Musings on my adventures around the world and my ties back in Texas as well as some of the the ideas I have to adapt and create to keep those places close to home.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Brooks Williams

Brooks Williams
Originally uploaded by ccarlstead
Tuesday I had an amazing evening. An intimate concert in my school director's back yard. I went imagining I'd just be there for half and hour or so. I stayed, absorbed by the music for two hours. Brooks Williams, a well known (to some) acoustic guitar player, was here and he played a session for us. I love how music has the ability to transport you to another place. His blues and bluegrass (complete with steel guitar) made me homesick. Lovely and magical.

Our new auditorium

Our new auditorium
Originally uploaded by ccarlstead
At the beginning of the school year they promised that the auditorium that was gutted and being rebuilt would be finished by November. Today (yes, at the end of May) they officially opened that same auditorium with our student talent show. It was fitting to have the opening be a student event, especially as the students have been suffering along with us teachers through the construction noises and distractions all school year. I can’t say I really expected the thing to be done in November but I was starting to lose hope that we’d actually see it before the end of the year. I am always s amazed by the talents our students have. I only stopped in for an hour of the talent show, about a quarter of the whole thing, but during that time I heard several bands, a girl play the harp, another student on the violin and enjoyed a Latin dance. A variety that proved quite entertaining.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Day 3 of my vacation

Day 1 found me at the archaeological museum. Day 2 I painted the labyrinth. Day 3 I met with a colleague and he took me to a couple of areas of Istanbul that I had never wandered around before. We both had our cameras and we just looked for some of those shots that beg to be taken. It was amusing to me that he was surprised I was able to keep up walking with him for 5 hours...especially when we took at least 3 sit down breaks for refreshments. Not that I'm complaining about that, but it would take a lot more than that to tire me out. It was so nice to have someone to explore with, especially one who actually speaks Turkish. It just opens up so many more opportunities. We could go places that I would hesitate to wander around on my own. My two favorite pictures I shot, are of course, of people...

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Finished labrynth
Originally uploaded by ccarlstead
Since we have a long weekend and I was unable to organize transportation outside of the city I decided it was time to have some projects get done. Yesterday was a trip to the archaeological museum. Today I finished up a scrapblog from last summer but the real accomplishment was painting a labyrinth. I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. My resolution now is to actually walk it every day. If you're interested there is step by step photos here.

exploring the archaeological museum

set in stone
Originally uploaded by ccarlstead
After being encouraged several times to go to the Archaeological Museum by my brother-in-law after I had sent him there alone during his visit I finally decided to take advantage of some of the time in my four day weekend to do just that. Little did I realize that it would take up almost all of my time in town yesterday. Somehow, Turkey has acquired quite a collection, and not just from the treasures that can be found in Turkey. One thing for sure, I didn’t expect to see nearly so many sarcophagi in one place. They were amazing though. I have to admit that. The whole place was pretty amazing. Even the garden was a lovely tranquil oasis, with a good selection of ruined columns amidst the greenery. Although I have to admit my favorite exhibit was one they put together about what they’ve uncovered while trying to build a train tunnel underneath the Bosphorus. I guess one of the difficulties in a city that has such a history is that it is almost impossible to dig anywhere without unearthing some sort of archaeological remains. It’s just neat to see what was in places I frequent thousands of years ago. Really helps to put the modern world into perspective. While I don’t think it could ever be a quick trip I do recommend you take the time to visit if you ever get the chance.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Race Fever

Decked out for race day
Originally uploaded by ccarlstead
About a week ago I was very confused as to why I couldn’t find a hotel room in the city for a night. Yes it’s nearing tourist time in Istanbul, but its still a bit early for everything to be full. It turns out that the city was full this weekend because of the Turkish Grand Prix. Racing fans flocked to Istanbul to watch the race, and since school is located so close to the race track, Istanbul Park, I couldn’t very well avoid the realization that it was going on. Saturday morning when I opened my door I could hear a faint drone in the background – the race was already on, and yes – we’re close enough to hear it. My mom got a glimpse of the track on Friday when a colleague’s wife took her out to a road that overlooks the park. As she said, “we were still pretty far away, the cars looked more like ants – but it gives an idea of the course.” Of course, if you’re really interested in the race course I discovered that there is a website all about Istanbul Park. Other than the background noise and a definite increase in traffic (thank goodness we were always going the opposite way this weekend) the only thing I noticed was that all the gas stations out by school were well decorated with checkered flags and one even had a giant helmet on top of its roof. For those of you interested the Brazilian Felipe Massa won the race.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Uh oh

Mom brought a treasure trove of photos for me to scan in and work with. My favorite is this one of my dad. Doesn't he just like he is getting into trouble?