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My new family in Guneysu =)

Rize Travel Blog

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Hehe! Love Mohammed!
One of the school managers really looked out for me during my whole stay there - not easy to bond when you can't speak the same language but somehow we managed and he had the most adorable children that I adored to pieces - especially the little 10 year old son Mohammed =)

Just yesterday, the school manager had come to the hospital to see me in the ER. I was surprised but felt really happy. The people I've met in Rize are literally some of the most caring I've ever come across in my life. I don't know if it's because it's a small town and they have nothing better to do or if they're just genuinely that sincere and kind. I think it's a bit of both but I appreciate the circumstances with my whole heart.
Me and Mohammed! I promise he wasn't as scared as he looks here! =D


This evening while I was still resting in bed, I hear a knock on the door and both Vera and Irene come in saying "are you decent? you have a visitor!" The same man comes in and Vera translates for me that he is inviting us over to his house for dinner and that he would really like me to attend. I think we're all supposed to sleep over but I tell him I would love to come visit his family but I have to go home fairly soon because I am still ill. He says of course and that he's really happy and his wife and Mohammed really want to see me. It's similar language to what Adel and Hicham used to say to me regarding their sisters or grandparents, so I would find myself in Bimbo frequently. I find it very hard to turn down family members, especially the very old and very young, when my presence is specifically asked for.
Offering the guests a plate of fruit!
It's like such an honor and so humbling and a tactic we don't often use in the western world.

So I get dressed and off we go to Guneysu. The manager drives us himself and speeds along the curves of road to his house which is at the top of one of the many hills of tea in this area. I get the absolute warmest greeting from his family and he says that they all knew I was sick so were really happy to see me. I truly believe they thought they could cure me through sheer good will. It's a sweet and frightening thing at the same time as they practically force fed me things that were definitely not good for my fragile stomach. Once again, reminding me of things that Adel and Hicham would do when I was ill in Africa.

When I'm around great people my adrenaline kicks in and good energy just starts to flow.
Eating cherries =)
I bonded very much with Mohammed, the grandmother, the sister and the mom. I knew I was being spiritually adopted and it was the warmest feeling in the world. If I lived in this town, I know I would treat Mohammed like my own son and his sister like my own sister. But it's strange being an outsider but also incredibly strange because absolutely nothing is expected of me. The goodwill was so so strong this evening.

We had the opportunity to ask a "turkish family" questions, and for the first time we weren't around 10 year olds or 50 year olds. I asked the young men of the family what they do for fun in their free time. Apparently in Trabzon, where the airport is, there are bars and clubs and restaurants if they want to go out.
Nivena, the crazy Bulgarian girl that likes to strut around naked asked them "do you ever think of leaving, of seeing life elsewhere?" I knew where she was going with this question. She's obviously someone who took the less traveled road and saw more of the world than her peers. But I've been in countries where the concept of leaving family and friends is unimaginable, and it was nice to see them reply confidently "not really. who knows what will happen in the future, but we're very happy being close to family. We're all very close." And I loved hearing this, it didn't make me sad, it was true - they made a good life for themselves instead of escaping and there was a certain degree of peace and love they obviously embodied from having what we may perceive as limits. We'll see what the future holds =)
kelleeoo says:
Glad that there was a bright bright spot in your time there!
Posted on: Jun 03, 2009
TRE69 says:
Seeing family life close up...now that is truly a cultural exchange. =D
Posted on: Jun 02, 2009
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Hehe! Love Mohammed!
Hehe! Love Mohammed!
Me and Mohammed! I promise he wasn…
Me and Mohammed! I promise he was…
Offering the guests a plate of fru…
Offering the guests a plate of fr…
Eating cherries =)
Eating cherries =)
Mohammeds sister =)
Mohammed's sister =)
Grandma!
Grandma!
Salting plums
Salting plums
awww Mohammed =)
awww Mohammed =)
Rize
photo by: Bluetraveler