English and My Life

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Meralsultan Horse Riding and Breeding Farm

We are at the end of autumn days and it getting colder and colder. Today we saw a bit of sun and decided to visit Meralsultan. Our son likes animals very much and he hasn’t ridden horse for some time.

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We arrived there in ten minutes and went directly to the place where they kept the ponies.

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Yiğit was a bit afraid at the beginning but soon he liked it and didn’t want to get down. His horse, Karamel, was calm and lovely. Then we went inside to see the competition horses.

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When we saw them, Yiğit immediately remembered Tarçın and Bolero. The other horses were Colonel, Bulut, Babylone, etc. But the most interesting names were Van Gogh, Utopia and Thanks Mummy.

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It was interesting for me to see the ancestors of each horse. We could learn even the greatgrandparents. After patting them and taking some photos we went out to see around.

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Horses were enjoying sun outside, so were some insects…

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P.S. At Meralsultan, they breed pureblood English race horses and European and Turkish competition horses on 120 acres. They have two maneges, three longeing areas, 1600 m. sand track, 500 m. grass track, 110 boxes for horses, paddocks with various sizes, all equipped horseshoeing forge, a clinic, meeting room and a boutique with all necessary riding equipments.

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Our Etwinning Project: 2014 European Calendar

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This year, we have two etwinning projects. One is almost finished: 2014 European Calendar. In this Project, we are supposed to prepare a calendar in which each month is prepared by a partner. Our students brought some photos and we designed a page. It will be on September page.

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We tried to reflect Turkish culture and life with these photos. We didn’t forget to add some natural beauties and historical tourist attractions.

For our other project, This is My Life, our students are working on some activities. We are going to publish them soon.

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Fenerbahçe Ülker rules Euroleague but…

I like basketball and I’m a fan of Fenerbahçe. This year, we have a great team, McCalebb, Bjelica, Kleiza, Bogdanovic are some of the international players of the team. Obradovic is a famous coach who has many Euroleague titles.

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At Euroleague, we have beaten Barcelona, CSKA Moscow, Nanterre, Partizan and Budivelnik so far. In fact, we won all 6 matches. However, at our national league, we lost last two away matches. Today, I watched Banvit match. Before the first whistle, everything was great. We were watching the players and the coach getting ready, the supporters were chanting.

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But the match was a nightmare for us. Our defense was weak, we couldn’t make score from 3 pointers. The best of the team was 18 year old playmaker Kenan Sipahi. He was hardworking and ambitious.

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At the end, the score was 91-76 and we lost the game. The reason could be our players being tired, they had a Euroleague game just one and a half day ago. It can’t be an excuse but the players couldn’t struggle at the second half, this was obvious. I hope this would be the last defeat.

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Cooking Contest in Barcelona

In Sant Llorenç Savall, Barcelona, we participated in a cooking contest as a part of our Comenius Project. We wanted to prepare some traditional Turkish food. Honestly, our dishes were the most difficult to cook: Mantı and Sütlaç.

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Our team consisted of eight students, seven girls and a boy. They had a great job that morning. They kneaded the dough, spread it, filled it and cooked it themselves and prepared Mantı in two hours! Meanwhile, they also prepared Sütlaç.

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This is how it looked like after two hours’ effort and then we waited for the results to be announced.

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Finally, our dishes got “The Most Original” prize. I believe our students deserved it. I also liked the meals of our partners. After prize ceremony, we tasted all the dishes, Spanish, French and Italian food.

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Mushroom Chase

Today, we visited my aunt. She lives in a village. After breakfast at her house, we wanted to walk around although the weather was cold and damp. So, we decided to pick up some melki (a kind of edible and delicious mushroom). However, I didn’t imagine how difficult it was.

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If you look at the photos above carefully, you can see that they are same mushrooms. In the first picture, they are disguised under the leaves. You have to be cautious not to step on them. The weather was cold, the land was sloping, the grass was slippery and some mushrooms could be poisonous such as:

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However, it was such a game to find better and bigger mushroom. In fact, I wasn’t lucky enough to find a good one in one hour.

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Then I just walked around and enjoyed the view. We were all surrounded with trees and bush. Green, orange, yellow leaves presented scenes of autumn.

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Castellers from Catalonia

On Monday, we are flying to Barcelona. Before going, I want to add something about Catalan culture: Castells (Human Towers). People come together and build towers. They are mostly seven levels. But the record is 9 levels!

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The origins of this Catalan tradition of building human towers dates back to the 18th century. It was in the small town of Valls, about 40 km west of Barcelona, that the inhabitants started building the towers. The castells have their origins in a traditional folklore dance. The steps of the dance were accompanied with the flute, as it is still played today during the tower building. At the end of the dance a small human tower was built.

Traditionally, the castellers perform their tower building during the main parts of larger festivals. Nowadays, the towers are also often built outside of the festivals – the actual season goes from June to November.

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Last year, at these times, I was in Barcelona again for our Comenius project and I had a chance to see the last show of the year in Vilanova. For a few hours, they made many towers. It was a real show!

The motto of Castellers is “Força, equilibri, valor i seny” (Strength, balance, courage and common sense).

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We are going to Barcelona!

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We will go to Barcelona next Monday for the fourth mobility of our Comenius Project “Hello to Countries of Mediterranean (HELLO.COM)” Our group will present our cuisine there. They will teach our partners from Italy, France and Spain how to prepare Turkish food. As you see, they are ready to cook delicious Turkish food.

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eTwinning Team is Ready

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Yesterday, we formed our eTwinning team. This shool year, we will carry out two eTwinning projects: “This is my Life” and “2014 European Calendar.” In the first project, we will work with Poland. Throughout the school year, we will prepare and do different activities to know each other.

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In the second project, with our other 11 partners, we will prepare 2014 calendar to hang on the wall of our classroom. Each month will be designed by a partner. Before new year, it will be on our walls.

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Feast of the Sacrifice Holiday

We are towards the end of a 9 day holiday. Last week we celebrated Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice). It is an important religious holiday for Muslims to honour the willingness of the prophet Abraham to sacrifice his young first-born son Ishmael as an act of submission to God’s command and his son’s acceptance to being sacrificed, before God intervened to provide Abraham with a lamb to sacrifice instead. Some people think it’s violence but it is a religious practice. The meat from the sacrificed animal is divided into three parts. The family retains one third of the share; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbors; and the other third is given to the poor and needy.

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Now, a short story of the holiday. The first day of the eid was very foggy. It was impossible to see a few metres further. We drove slowly and very carefully. First two days, we visited relatives and shared joyful hours together.

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We didn’t forget our son, of course. He was a bit bored during visits of the relatives and neighbours. So, he deserved a present.

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I love sunset in Ören. During summer, it is highly crowded but other times, it is quiet and peaceful.

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It is time to go back to Gönen. The roads weren’t much crowded and the view was breathtaking.

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Comenius Breakfast

Our school has a Comenius project “HELLO.COM” Hello to Countries of Mediterranean. Last year we visited Spain, France and Italy. We met new friends, saw new places. Next month, we’ll visit Barcelona, Spain. Before this mobility, we decided to have a breakfast together with teachers and students, some of whom went abroad last year and some of whom will go in November.

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The weather was perfect. It was shining all day. Before autumn days, we had really good time. After breakfast, we went trekking for a short time and saw this great view.

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My son, Yiğit, liked the stream and kept throwing stones to the water. It was difficult for us to go back home.

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The last photo above has been my favourite view all the time. The pickles, tomato and red pepper paste… The shelves are full of mouth watering tastes.

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