Saturday, June 16, 2012


This morning we woke up and drove 5 hours from Ankara to Kayseri, a business-focused city in the center of Turkey.

We quickly checked into the Ibis Hotel before heading out to Meliksah University to meet with one of the school's law professors, a Dr. Ozturk, and enjoy a perfect lunch. It was a great visit and the school had a gorgeous view of Mt. Erciyes, a mountain/dormant volcano that overlooks the city and is topped with snow. The meeting ended with Dr. Ozturk conferring beautiful gifts of Turkish porcelain mugs and coffee sets to the group.

After Meliksah University, we went to meet with the Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Sayin Mustafa Dikmen, of the municipality's Melikgaze District. This district is the largest in Kayseri, serving over 100,000 students. The students and teachers were able to discuss the differences and similarities between the school systems in their home states within the U.S. and that of Turkey and, more specifically, Kayseri's educational system.

Much-appreciated rest-time was given to everybody after the fruitful meeting with Superintendent Dikmen. The group thus re-convened at 7:30 and divided into two groups for dinner.

One group attended dinner with a local family (under Burak's guidance) while the other half (led by myself) met with local businessmen of Cicila Furniture Co. for a dinner outside of their factory in their garden.

It was a most exquisite evening: tasty new foods and dessert, lively conversation, and a final stop by a hill overlooking the entire city.

We need our rest as per usual, though, for tomorrow we will take on Kapadokya!

Leaving Ankara!

Mount Erciyes

Group Shot with Superintendent of Melikgaze District Schools (second from right)

Superintendent Hinseley and Superintendent Dikmen

Dr. Billy Byrd discussing geography with a Cicila staff member

Dr. Byrd and Ibrahim, a very passionate and enthusiastic man with whom we had dinner

Some of us gals after dinner

Group shot at the furniture factory's offices

Teacher Sherry Tomblin conferring a gift to our host, Ahmet, owner of Cicila Furniture Co.

Kayseri at night 

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