Monthly Archives: October 2011

Life on the Edge: Bee Boxes, Satan’s Castle, & Cildir

The hive on the ledge.

Vzzzz. The noise passed beneath my sleeve, crawling deeper and deeper into my shirt. Vzzz. Oh no, I thought to myself. Oh. No. My jaw dropped as my face transformed silently into an expression of horror. There it was, a buzzing inside of my bra. I didn’t fear bee stings – even in places where a bee should never access. No, what I actually feared that very moment was the audience watching my every move: the mayor of Cildir, the first place honey winner of Ardahan, and my friend visiting from out of town; three men in a properly conservative corner of Ardahan. Yep. There was no way I could gracefully deal with this situation. (more…)

Remembering the Beauty of Van – and Helping to Rebuild it

Famous faces of Van.

On October 23 at 13:41pm, a 7.2 Richter scale earthquake hit the Van province. Approximately 280 people have been reported dead and hundreds more missing. Nearly 300 after-shocks vibrated surrounding provinces of Kars, Agri, and Igdir. Aid efforts across the region are channeling funds, supplies, and volunteers to help repair damages, rescue trapped civilians, and provide food and shelter. (more…)

Presenting Your New Idea: How to Give a Talk on Something You Haven’t Done Yet

Kangal dogs with massive bulging muscles surge across open fields as they chase our train. We are moving so slow that the dogs stay with us for minutes which drip into hours. They trample through meadows and forests, hugging our winding tracks. They only give up the hunt as we enter the narrow canyons, deep valleys, and craggy mountainsides of Somewhere Central Anatolia. I am on a 47-hour train-ride from Kars to Istanbul. I have one mission, and despite my attention span’s protests, it’s not admiring Kangal dogs from the safety of the restaurant car. I want to write one good 10-minute speech about Balyolu. This speech is to be presented at a conference called “For the Love of…” hosted by the Turkish Women’s International Network (WIN). So far, my preparations are going something like this: (more…)

Bumble Beeing: On Story-telling, Science, & Magic at 3,000 m


Holding her gun with a big grin, a woman shoots a round of bullets into the mountain mist. I scream and dive under a log. Around me, my hosts laugh. “What are you doing Buket Hanim?” they tease. Although the sight of me squeezing under a log is funny, they kindly put away the gun, and coax me out from my hiding place. (more…)


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