Village visit

Trip Start Sep 04, 2006
Trip End Jan 2007

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Flag of Turkey  ,
Sunday, September 24, 2006

Waking up this morning for Turkish lessons was pretty difficult since last night was a programmate's birthday and we all went out for a late dinner and stayed out too late. I think we all struggled through our three hour long class on a Saturday morning. After class we all went out to lunch then boarded a bus for a trip.

We went to a small agricultural village about an hour and a half outside Ankara in Central Anatolia, although its name escapes me. When we arrived, all I saw was poverty, although this village is one of the wealthier villages in Turkey. We met with the "mayor" of the village, who did not speak a lick of English. Thank goodness for translators. This village had been there for hundreds of years, always dependent on agriculture. In a village with few over a hundred residence, there wasn't too big of a space to explore. I was shocked/horrified at some of the conditions I saw. Houses with holes in the walls, children with wornout shoes if they had shoes on at all. Although I was shocked at all this, the people seemed as happy as can be. Probably because they don't get visitors in their little village, so we were a treat to stare at, which they did! I've grown accustomed though to being looked at strangely here.

It was a very conservative village where the men worked three months out of the year while the women actually did most of the work. The women are the ones feeding all the animals, cooking the meals, keeping up the house, taking care of the children, even working in the fields. The men harvest and gather for literally three months, no wonder this village is having a difficult time keeping the girls in the village. I have decided that if in my next life I am an anthropologist I will go live with these people and study their way of life. It is interesting the complete imbalance of gender roles/responsibilty and power. It is a very different way of life from what I am accustomed to, but it has seemed to work here for many many years.
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