Teacher Study Tours 2013 – Group 1: Ankara – Istanbul

11 07 2013

⦁    Departure from Hotel & transfer to Ankara Esenboga Airport
⦁    Homebound flights from ESB through Istanbul

Teacher Study Tours 2013 – Group 1: Cappadocia – Ankara

10 07 2013

⦁    Depart for Ankara
⦁    Mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and Museum
⦁    Lunch
⦁    Museum of Anatolian Civilizations
⦁    Briefing on domestic / foreign policy issues
⦁    Farewell dinner and overnight

Day 12: Over the Clouds, Under the Earth

10 07 2013

“The morning started for some of us (4am) being sweated away in a hot air ballon over Cappadocia Pinnacles  in spectacular colors accentuated by the morning sunrise, followed by a 8 am departure to  a odd and breath taking land formations that are indescribable. WOW!!!!!!!! Off to  the open air museum only to see more than 300 churches build in the rocks. Next, carpet weaving where many of us had a hard time holding on to their plastic money as we were wined and dined while learning about Turkish carpet weaving from beginning to end. Last but not least, the fabulous teachers collaboration curriculum. TCF Teachers are the best!!!”
Heddy Duncan

Eyvallah! Silk on Silk, Cotton on Cotton, Wool on Cotton, Wool on Wool. Turkiye Carpets de Magnificence! The Matis Carpets hosts were very friendly, generous, and knowlegeable about the industry.
The mushroom capped stone landscapes around Cappadocia  were so neat and interesting for all ages! It’s so amazing to see how people adapt to their environments.

Our lesson planning sessions buzzed with so much energy and enthusiasm after a long, educational journey. I’m glad that we were able to meet with our colleagues to brainstorm, plan, and share ideas as we’re winding down our final moments in this wonderful place.

Janyce Omura

Teacher Study Tours 2013 – Group 1: Cappadocia

9 07 2013

⦁    Kaymakli underground city
⦁    Lunch, a local carpet workshop followed by a lecture on Turkish nomadic rugs
⦁    Goreme Open Air Museum
⦁    Scenic views of Uchisar, Pasabag (Monks Valley) and Pigeon Valley
⦁    Dinner and overnight at Hotel

Day 11: Cappadocia, Here We Come!

8 07 2013

Turkish pottery class for teachers 101!

“The drum signals the arrival of the Dervishes; the audience becomes silent to experience the very special practice, tradition, ritual. Beautiful music, hypnotic songs transport, other worldly Whirling Dervishes peacefully and gently glide.

A sermon given, a bow to salute, one by one departure. Calm and peace for all – audience and participants alike.

A gift for us to receive. Such a meaningful and unique aspect of Turkish culture.


– Jacqueline (Fort Collins, CO)

“Why come to Turkey? That’s a question no one should ever ask themselves. The people, atmosphere, love and life simply blow you away. The hallowed grounds of memorials wrench your heart. The warmth in the eyes of the children leaves you teary-eyed. I cannot wait to compile the images in my heart and electronic devices [;)] to make a learning unit that will change mindsets and touch souls. Why Turkey? That’s like saying ‘why breathe?”

– Dori (Honolulu, HI)

Teacher Study Tours 2013 – Group 1: Konya – Cappadocia

8 07 2013

⦁    Depart for Cappadocia
⦁    Sultanhan Caravanserai
⦁    Lunch
⦁    Whirling Dervishes Ceremony at the Saruhan Caravanserai
⦁    Dinner at Hotel

Day 10: Natural & Man-Made

7 07 2013

Teachers examine the 8,000-year-old settlement in Catalhoyuk.

“I have long ago run out of adjectives to describe the sites we are visiting. “Amazing!” “Fabulous!” and “Wonderful!” don’t even begin to describe an experience. We began our day with healing waters of Pamukkale and the city of Hierapolis atop the mountain of petrified calcium.

Later, I was struck, not only by the artifacts and stunning artwork in the museum and mosque where Rumi is buried, but by the people who were there. Families, people of all ages were there reading the explanations and soaking up the richness of the history and spiritual reflections of this man.

Everywhere we see the people of Turkey, I am touched by their beauty and warmth. I’m so thankful that we visited villages and the countryside as well as cities and important historical sites to get a broader picture of the culture here.

Each day I am overwhelmed by walking through remnants of cities that existed thousands of years ago. I touch the marble that people I’ve read about and taught about touched; and it makes it so very real! It’s difficult to process the experience today when we visited the village of the earliest known human settlement some 8,000 years ago at Catalhoyuk. The skeletons of children with bracelets on their wrists, to see the soot along the walls of where they cooked their food and artwork on the walls in their homes make it all so real.

Like every other day on this trip, I am amazed and humbled by the riches in Turkey.”

Kathy (Boulder, CO)

Teacher Study Tours 2013 – Group 1: Pamukkale – Catalhoyuk – Konya

7 07 2013

⦁    Depart for Konya
⦁    Lunch
⦁    Museum and Tomb of Rumi
⦁    Neolithic site of Catalhoyuk
⦁    Dinner at Hotel

Day 9: The Old and the New

6 07 2013

“How is it possible for each day exceed the prior day in amazement? It happens here in Turkey. Today began with a ride through the mountains and down into agricultural rich valleys checkerboarded with fields of olive trees, lime trees, tobacco, corn among various garden veggies. The farming here in this place is family farms tended by hand and tractor, not by modern corporate machinery. The people value the land and use the harvest for their own economic gain.

Next we were re-energized and connected to why we teach, the children. Our visit to Atakoy Ilkokulu / Ortaokulu school was special for the understanding of the rural public system and more importantly for meeting the charming and beautiful children that greeted us at the school. I was impressed with the level of technology and opportunity the children have at the school, thanks to TCF for donating to the improvement of this village school.

Lunch was modest and enjoyable along with unique music and bird singing. The highlight might be the source of Gorans phrase ” Temple of Comfort and Relief”, toilets like I have never experienced prior to Turkey.

The icing on the cake is Aphrodisias, dating from 200 bce this remarkable place humbles modern man. We are not so advanced, stadiums holding 30,000, theaters holding up to 10,000, gorgeous reflection pools and temples dot this massive historical site. People from the ages speak to us as we pass through their city, we imagine the stadium full of cheering crowded, the agora complete with lively crowds bartering with shop keepers.

We also spoke to those villagers that simply lived among the magnificent structures as recent as the 1950’s. A child’s imagination was augmented with the spirits of the past residents and their wonder. Games would have  been played among the relics and you simply used the stadium to play hide and seek.  My imagination has been on overload for a week attempting to become a time machine in my mind and feel the pulse of these places.

Finally, I must address the TCF from a humble teachers perspective, you have overwhelmed me with your generosity, kindness and gifts of knowledge. There is no way to express my gratitude for this experience and for the opportunity to meet you and the other educators that stand by my side. The TCF family and this experience will live in my heart and mind till my last days.
To all who read this comment please felel free to visit my blog and enjoy a tiny bit of my experiences in this wonderful land.”
- John (Boulder, CO) Jgturkey.blogspot.com