Sunday, March 22, 2009

Back in Barcelona

Now we're back in Barcelona. It's time to meet our families. It's an exciting moment, but we can't forget all the friends that we've left in Turkey. They've always been nice to us. We were surprised by the expectation that we aroused among the students and the kindness they all showed.
We'd really like to thank the headmaster of the school, Yavuz, and the teachers who were with us, but overall Kadir, who was our guide and host. They really made us feel at home and gave us memorable experiences.
We've practised and improved our English but we've also learned about other cultures. We have good memories from all the experiences we've lived and emotions we've felt. We speak different languages and have different religions, but we've got lots of things in common. The most important thing is that we've learned to open our minds and overcome prejudices, which is the main objective of this project.

Stopover in Istanbul

We said goodbyed to Kilis. We stopped over in Istanbul with the idea of making a quick visit to the city. We took out our passports again for the several controls.

Istanbul is a modern city, very different from Kilis. The hotel is very nice and has a bathroom in each room, but we can't relax in it. We've only got a few hours to visit the old Constantinople.

We walk round the city. The first mosque we see is Aya Sofya. It was originally a chursch, from the year 537 until the conquest of Istanbul in 1453. The marble sculpture below seems a bottle of perfume, doesn't it?

We decided to get on a carriage to get a view of the city. We were frozen when the ride was over.

The Blue Mosque is the most important and seductive mosque in Istanbul. It was built to rival Aya Sofya and it has become Turkey's national mosque.

It's very late now and we haven't had lunch yet. It's time to get warm and eat something. It's really cold in Istanbul.

It was getting dark but we had a nice walk in Istanbul. We explored the city with the help of a map. Jordi was at the front, guiding us all. We had fun looking at scary houses and going down steep streets. We met people on the way, but all of them were men.

We warmed our hands over a burning tyre and had something to drink in a shop. The owner insisted on paying us the drinks! He used to live on the Canary islands

We felt really cold but nobody lost the sense of humour.

Some of us ate fresh fish. It was a good decision. The sandwich was delicious.

Mosque from the Galata Bridge

The pistachio gives these Turkish biscuits their characterisctic colour.

We went back to the hotel to fetch our coats to visit the Blue Mosque standing out bright in the dark night.

The good experiences didn't finish with the Blue Mosque. We were invited to get into a rug shop where some musicians where playing Turkish music and dancing. We joined their joy and danced as well.

We went to bed very late. Most of us slept only four catifes però ara estem molts cansats. Demà matinem i tornem a Barcelona.

Friday, March 20, 2009

In the outskirts of Kilis

We visited the countryside in Killis. We enjoyed wonderful sights from one of the oldest man-made hills in this town. As you can see from the picture, it was really windy.

There we saw a mosque which is famous for Muslims.

After lunch we were all day at school, taking part in different classes. Jordi's mathematics class was fun. The teacher had prepared some problems for him on the board and he could solve them successfully after some thinking.

A day of celebrations.

We went to the Art Classroom and the teachers asked all of us to draw something related to our city. The most popular picture was Jordi's.

After the pictures we went out to the school yard to play traditional games and later on traditional dances started. They were really exciting and colourful. The music was full of energy.

We had lunch in the school yard. We ate traditional food which students themselves cooked.

After lunch Kadir and Serkan drove us to the radio station for a special interview about the Comenius project. Sandra and Zaira were with us as well.

Kadir went shopping with us to the main street in Killis . He helped us with the language. He's an excellent Comenius host.
At 17.30 teachers and students were invited to dinner at the houses of our Turkish hosts. Different families opened their houses to us with affection. We left our shoes at the doorstep. Our Turkish friends gave us sleepers instead.

To finish the day, we attended a special celebration in the school's theater. We saw the performace of a wedding ceremony from the stage, sitting on rugs. We were offered special hot meat with lettuce and a glass of drinking yoghurt. The music and dancing was incredible.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Visit to Antakya

We got up very early to visit Antakya, capital town of the Hatay province. It was a two-hour-and-a-half drive.

First we visited a secondary school similar to Kilis's Ögretmen Lisesi. The headmaster and some other people were all day with us, guiding us to the different sights in their town: Saint Peter's Church and other Christian and Jewish temples.

After lunch they invited us to an important mosaic museum in the area.

We had a time to relax in a big park in the town. There was a funny monkey in a cage which made everybody laugh. He drank and ate anything that people gave him.

Lastly we went to the Mediterranean seaside to enjoy the sunset.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Visit to Kilis

Today we've been to Killis, the town where we're staying. A small bus toook us through the narrow streets. In the first place, we visited a place where women learnt how to sew.

We visited a mosque and Jordi and Kadir prepared themselves for praying. They washed their hands, then their ears, faces and feet. Everything was repeated three times. After that Jordi said the words that Kadir told him to convert himself into Islam.

Later we went for a walk in the town. The Turkish teachers invited us to lunch and then took us to the Turkish bath. During daytime only women can use it.

In the evening Kadir picked us up to have dinner with all the teachers, their families and the Comenius students.
There was a show after dinner. Some students sang, danced and acted in plays. The theatre was full of people. Even Jordi, Erika and Rosa were on the stage for a few minutes.

Monday, March 16, 2009

The first day at the school

It was a very important day because they were celebrating the 161st anniversary of the school. We've seen typical dances, theatre sketches and concerts of Turkish music. Some important political leaders of the area were watching the show with us.

We had lunch at the school's canteen and later visited the school. We even entered the girls' dormitories. It was very surprising to see the photograph of Atatürk (founder of the republic) in every classroom and office. The flag of the Republic of Turkey everywhere too.

Nati knows about her future better. A teacher of the school can predict your life by looking at coffee's sediments.

The school has big open areas, including detached houses where some teachers live with their families.

After lunch, we went to the headmaster's office. It looked very impressive: very formal and elegant.

While the girls were having dinner, Jordi and Nati went out for a walk in the town, Kilis. It was full of barber's shops. We got into one and Jordi had a shave and a massage done. The barber was really nice and kind. He offered Nati some tea, like all the Turkish people do.

Then Kadir picked up Jordi and Nati to go for dinner with the Turkish teachers. They invited us to a traditional supper and there was even dacing at the end.