NOTE: Additions or corrections to the text in red were added during the report compilation, for the website.
NOTE: Sharon's comments will be in {curly brackets}.

Thursday, November 20, 2008. Uncle Peter, Jewelry Shopping, Ceramic Plates. Day 4 of 21.

I wake up and check the overnight email. Turkey is 10 hours ahead of Pacific Time, so when we wake up, at 8 am Wednesday morning, it's 10 pm Tuesday night in California and midnight in the Central Time Zone.


I'm distressed to learn that Uncle Peter Hilty, my mom's younger brother, had a very bad heart attack, and will probably not recover. Peter, Uncle Calvin and Aunt Dorothy are the last three remaining brothers and sister of Mom.

I spend the day reliving the wonderful adventure I had every time I got together with Peter. He hired me to help him build a new barn on his property northeast of Versailles, the summer after my freshman year in college, to replace the old barn burned to the ground by a lightning strike when I was young. I remember being amazed that people sometimes stayed up all night, which was what Mom said they were going to do, as the barn slowly finished burning all the way to the ground.

Summer of 1962 was a time of personal growth, rich experience and bonding. Peter said to me a couple of times, "In many ways, that summer was the best time of my life," but I also heard him say that about his high school days, and hope and imagine he said that to each and every friend and loved one he had in life. He was interested in everything, and wanted to learn more.

In an alternately-decided life, I would have moved next door to Peter and Nancy and lived there my entire life.

This will be the first travel email of the eighteen or so I've written "live" that he doesn't read. He was a great writer, and I would pretend to be him as I would review a typical travel email before sending. "How would Uncle Peter see this?" I'd ask myself. {He was a college professor and great lover of words. One time we went to one of his classes and I thought we would just "observe" but in the middle of one of his presentations he said, "Sharon, you should know this, you are from California". I don't remember what the exact word is he was talking about, I just remember feeling again like a student who needed to get the right answer. Boy, did he "get" me and you could see the little smile on his face.}

I wait to hear the next news, but the real news has already happened.


Watching from the balcony, we begin to see that all the black and gray birds are not jackdaws, which have a gray patch on their upper back. They are Hooded Crows and are fairly large. They have gray on their back and front. The Hooded Crow and Carrion Crow are subspecies of the same species. Cousins, I might say to Uncle Peter.

I have a shower, during which the people from ixwebhosting call from the US. Tara tells them to call back later. Which they do. They need to understand why my address is California, but somebody is ordering the website from Turkey. It's a security thing. After they are satisfied, they say, "Your website will be authorized in five minutes." Which it is. But they also say that it will take it 24 hours to "propagate," meaning it'll take that time to pass the existence of it around the globe, so when anyone in the world goes to, they will see our new website.

In the next few weeks or months, we will move over to ixwebhosting, but it will be invisible to you. You won't even be able to tell.


We walk down to meet a bus a couple of blocks away, which takes us to meet Cihan at the BOQ for lunch. All of this within naval base property. On the way, Sharon spots a new trip bird for us, which I ID as a Rook, based on its bill, whitish at the base. It looks like a large crow or perhaps a raven, in size. Good bird, Sharon. The bus drives us past the shore-side restaurant, closed now because of the season I suppose, where we first had a meal with Cihan when we came here in 2000.

The bus lets us off and we walk into the restaurant (BOQ), where we wait for Cihan. It's fun watching all the officers walk in in groups for about five minutes.

Then Cihan comes in and we get his attention. We all go from the waiting/coat-check area into the eating area together, and get in line to pick up our food choices, cafeteria-style. Then we choose a table next to the big glass-walled side of the restaurant. It's still overcast and lightly sprinkling off and on. {Cihan goes outside to talk spearfishing with some other officers. He is known for his experitse and they want to do more here, I guess.} We can see gulls, and know they must be comprised from about six choices, but we can't ID them yet.

After lunch, Cihan drops us off at the corner of the base adjacent to the closest shopping area of Golcuk. As we walk through a little park, three girls say hello.


The Little Park in Golcuk. The Ball in the Dish in the Hand Spins

It turns out that they're high school students wanting to speak English. One is pretty adventurous and is lots of fun. {They follow us, giggling and we can hear an occasional English word so Tara talks with them in fluent Turkish, then in English to encourage them to talk with us. I guess they could hear us speak English or we just "look" American}. After talking a while, we continue on, and Tara goes into the PTT (like our post office, but more) to mail off a couple of packages. Items she has sold on the internet. While she's inside, the three girls find us again, and ask for our cell phone number. Tara comes out then, and gives them hers. After they leave, she tells us, "They won't call, but they'll probably text me."

We continue on, passing a fish market. I stop to take a photo, but the manager runs out. He wants to be in the photo too.

The Fish Market Owner, showing Sharon's Cane

We continue on, bypassing the cotton candy stand, and go into a jewelry store, where Sharon orders some items for certain grandchildren, whom I can't identify because they may read this. {Grandpa!!}

Then we go on to meet a friend of Tara's. Her first name is Dilek and she was given the job by the mayor to plan and implement the populating of a new art building/Craft center in the shopping area. It turns out that I met her a few months ago in San Jose during a party for the world ladies of the Global Women's Leadership Conference. Tara was lucky and connected enough to attend this conference a couple of years ago (as did her sister Maureen a year earlier than that), and it links her with women and organizations around the world to improve conditions for women, from the poorest in Africa to those with lots of political connections, including some members of government of world countries

I love the brick placement design of the sidewalk leading to our next destination. The dark area around the bricks is dirt and grass.

We also meet three young women in Dilek's office, and after some tea and visiting, we go downstairs to their workshop. It is here that they design and create ceramic art, mostly plates. We have seen Tara and Cihan's fantastic plate, given to them as a gift, and we want to have them make us a couple. {We ARE a couple, they don't have to make us one.}


Tara and Cihan's Gift Plate

The plates are designed by three people. Looking at Tara and Cihan's plate, the girl on the right (Meryam) does the inner part - the design where the food would lie, if you ate off of this plate. The girl in the middle (Zeynep) does the outer ring in a technique called Ebru, and a man, not pictured here, does the lettering. The girl on the left (Sule) is a volunteer assistant to Dilek.


Two of the Three Artists (Plus a Volunteer Assistant at Left) Showing Off Ceramic Plates


Small Vases and in Their Places, Ready for the Kiln


Sing the Blues


I Like the Way The Lettering Extends Outside Its Seeming Normal Boundary


Artists and Their Admirers

After having more tea, ordering some plates, and accepting a couple of gifts (This IS Turkey, you know), we go back to pick up the jewelry ordered earlier, then we stop at the meat store, then the vegetable store.

We meet Cihan after work, and go home where Tara fixes us potatoes, kofte and tomatoes. Heaven. I spend the evening, duplicating the website at over to I have the new site about half done by bedtime.

That's it for today. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

Birds: Hooded Crow, European Jay, Rook.


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