post more cluttered and not as focused. So I'll talk about that later. yay procrastination!

Hope things are going well,
Eric

Friday, October 17, 2008

Finally!

So I know I havent blogged in a while but I promise I have a good excuse! I promise. You see this past friday the family computer broke down. Yes thats right, I have been computer-less for the past week. I've been trying desperatly this week to try to find away to blog but every computer I get on has blocked this site (why would you block this?!) and even my trusty iPod, Edward, failed on me and wouldnt let me write in this pretty box I'm typing in now.
I finally got to get on because my host dad let me borrow his work computer.

This past week hmmmm what happened....Well yesterday the other exchange student and I were going to go to a University with the 11th and 12th graders for a tour. This would have been a cool excursion if I hadn't been forgotton.....oh well.

Oh! one devolpment this past week, the turkish language now seems possibe to learn. Difficult..but possible I just need time. I think that in about 2 and half 3 years I'll be getting the hang of it. So look out Turkey here I come.

My social life is getting better, I've definatly got friends at this point. However there is one aspect of a social live that is starting to bother me. People getting a crush on me. Yup one of my good friends here has decided that she likes me. That's not really I problem but I'm not really looking for a relationship. And I'm definatly not going to enter one if I don't have intimate feelings for said person. So I've decided to play a role which I have undertaken many times and have mastered to the point of art: playing dumb.

Tamam (okay in Türkçe) so tonight I depart for my second AFS camp. I will be going to Izmir for a week. I've heard that it is an awesome place and I'm really excited to see all the exchange students again. Unfortunatly its a 10 hour bus ride....and it leave at midnight.....oh boy. Anyways, I've packed my camera and I promise to take lots of pictures so all you folks back home can see 'em.

Well I think I will wrap this up, I probably will not be able to write until the 25th so don't check up too often because more than likely there will be nothing new.

Bay Bay
eric

PS: Happy Birthday LA!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Pictures

This is our teacher, instructing us in the sacred and mysterious workings of the terrifying Turkish language.

This is part of the class learning the sacred and mysterious workings of the terrifying Turkish language.

And of course, no matter where in the world I am, someone always...always feels the need to mess with my hair.

Tadaa! A work of art? I think not.




Haha that rhymed. I'm a poet and dont even know it. =p

Short Post (unless i get carried away, which is probably likely)

Well I'm planning on this being a short post seeing as its 930 and im not particurally in the writing mood, but we'll see. I suppose its been a while since my last post so I'll fill you in.
The days after my last post I began to feel much more like a part of the family. I had some long, open conversations with my host mother. not about anything being wrong just a bunch of things...everything from me being homesick lately, to language, to politics.
At school, things finally got fixed with my schedule today. I went to my first 11th grade math class today and had to think. Ive done the material before but its all material Ive done recently so naturally I forgot every bit of it. But wow does it feel good to have to use my brain again which I dont feel Ive had to do for the past 4 months...at least not inteluctually. I find myself eager to relearn the math and complete my mountain of catch up work. Of course knowing myself that will probably fade in about....anywhere between a week and two months. My friends will know that Ive made the promise to start trying in school multiple times and also know that its doesnt last too long.
well I dont know what else to write so I guess I'll be done for today. OH! I've got pictures from my last turkish lesson which I suppose I'll post....need to start posting photos. If you havent noticed yet Ive decided that when I do my post I will not use backspace. so that this way my blogs are more....conversational. no thats not the right word....i suppose i mean vocal or rantful(probably not a word). Anyways this has been a long paragraph saying Im done writing this post soooo-
-eric

Friday, October 3, 2008

one month

yup thats right I have now been gone exactly a month. I feel like I shouldnt be counting down but I cant help it. I'm hoping that things will get better so that I eventually dread the day I leave as opposed to look forward to it now. not taht things are going bad...its great. I just think I prefer my old life right now.