Thursday, August 27, 2009

Apartment Tour

In case you were wondering what a Turkish apartment is like, here's a tour of ours!

Untitled from Sarah Pascual on Vimeo.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


No sewing machine is causing me to be more and more creative with my projects. I recently finished up my old journal. I started a new one but had yet to be inspired. Last weekend, I saw a journal Allison had full of fun paper and I got inspired. In the past, I would have just taken a page and sewn it to to the front, but I had to be more creative this time.

Here are my resources:

Here's my inspiration:

Here's the final project:

Not bad for someone who hasn't colored since the 2nd grade, eh?

Sunday Market

Every Sunday, there's a huge street market seems to go on forever. I can buy almost anything there for much cheaper than other stores. Here are a few highlights.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Picture of the Day

Sometimes, the less money you have, the more resourceful you are. Here we have a little girl who has turned some string and a flimsy wooden clothesline bar into a swing. Not sure how safe it is, but kudos to her for being resourceful.

When I first took this pic, I was sure her mom was telling her that that wasn't a good idea. Instead, mom just grabbed a chair and sat down while her daughter swang away.

*Note: the word "swang" just turned into a long conversation between Jonathan and me where we had to decide the specific verb tense you would use swang versus swung and if we needed to use verbII or verbIII. Proper grammar is taking over our lives. I even made Jonathan quiz me for a good 20 minutes about different verb tenses and the differences between modal and auxiliary verbs.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Our Love Story Rewritten

So we've been teaching English classes for two weeks now, and for one of my lessons I chose to use our love story as the subject matter. I showed my students our "trash the dress" photo album and told them about how I proposed to Sarah in Cairo. By the end of the lesson I had taught the students some phrases to help them write anecdotes, and had them try to write down the proposal story. Here's what they came up with:

Student A:

"The know each other for 5-6 years but they had never lived in the same city. He asked her to be her boyfriend. Firstly she said 'No' but then she said 'Yeah, we can try.' Immediately he decided to go to Egypt to propose her. When landing in Egypt and he saw her at the airport, he thought she was the right woman. They were not alone at first and then they went for a walk in the park. She thought that he didn't have enough money to buy a ring but he brought his grandma's ring with him. As soon as he went on one knee in the end they got married and lived happyly after."

Student B:

"He phoned her about changing the type of their relationship. So he flied to Epypt to see her. When he saw her at the airport he thought it's ok. For a while they couldn't talk their relationship because they were in a crowd. Then they went to a park, and able to talk. Suddenly he asked her 'Will you marry me?' She surprised. When gave his grandmother's ring she understood that he was very serious. In the end she excepted. Happly ever after!"

Student C:

"He went to Egypt to see her. When he arrived there, he didn't like Egypt. But when he saw her, he forgot everything and he fell in love. After some days, they met in a park. That was the first time that they wer alone. And he decided to propose her. But she said no. And then he gave his grandmother's ring to her. So she said yes. In the end, they got married. They are very happy."

Student D:

"When they lived in Thailand, they were teachings English together. But destiny played a pame. Send Sarah to Egypt and Jonathan to Atlanta. When they were seperated Jonathan couldn't forpet her, so he called. With his brave, he asked for a relationship. Unfortunately, Sarah said 'no!' But he insisted. He started to save money and boupht a ticket. When he arried to Eppyt, in for sight he decided the she is the ripht one. He was plannig marry to her so he offered her married with him with his grandmother's ring one day on the seaside. Of course she accepted."

Baby Blanket

So, now that I'm living in Turkey and without sewing machine, I think my posts will be fewer and more far between.

But, here's a picture of a blanket I made for the darling baby Penny. It was super early for him/her, but we won't be around when he/she's born. It was fun to make, but involved lots of cutting which can get tedious after awhile.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

A Day In The Life

We're 1/4 of the way through our CELTA course. When we were interviewed, we were told not to underestimate the amount of time and work this class would take. We didn't think we underestimated it...but we did.

Our first day was lecturing from 9am-6pm. Then, we spent the night preparing a lesson plan to teach English the next day. Yes, our second day of the course we had to teach English to Turkish students!!!! Jonathan was assigned to teach upper-intermediate students, and I was assigned to the beginners. We each taught for 20 minutes Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday we taught for 40 minutes, and we had Friday off. Next week we'll start teaching for an hour, and by the end of the course be teaching for 2 hours at a time.

Our class is a lot different than we expected. To start with, we are the only Americans. There is one guy from Ireland, a woman from S. Africa, a man from England, a woman from Romania, one from Russia, and ten Turkish people in the course. (Well, now 9 Turks. One dropped out the second day because I guess she couldn't take the pressure!) In some ways, being some of the only native English speakers gives us a great advantage, but the non-native speakers' grammar knowledge blows us out of the water. We tell them how to speak properly, and they tell us what verb tense we're speaking in.

Our daily schedule looks like this:
6am-wake-up, get ready, make lunch, etc.
7:10am-leave for the bus (if we take the earlier bus, we usually get seats)
8am-arrive at school, but stop off at Starbucks to read our Bibles and pray
9am-go to school, finish the final preparations for teaching
10-12:30-teach English, observe peers teaching English
1:30-6:00-class (teaching vocabulary, phonics, grammar, etc.)
6-7:30-working at school on lesson plans for the next day
7:30-8:30-bus ride home (there's only standing room at this point, it's also usually hot and stinky!)
9pm-11 or 12-schoolwork, and then sleep

So, we're pretty packed. We're actually really enjoying the course though. We've made some good friends already and are learning some really effective ways to teach. Jonathan and I have both improved a lot in our teaching skills and are getting high marks on our reviews.

Today is Saturday, and after sleeping in, we got to work and have been working on a number of assignments outside of our lesson plans that are due next week.

*Some funny things that have happened so far
-Sarah has a hard time picking up on the games teachers try to teach us with gestures. The very first day, they tossed a ball back and forth saying their names and when it was tossed to Sarah, she stopped the game and had to tell everyone she didn't understand it. This happened another time when learning a simple game about the alphabet. Jonathan had to come to the rescue and tell her what to do.
-Jonathan, while teaching a sentence structure, realized he didn't quite understand it himself and without thinking announced to the class, "I don't know how that works...but that's okay."
-Sarah continues to "make friends" on the bus with ladies who talk to her for a long time. She just smiles and nods her head. The other day a woman talked at her for a long while asked if she was Turkish and Sarah replied no, and that she didn's speak Turkish. The woman burst out with a loud, "Ohhhhh" and then rambled along in Turkish something along the lines of, "I can't believe you let me talk to you this whole bus ride and you didn't understand anything!"
-All of our tutors have thick British accents, and we hear them all day. This means that Sarah accidentally starts speaking to people in a British accent as well.
-Yesterday, the bus driver was very angry and spent most of the ride yelling at people and on his cell phone. He also neglected to stop at most bus stops. Though it wasn't pleasant, what is usually a 50 minute ride to school was only 25 minutes.