Wednesday, September 26, 2007

No, we haven't dissapeared.

Sorry everyone! We were offline while we moved our furniture in! Yes- I said "furniture"!!! OUR STUFF FINALLY CAME! It has been like Christmas here in the Carpenter household. Bennett asks every morning if we can open more "packages". (Sometimes he says "parcels" because every once in a while he becomes a little British dog named "Kipper". My only warning of this amazing transformation is his adorable English accent. I have to listen for it, because if he has transformed he won't answer to Bennett. I will try to post a video of it, it is really cute!)

Anyway, I have been up to my eyeballs in boxes. We finally cleared a space in the office for the computer. So now we are back - and badder than ever! =)

I realize I never wrote about the Baptism last week. It was so neat! We had to drive about 45 minutes to get to a part of the coast that you would want to set foot in. (That is the one thing I have decided I don't like about this country - the garbage. I don't know if it is because of the poverty around us or what - but there is garbage everywhere! It makes me sad! Some of the places we have visited are so beautiful, and people just toss junk around. The cities don't seem to be too bad, but the villages are awful! Michael made a good point though - the villages are where the poorest people live. When you are just trying to survive, you don't really spent time on "adopt a highway" programs.)

Back to the Baptism - we went to the coast and had a neat little service. Then the little girl (Kaylee) and her dad walked out into the Mediterranean Sea and she was baptized! It was so neat! Dallen is excited that he will get to do the same thing next fall. Although Michael wants to see if we can get him baptized in the River Jordan. I think he is getting his hopes unrealistically high. But if he wants to try - more power to him!

Not much else has happened this past week, mostly because we have just been trying to unpack and get organized. Although we did venture to the city yesterday so we could go to McDonalds. The kids about had heart attacks when they saw the "golden arches". This is as close to American food as we can get here. To be honest though, I think they just loved the familiarity. I know I did. We couldn't read anything on the menus or posters, but everything still looked the same. I will post some pictures of the playland guidelines in Turkish.

Anyway, I think I will sign off because I am falling asleep as I write! I just wanted to let you all know that we haven't fallen completely off the earth, just half way! =) Thanks to everyone that has posted comments or sent e-mails. I do read them even if I don't answer. We love and miss you!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

That which does not kill us.....

Okay, so it is the 13th, and there is still no sign of our stuff. Grrrrr. I am trying not to be negative, but this is getting quite depressing! I keep getting different answers from different people while I'm being sent to different offices. Barf.

Finance has also done me the favor of messing up Michael's direct deposit. Because I had nothing else to think about right now.....

But enough moaning! I had a small bright spot today- Apfel Schorle!!!! For those of you who don't know what that is, I will enlighten you. It is a wonderful sparkling apple juice that my oldest brother introduced me to when I went to visit him in Switzerland. And they have it at our Commissary!!!! Believe it or not, that actually made my day better. I had gone to the store to forget that my personal belongings were not being delivered. And there it was! So, see, someone out there wants to make sure I don't seek revenge on the TMO office.

Anyway- I just wanted to update you all, in case you were wondering if our stuff actually came. The answer - if you missed it - is a big fat "no". I will write again after Saturday, when we attend a friend's daughter's baptism in the Mediterranean Sea.....

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Branch Conference

Yesterday we had the adult session of Branch Conference. We do not belong to a Stake, so it was just our little branch. We met in a meeting room at the Hilton in downtown Adana. We had to register under "LDS Charities" for safety's sake. It was a very spiritual meeting. Elder Wolfgang Paul of the Seventy spoke to us. He spoke about the "Zero Factor". He made an analogy with math. Giving the examples that 2x2 is 4, 4x2 is 8, 8x2 is 16, etc... all the way up to 128. Then he asked "What is 128x0?". He made the point that with one mistake, all that you had before is lost. He went on to say that because of Christ's Atonement, we can start over and begin multiplying again - but how better off would we have been if we had kept our original 128. And multiplied from there. He told the story of a man who, at 75 years old made a mistake serious enough to be excommunicated. He had been an Area Representative and a Bishop. The man was angry that those things didn't factor in to his discipline hearing, and stayed bitter an unrepentant. Elder Paul encouraged us to endure to the end and stay vigilant. It doesn't matter how much service we've given, how many callings we've held, how many times we've studied the scriptures. All it takes is one zero to take that all away. It was very inspiring!

After the hour meeting (everything is shorter here) we all went to this great restaurant right on the water. They served kepaps (shish kebab) on these long swords. I have never seen so much food! It was a great night.

Michael left this morning for London. He will be gone till Thursday. He has some certificate training to do. I am so incredibly jealous! I have always wanted to go! His trip is even paid for!! I made him promise to take lots of pictures.

Also, our belongings are due to arrive this week. It will be just my luck they will come before he gets back! =) But hey, I'd rather have it here!!!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Yilankale

We went to see Yilankale pronounced Yill ann CALL ee (or "Snake Castle") today. The legends surrounding it are all about snakes, so of course we Carpenters HAD to go see it! =) It was built about 900 years ago, supposedly by a man that people belived was half snake. It was said that he would inforce his will with snakes. But who doesn't?

The path up to the top started out deceptively easy. Then the pavement ended! But we all did okay. Even Bennett. Hayden had the sweetest ride. He was just carried up! You can tell in all the pictures, we are completely dying of heat. It was 102 degrees with pretty much no shade. (Yeah, yeah, I know, to all you Arizona people, 102 is nothing! But I wish you could see what I mean. It doesn't sound all that hot, but I have never experienced sun like this. It is indescribable! Everyone warned us that the sun is more intense here, but wow! It's like you can feel it shining on your internal organs!) I have never in my life lived in a place so hot and humid (it was 92% today!) But hey! I'll be bragging about the temperature in January! =) Maryn and Michael really checked out every nook and cranny. The boys and I decided the shade was more fun! (In my defense - I had carried the baby up! Okay- so Michael and I took turns, but I'm still going to whine!)

There was a small cafe at the bottom of the path, so we had some lunch and some frukto and yedigan (basically orange soda and sprite respectively - just not so sweet)

We had to get out of the sun and rest, because poor little Dallen was about to collapse! He had been climbing like a mountain goat, and really made himself sick. In fact, half way through his lunch, he ran to the little cement wall behind us and gave his sandwich back to a tree. Poor kid! When he finished, I cleaned him up and had him sit down. He looked at me with a pale face and in a shaky voice said, "Well, now my tummy has lots more room for candy." I guess he's just looking on the bright side, right? =)

So that was our adventure - tune in tomorrow for another exciting episode! I'm still bugging Michael to write his experience in the 500 year old Turkish Bath House.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Isn't Hayden cute? Can you believe how big he is now!? If I can get this video thing to upload smoothly, I will definetley post more.

I am planning on starting my Conversational Turkish class tomorrow. I will also let you know how that goes. My goal is to get good enough at the language that I feel comfortable venturing out. I do it anyway now, but it scares me a little. Especially after the whole "dolmus" thing.

I am also planning to post a video of our home as soon as our stuff arrives. (I'm sure you could tell by Hayden's video, we are pretty bare right now) I want you all to be able to appreciate our "dorm/student housing" lifestyle. Everything should be here by the 12th. (Happy Birthday Cameron!) We will see if it actually comes. =/


video

Oh Happy Day!!!

I had quite a wonderful day yesterday! First of all, we received notice that our car was ready for pick-up! So, I took a taxi to the pick-up point, signed a bunch of papers, and voila! We have our wheels! The taxi driver was very kind, and waited around for me to finish so I could follow him back to the base. I think he could tell I was a bit nervous about finding my way. I told myself "Okay, just look for landmarks as we drive and then you should be able to make it okay." I only got scared when I looked out the window and realized I couldn't figure out the stoplights! I didn't even know where they were, but people seemed to be stopping en masse. So, yeah, I accepted his offer to guide me back. By the way- the yellow light comes AFTER a red, before a green. And people make their own lanes - and rules. It kinda makes NYC look like Mayberry.

I made it back in one piece, and I couldn't stop smiling and peeking into my garage! You know, as much as I am going to miss my rental car (I say that with the utmost sarcasm!) I am just so excited!

On the note of great things happening, I had to call maintenance to report a problem with my washing machine. Well, they came, they saw, they couldn't fix it. SO! I get to have a brand spankin' new machine delivered on Monday!!!

A car AND a washer? I am in heaven.