Above: A friendly local we helped make wine with. No, not the cat, the man! Things have been going well for us in Turkey. Here are some of the recent highlights (in bulletpoint): -participating in the making of wine and vinegar. -swimming in turquoise Mediterranean waters near Roman ruins -eating delicious Turkish cuisine -drinking freshly pressed pomegranate juice for 50 cents a glass -taking a road trip to Istanbul with Erdem -reuniting with newish friends in Istanbul -lots of cute dogs
Above L2R: pomegranates and mandarins, the little town of Güzelbahçe, David in an ancient olive tree, ayran and tea for three. The building of the earthship has progressed. We pounded tires until the walls grew to 11 tires high, we hammered rebar down through the stacks of tires with sledgehammers, fastened boards to the tops of the walls, built 8 trusses for the roof, hoisted the 200-lb. trusses atop the walls, built shoes to hold them, mixed 30+ wheelbarrows of a cement-sand-clay-chalk-sawdust mixture and then threw and slathered it on the walls in multiple layers. Most recently we built windows out of glass bottles and jars set into the concrete mixture. The earthship is looking pretty good, but it’s still far from inhabitable. Erdem really wanted to have finished the roof by Monday afternoon, but we are now shooting for Thursday night. The three of us are moving right along, though at our current pace the ship will not be flying for months.
Above L2R: the earthship close to our arrival in Turkey: an excavated chunk dug out of the slope with about 8 rows of pounded tires stacked in a “U”. To today, a “U” of pounded tires with a ceiling, trusses, part of a roof, mud on the walls, bottles to let in light under the ceiling, insulation and part of a skylight. We took a road trip last weekend to Istanbul (an 8-hour drive that included a ferry ride) with Erdem and got caffeinated at our favorite cafe, reunited with friends we’d met earlier in our Turkish travels, ate delicious food, walked around bazaars, washed our feet (after walking through Istanbul in flip-flops it became apparent why this is crucial) and got spiritual at a mosque, experienced some crazy Istanbul driving, and admired some brilliant sunsets at the Golden Horn.
Next week marks the beginning of an Islamic holiday where among other things people acquire ruminant animals and slaughter them in their front yards. This holiday is known as Feast of the Sacrifice. Participants keep a third of the animal, give a third to friends and family and the other third to the poor or needy. The holiday is related to Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his first born child, either Isaac or Ishmael depending on who you ask. Muslim holidays are set on a lunar calendar and as a result fall on different days of the year depending on the moon. Because of the moon next week there will be no work on the earthship and the two of us are planning a little ten-day adventure to places unseen and unknown. We may even walk part of a Turkish hiking trail, kind of like the Camino.
Above: Izmir scenes David is working on two little movies he shot while in Istanbul as well as two other video projects. Stay tuned for the premier, coming to a blog near you. We will write again soon with more details about the strange things we’ve been eating and, if we are lucky, tales of front yard animal slaughter and the resulting free meat given to us poor pilgrims.