So in spite of yet another taxi strike we have returned to our training site here in the city. I am showered so you can all be assured that I don't smell like a (insert your despised smell here)like I did this time yesterday.
So we (a group of five of us) spent the last week living with host families and doing language training in the village. I must say we got the most beautiful site possible. The village was just a collection of houses on the side of a mountain overlooking a lake.
There was nothing in the town so any shopping or health care was done in another village 2 or 3 kms away. I was actually quite thankful for the isolation. We would get up in the mornings and have a language class with our teacher for the morning, have lunch and then do cross cultural stuff for the afternoon. After school was over we would individually return to our host families and spend the rest of the evening trying to communicate very simple sentances that most often were not understood.
My host family consisted of an elderly mother and father. The father was immobilised due to some sort or heart condition so he watched TV all day. I had two host brothers who were 34 and 39 respectively. One was a cab driver and the other, well, I don't know what he did. There was also a grandchild that was there who was around 10. He doesn't normally live there, but was the Prophet's birthday this weekend so he was spending it with his grandparents. Incidently he was the only one that was in the mindset that he would have to use simple sentances to communicate with me. Everyone else would just talk and assume that if they repeated it enough that I would understand... not unlike we tend to do in the States with people who don't speak English.
The weather was great, my group handled each other pretty well and the food was excellent and bountiful. I think I'm gaining weight with all the bread they eat here, and you all know I have a hard time refusing food. ;)
So let me explain my house a little bit. It is a surprisingly large house with a beautiful terrace that overlooks the lake. I had my own room that I could lock with a key when I left which was quite the blessing. I also, surprisingly had a western toilet, a bedet (I don't know how to spell that), a sink, a shower and a washing machine... and wait for it...
... no running water in the house. So obviously none of them worked, although the host brother still used the toilet so there was a constant sludge in there because it wouldn't flush. I used the regular "turkish" toilet.
Now a note on that. I don't think there was a trash can in the entire house because I don't think we ever used anything that we would throw away. That includes toilet paper... think about it a second. We didn't use utensils when we ate and so I have been using my hands for EVERYTHING. Interstingly enough, if you have soap I think the whole process is cleaner anyway. I mention the trash thing mostly because we throw so much away in the US... wrappers, containers, napkins, food, etc. They're excess food, if they had any went to the animals (I lived on a farm), and I don't think they really had wrappers for anything. They killed their meat and didn't use napkins and obviously we don't have to worry about fast food wrappers.
Now I said the house was large. It was, but there was relatively no furniture inside. There was an echo throughout the house and individually in all the rooms. I had a bed in my room and a little night stand and that was it. It was simple and in a strange way beautiful, although I think I could have lived in a whole in the ground with that view.