Saturday, January 26, 2008

Touring with Danny and Charlotte

Tim and I were really lucky to have Tim's parents come to see us only about a week after we moved in. It definately helped with the first rush of homesickness. While they were here we went to several of the tourist hotspots. We had the privilege of having one of the guys on Tim's football team take us touring. It was so much easier to have him with us considering we had no idea where we were going around the city. Needless to say at the end of it all we were all very tired. We had a busy week of going out to eat, shopping, and hanging out with friends. Danny also got to go help Tim out on a Wednesday night practice. Tim and I were so glad they could come, Thanks Danny and Charlotte! Can't wait to see you again in May!

Tim and I at one of the highest points in the city, it seems like it goes on for forever.

At the Haggai Sophia (in Turkish they pronounce it more like Aya Sophia), it is beautiful.

Drinking Turkish Coffee, I'm totally faking here, I wasn't a huge fan. But Tim surprisingly really liked it.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Have you seen our view??!

The park outside of our apartment, the literal translation of its name is Yogurt Man Park. It's got a great little track to run on, kinda like our own little Seneca Park.

View from our apartment of Fenerbache Stadium. One of the nicest soccer stadiums in Turkey. It also has a great little grocery store in its bottom level. And yes, on any given game day we hear some great cheers coming from the soccer games.

A canal across the street, when we get our boat we'll park it there. YEAH RIGHT!!

Well these are a few views of the surrounding areas in our neighborhood. I am really starting to appreciate the area we live. It has so many wonderful conviences like a bazaar on Tuesdays and Fridays that huge, and has wonderful produce. I also have a grocery store really close, and in a big city it is wonderful. We also will only be a few minutes away from our language school, which is a huge blessing. Sorry also it has taken me so long to post some photos, blogger here is really slow on photos. It has literally taken me three days to post these. I don't mean to complain but it is a little frustrating.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Taking it one day at a time....

One thing Tim and I are beginning to learn as we live in very large, and foreign city to us, is that often times our days consist of finishing one big task. Today we started our day by walking to a large shopping mall about 20 mins from our house. We both have really enjoyed walking to most of the places we need to go including the bazaar, local restaurants, and bus stops. On our trip today we had a little friend, a four-legged friend. As most of you probably know in large, European or Asian cities there are alot of stray dogs who roam the streets. They apparently get shots and then have tags on their ears letting you know they are safe? (kinda sketchy). I always want to take these dogs home, I still don't understand how a whole city can love cats more than dogs. Well today about 5 mins into our walk we saw a really cute dog that was probably a mix between a lab and an English sheep dog ( I dont know the proper name for this breed) who I proceeded to talk to in a sweet puppy dog voice. Let's see, I think it went something like this "Hey! puppy! How are you?!!" (this was all done in a very wuvy-duvy sort of way). Not thinking anything of it, when all the sudden I see this pup take a 180 and start following us. We both thought this was so cute, until we started thinking of all the busy intersections we would have to cross to get to the mall which in turn made us very nervous for our new friend. Well I don't know why we worried because our little pup definately showed his "street smarts". He crossed those intersections like they were nothing, and every time we thought he was moving away from our path he would show up again. This went on for the whole trip! Tim and I both started to get a little anxious at the thought of a very sad puppy dog face as we entered the mall. As we approached the mall the sidewalk split into two with a wall between, luckily our friend got a little distracted and went the other way, WHEW!! Crisis diverted! I wish I had taken a picture, I have now learned my lesson to have my camera with me at all times.

The big task at the mall was to grocery shop. We have a great place here called Carrefoure, its basically like your average Wal-Mart. Tomorrow we are having two of our friends over and for the recipe I am making it calls for diced tomatoes. I think I looked at the tomato section for at least 10 mins before making my decision. Never in America had it occured to me how overwhelming that section could be. There are diced tomatoes, tomatoe puree, tomato paste, and the list goes on! I am proud to say we made it out of the grocery store with everything we needed for the week and a new cordless phone for our Vonage service! YEAH!!!

So that was our big accomplishment for the day besides me cleaning the floors which is a whole other post in itself. We finished off the night with going to one of my favorite restuarants here so far, Otantik, yum! Sorry still no pictures yet, I've misplaced our cd to download the program for our camera. But I am determined to find it! I hope everyone has a great day! I have to give a shout out to Gabers (my nephew), HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! THE BIG 3!! WOO WHOO!!!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

New Years Resolutions

Right now Tim and I are sitting the O'hare airport in Chicago waiting for our international flight to London to board. All of our packing is done, and you should have seen the ticketers in Louisville when we showed up with 8, 50lb suitcases. We actually heard one of them say and I quote, "We won't be able to take anyone else's luggage going to Chicago today!". Anyways, all that said and done, it feels really good to have everything packed in those 8 suitcases for the moment, and also knowing we won't have to see them again till we land in Istanbul. It was really, really hard leaving my mom and dad today, but I just tried to keep telling myself that with the technology we have today I will be able to talk to them alot, almost like we were in the states. Also there is the hope that they might come visit us : )

Okay, for the New Years Resolution part in my blog title (and I am now finishing this on January 16 a little over a week after we arrived). Here are a few of my New Years Resolutions, yes I know it is past New Years, but as you can see by my blog already, I am a bit of a procrastinator : |


Yes, I hereby declare on this day of January the 16th 2008 that I Anna Leppert Akin will blog, to the best of my ability (I had to put some kind of disclaimer in there!) . But yes, I really do want to start bloggin a whole lot more, I have so much fun looking at all of my regular blog sites every day and I feel like I need to contribute my part to the whole blogging circle.

2) Take more pictures.

Especially now that we are living in Turkey, I will definately have alot more interesting things to take pictures of. Plus, pictures on blogs are just more fun.

3) Really stay on top of learning the Turkish language.

Sure when you are learning a different language it is fun to learn some of the vocab and phrases like "good morning" and "hello" but alot of times when you get to the hard parts it is easy to get frustated. Tim and I start language learning on February 4th, and we are both kinda nervous. Please pray for us as we begin this process that while we are studying we will see the goal in language learning which is to begin more realtionships with the people that live in Turkey.

4) Learn to cook more from scratch.

This is a resolution that has become extremely evident to me upon my first trip to the grocery store. Turkey doesn't quite have alot of the conviences American grocery stores offer. For example, there are no jars of spaghetti sauce, and no cans of cream of mushroom soup. Which both were kinda staples to alot of recipes back in the states. I also realized how much I do not know how to cook from scratch when one of my friends here just "whipped up" a pan of brownies! Ah well, it is exciting to know that when we leave here in two years I hopefully will be a much better cook.

5) Drink more water

Kinda random, in comparison to the rest of my resolutions so far but I really do want to do this. Plus, I have also this great new water bottle made by Camelbak. I used to have Nalgene water bottles but mine always leaked, and I felt like a little kid always spilling down the front of my shirt. Anyone who has seen me recently knows that this Camelback has been attached to me like a baby and it's sippy cup. Apparently those extreme "outdoorsy" types know this brand well, they make these really cool backpack water systems. I really like that you bite the straw to get water out, somehow it makes it fun, and in the long run I drink alot more water.

Sorry, I really wanted to have a picture of this water bottle but I cant figure out how to copy one!

6) Learn to sew

Sure I can kinda make up sewing on a button but I really want to learn to sew. My sister is so good at sewing and I have always been jealous of the way cute quilts she has made each baby she has had. Plus, it just saves alot of money to do it yourself. Hopefully one day I can get a sewing machine too!

Well, thats all I can think of right now, I promise I will post pictures of our new apartment here in Istanbul. It took us awhile to get our internet up and running. I also promise to be back soon!