Thursday, April 16, 2009

Falling Into Place

Man, I need a break from all the Earth Day blogging! =) It's such a great topic to talk about but it's definitely hard for me to find something to write about and then write it everyday! I'm glad to be taking the blog on a tangent for a moment.

Well, I've been in Istanbul for over a month now and things are really starting to fall into place for me. I finally found a foundation to volunteer with AND they're teaching me Turkish there too! It's the Ba┼čak Arts & Culture Foundation and they mainly work with Kurdish immigrants who have relocated to Istanbul. Through arts, dance, theater, language and education, we help them get situated and overcome social and psychological problems.

My Turkish is slowly coming along with the help from Rosetta Stone and being around it all the time. I am understanding much more than I am able to speak, though if people are patient and wait for me to form my sentences and align my suffixes, I'm communicating on a level similar to that of a evil, hillbilly child. If anyone's read David Sedaris' "Me Talk Pretty One Day," there's an essay about him living in France and trying to learn French, only to discover that his language skills range "from speaking like an evil baby to speaking like a hillbilly when he asks a butcher `Is thems the thoughts of cows?' as he points to the calves' brains displayed in the front window. I imagine that's not far from how I am speaking in Turkish, though thankfully, I'm not in the market for calves brains, just liver sandwiches. =) Bleh!

Mina and Melda are doing well with their English and the family and I have already noticed an improvement. Mina's grammar and vocabulary is growing each day. She loves drawing and we draw pictures almost every evening. Mina's also very fond of treasure hunts and I'm running out of places to hide clues for her. We've started baking scones together and I'm hoping to advance to more desserts though it's hard because I can't find all the necessary ingredients. Melda's vocabulary is growing and she's even started speaking simple sentences to me. She's very polite and requests things with "Yes, please" though it sounds more like "ness please." We're working on her Y's. Playing all together can get tough at times as they both want undivided attention but whenever we have a dance party, we three are happy as can be.

I'm still in the (slow) process of finding a bellydance teacher in Istanbul. I really had no idea it would be this difficult!

I'm really excited to see what else I can progress with in the next 5 or 6 months that I'll be in Istanbul. If I've come this far in little over a month, I just might be able to reclaim Constantinople by the time I'm through here! =)

© Connie Hum 2009


  1. hope you find a belly dancer...soon!! esp in turkey! and yes you do need a break from earth day blogging... you've covered so much! can't imagine how much research you've done. i love it! thanks for all the ideas! my ob/gyn rotation hours is kicking my ass. i put in about 60-72 hours a week! so it's a nice break away from medicine reading your blogs. :)

  2. Are you dancing to children's music? They Might Be Giants has some great kids' CD's that aren't annoying (if you like They Might Be Giants). : )


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