Randal and I spent this weekend visiting Heidi and Kalle Trautmann at their beautiful home near Girne. We had a wonderful time! We arrived late Saturday morning and left early Monday morning and I took almost 300 photos over the two days. I took zillions of photos of their beautiful home and our cooking experiences and another zillion photos of the small hill villages we visited. It didn’t even matter that the weather didn’t cooperate. Add to that the fact that there is a power and telecommunication strike going on in North Cyprus so late Sunday afternoon we sat by candle light and were warmed by the stone fireplace. It was sailing that brought Heidi and Kalle to Cyprus and they still have their cruising skills and their boat generator so can make their own power when it is necessary and deal with the inconveniences of living in a still developing country. It will take several emails to write about our visit. In the meantime I’m sending this email about the walk I took today into Sipahi.
The telecommunications strike has eliminated the marina wifi so we are relying on our dongle that uses cell phone technology. Cell phone communication hasn’t yet been impacted by the strikes. I’m not going to try to explain what the strike is about; you can search the Internet if you are interested. The marina has a generator so we do have power to the boats.
Happy Chinese New Year to all of our friends in China!
ps I really don’t know how the telecommunication strike will effect our ability to email before this is all over but hopefully I’ll be able to get the story of our visit to Heidi and Kalle written and sent in the next few days.
Sipahi Calf and Coffee Visit January 24, 2012
I needed a walk but really didn’t want to go. By that I mean my body needed the walk but my mind had other things it wanted to be doing: writing about our weekend visit to Heidi and Kalle Trautmann, Turkish practice, sketching, reading, even cleaning needed to be done. But I knew I’d be sorry if I didn’t walk; so off I went. Since we actually needed milk, I decided to walk to the small market in Sipahi. The weather was uncertain so I wore lots of layers, a winter hat, and regular glasses but carried a baseball cap, sunglasses, and an umbrella in my backpack. Halfway up the hill to Sipahi I took off the winter hat, jacket, and vest and switched to my baseball cap. It was warm but cloudy so I never really needed the sunglasses. Almost to the store I met a young high school student whom I’d met one day while he was herding the family sheep. We walked along gamely trying to make conversation. Luckily his English was better than my Turkish. He was on his way to visit a friend. I asked why he wasn’t in school and he told me the school day went from 8 am until 1 pm. I told him I was from America and his reaction was very positive. I let him get away before I thought to ask to take his photo.
At the store I bought some 1.5% fat milk and some 100% fat cookies and started home. Not far from the store I passed a house with a cow shed in back. I noticed about a dozen people hovering behind one of the cows, holding its tail up. Even a city kid like me knew what was about to happen. I stopped to watch having only seen animals born on TV. Some of the women waved to me and I went closer and took some photos and stood in awe as the calf was born. It scared me though because I thought it would pop right up and begin to nurse. It just kind of lay there and then it was moved out of the birth mess and cleaned by some of the neighbors. The mom just lay there pooped too. Eventually the cow got up and was cleaned up and milked and when I left the calf was being fed mile from a bucket. At least that’s what I thought I saw. While I was watching, several of the people asked if I wanted some coffee. It seemed the polite thing to say yes, so I did. After a bit the two high school girls, sisters, motioned me to follow them into the house. I tried to stop and take off my shoes but they insisted I leave them on though they took theirs off. So I left mine on glad they weren’t mucky for a change. It is in social situations like this that I realize exactly how little Turkish I’ve made myself learn. But it was ok and I smiled and they chatted to me in Turkish as I drank my thick Turkish coffee with sugar and hot milk. They had also poured me a glass of water and put out some nuts. The husband of the house came home and was surprised to see me but said hello and offered me a cigarette. I politely said no to that and sat a bit as the women tried to explain their relationship to each other and the man I’d met. After a bit I motioned that I had to go. It was a lovely experience. One day soon I will make an apple cake and bring it to them. I will also take my dictionary.
Why did the chicken cross the road? To see what the puppies were chewing on.
I passed these puppies and noticed how they just ignored the chicken that seemed to ignore them and ignore me too for the most part.
It was on my way home that I saw the calf born.
It seemed to be taking all of those men pulling to free the calf from its mom.
Out came the calf.
Calf and mom and all of the women who had helped.
I think everyone was trying to tell me that the woman in the red vest was also pregnant.
Only the young person in blue wasn’t too shy for the photo.
The woman in the skirt, the teenage girl in black and her sister in the stripes made me the coffee.
I snuck another photo.