Friday, April 28, 2006

Visa Trip to Turkey

Okay to explain why it's been forever.. we had some computer problems and I could not access my blogspot.. thanks to may computer brilliant, genius friend Phyllis Hunsucker, I am finally able to update!! Sooo much has happened the last 3 weeks so here goes...

Our visas were ending the beginning of April and I always go into visa renewal time a tiny bit anxious - I mean can you imagine if you find out you've been put on the *black list* and can never enter Russia again?? Add to that the first time you take a baby out that has been born here is always a bit nerve-wracking for me...

Anyway, God provided and we got all new one year visas and were able to register here in Nara-Faminsk.. YEAH! The most amazing thing was where we got to visit... TURKEY!! James walked into a travel agency and found an amazing tour package to Antalya, Turkey... so April 3rd off we went on our grand adventure.

While on the plane I had this thought "I wonder if someone out there has written a book, 'How to travel inconspiciously with 4 children under the age of 7.' While traveling through customs everyone (I counted 9 different people) kept asking us 'Are ALL these children yours???' Hmmmm I have to find a better answer than just 'yes' - how about 'No they're not all mine, I'm just renting them for the weekend.' (??) Actually the kids were very well behaved, but it's hard to contain a 2 year olds excitement at seeing an airplane so close up... Caleb runs and plasters himself on the huge window and yells at the top of his lungs 'Look, Look, PANE!!' (this was at 5:30 am and I think a few people were still sleeping). James said we were the 'in-flight entertainment' for the whole cabin :) When we left that morning we had 3 feet of snow in our yard... when we arrived in Turkey it was beautiful bright sunshine and 74 degrees... AHHHH! The sun felt so incredibly good on our faces.

Turkey is a beautiful beautiful country! We could look out our balcony window and see snow capped mountains (we could have gone skiing), and then out in front of you is the Mediterrean. The people are very, very friendly -especially to children. Everywhere we went people oooohhed an ahhed over Caleb & Johanna. Here is everyones favorite thing about the trip.

James - being together as a family and the food :) The beef was incredible(almost as good as McCloy's!) They had a huge grill they set up and had grilled fish, beef, or chicken every night. If you know James there is some hereditary *grill* gene that runs in all male Beairds. They also had wonderful fresh spinach and tomatoes!! James said that he ate at least 50 lbs of tomatoes during the trip :) after the long winter they tasted so so good!

Rachel - 'the grass and flowers and swimming'. Rachel learned to swim!! I was so proud of her! She also loved walking along the ocean and seeing all the beautiful flowers.

David - 'swimming with my duckie'. David loved swimming with his beloved inflatable duck.

Caleb - 'Boom boom!!! Pane!!' - Please note: you can take a 2 year old to a five star hotel on the beach of the Mediterrean ocean and his favorite thing will be the plane ride and riding up the glass elevator.. our room was on the 7th floor and he loved the glass elevator and pushing the buttons.

Johanna - having 29,641 Turks kissing on her - I think it was the blue eyes.

Susan - walking on the beach and getting to sit and do nothing but read my Bible... I read through Revelations two times and was in awe that I was actually in the country that 'the letter to the seven churches' was written to!! I could just imagine John sitting on the Isle of Patmos looking out over the same beautiful ocean I was looking at and writing to these seven churches.. all that existed of the followers of Jesus Christ at that time. It also overwhelmed me with sadness to think that this same country is now 99.8% Muslim. We would have loved to have taken an excursion to Ephesus or Perguma.. but in the end we just spent one day exploring the downtown square in Antalya and decided that was enough with four kiddos. (all the other tours were 2-4 hours away) The one picture of Caleb is taken in Antalya at a traditional tea garden... in the afternoon everyone stops to sit and drink tea or turkish coffee and eat special flat bread and honey. We were just walking by and the lady grabbed Caleb and started "Kuiaogk aiew kwoth ahoweij' and kissing his forehead and trying to feed him some of her bread and tea... I'm telling you they REALLY like children!

We arrived back refreshed, re-energized and very grateful to God for giving us this once-in-a-lifetime trip together. It was so good to get out of our little corner of the world and experience a new culture, see new people and have our hearts enlarged.

1 comment:

Phyllis said...

Hah! Genius? I don't think so!

It is so wonderful to hear from you again! When you have time, we want details on how you registered those visas.

We loved the little bit of Turkey that we saw when we went, and I think you all got to experience it much more. We saw the same thing with people just falling all over Jaan, kissing him constantly, giving him presents. . . . I can't imagine what it would be like with four kids! I'm so glad you had a good trip! Thanks for sharing the photos and stories.


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