Posts Tagged With: mayor


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We are up early, April 22nd, in a darkened hotel lobby for a put together small breakfast. We fly to Izmir, the second largest port city in Turkey, next to Istanbul. Our bus driver is waiting for us and carries  us  overland through various cities and small villages. We stop in Karacaagac to meet a family that is expecting us for lunch.

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Our bus lets us off and we get to walk through town to see what a small town is like here. DSC04834 (Copy)

The mosque minaret towers over the village.meeting the mayor of Bragi

Our first stop is the mayor’s office. He has been mayor here for 15 years, elected by his fellow citizens, he gets paid a small stipend, but his main occupation is his farm. Like just about everyone in the village he is first a farmer. He has been asked to move to a larger village that needs a full-time Mayor, but he prefers to stay here where he feels needed and where he knows everyone and they know him.

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We crowd into his office and are encouraged to ask him any question. We learn that Turkey has universal health care. Doctors do their internships in small villages, they are required to serve so that all villages have medical care. The population here is only about 800 families. He and his assistant, on a part-time basis take care of any problems. They have sewer, street lighting, garbage service, municipal water that comes under the Mayor’s responsibilities and is paid from taxes given back to them by the government.  Farmers have their own wells for their crops. They have one person who acts as a policeman, but they have no crime. People here work and go to school and go to mosque. Young people are leaving the villages for big city life after they go to college. It is a problem.

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Pictures on the Mayor’s wall depict the town’s accomplishments. He has one assistant. She acts as secretary, handles the office when he is gone and she served us apple tea.

refrigerated morgue truck

We resume our walk. This refrigerated wagon is plugged in and serves as their morgue. Moslems bury their dead very quickly and are not embalmed. They are buried facing Mecca and carry no worldly goods to the grave. Their simple wood coffins are returned for recycling for the next to die.

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Most of the buildings are blocks, basalt, or clay bricks. In the bus we saw many lhouses and apartment buildings with solar water on the roof. Here in this tiny village, a house with a solar water heater. Amazing.

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Tractors rumble through town.

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We see a family sitting outside having lunch and Usla asks them can we see what they are eating? (This is Usla’s photo.)

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They are eating tomatos and peppers in olive oil, olives, egg, with home-made bread, cheese and the bottles hold pickled nettles. The little glasses are what everywhere in turkey people use to serve the apple tea. Or sage tea in some places.

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The young farmer invites us to taste, to help ourselves from his table.

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His sister does not cover her hair and she stares very curiously at our motley crew.

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His mother eats with him and they watch as we literally mob the table, tasting everything with our fingers.

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The food was fresh and delicious. All homegrown. This is Usla’s photo of us surrounding the table. Can you imagine anyone from the United States, pulling up to your house and being invited to partake of a lunch on the porch or anywhere? It amazes me. Later curious neighbor’s stopped by to see what we were doing.

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We resumed our walk and peeked into this small cafe where school boys were having a sweet drink and talking to the girls.DSC04863 (Copy)

The girls were a bit shy. No scarves.

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They were cooking what looked like a fried cheese and egg sandwich.

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Joan has this talent for instant repoire with anyone and asked the ladies to have her picture taken with them. She was watching them work with drying rosemary.

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In a flash, the whole gang poses for a picture. Everywhere we have traveled thus far, the Turkish people are super friendly, hospitable, helpful and curious about us. It’s a great feeling.

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Usla stops some kids on their way home for lunch. They are in costume, this is not how they normally dress for school.

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This man is shaving in front of a small mirror outside his house. I ask him if I can take a picture and he smiles and nods, yes. He probably thinks I’m a bit crazy. You can double click these pictures to enlarge them if you want to. Then back arrow to the blog.DSC04894 (Copy)

We finally reach our destination for our home hosted lunch. Above, everyone is having desert.DSC04881 (Copy)

Our meal served from the their finest china, flour soup, a tomato, chicken, lemon broth. Quite tasty.

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Dolmas.  Usla says the word means dumpling or stuffed. Stuffed grape leaves, salad, bread with seasoned olive oil to dip it in, yoghurt, salad, olives, condiments…

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…and the main course, potatoes, these great big peas, and a savory chicken and rice dish. I can truthfully say, for all of the sumptuous meals we ate in Turkey, this was the freshest, best food we tasted. We always buy small, sweet peas?  Unhah!  These were better. I don’t know what they do other than grow everything themselves with traditional seeds handed down from generation to generation.

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Gina went in the house to use the bathroom and came out with baggy pants on. She stands next to our hostess and her helper is the blonde woman seated with her daughter in front. DSC04886 (Copy)

The mother peeks out of the door, shyly. I coax her into joining us.

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And her mother is coaxed out to join us. Later the man of the house stopped to visit from the fields. Farmers choose what they grow besides their “house” garden. They sell their produce together from a co-op.

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They watch American television and named their favorite shows and asked us what our favorite shows might be?  One host likes Survivor. I don’t remember the others since I don’t watch television except for PBS. And our hosts daughter was having her picture taken, imitating sexy models from television. Oh, my.

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Our next stop was the school.  The children were rehearsing for a program they’ll perform for their National Holiday, which was the next day. These three kids had speaking parts.

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There was music and dancing and marching. The kids were very excited and curious to have an audience. DSC04910 (Copy)

The older girls and boys were very curious about Owen the minute the rehersal was over. OAT always stops at a school, but most students visit Turkey during the summer. It is unusual to have a student on the tour.

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This boy is the same age as Owen.DSC04913 (Copy)

Usla interpreted for them. It was fun and one of the things I most like about traveling with OAT.

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We left the wonderful village of Karacaagac with warm feelings and bused overland to our hotel in Kusadasi, the Kismet, which sits above the harbor where we enjoyed dinner overlooking the Aegean Sea.





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Lake Charles, Louisiana – Day 7

The motorhome is parked at the 1,086 acre Sam Houston Jones State Park about 12 miles north of the city. We are here been here enjoying Mardi Gras which ended yesterday.. We plan to depart here tomorrow.

You can read about Lake Charles by clicking this Wikipedia link…,_Louisiana

You can read all about the history of Mardi Gras in Southwest Louisiana by clicking this link…

Yesterday we rode on the Krewe de Cajun float in the final Mardi Gras Parade. You’ll get to see those photos tomorrow.

Today’s photos are from Monday. Heading out at 4:00 PM, the first stop was to respond to an invitation from Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach to visit him at his office. He has been Mayor since 2000. He is a very pleasant and knowledgeable man and we enjoyed a 45 minute visit with him.

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…


He has a beautiful abstract painting of Lake Charles in his office…


Everyone we talked to spoke very highly of him….


Both the Mayor and ourselves had to move on to attend the Royal Gala at the nearby Civic Center. The Royal Gala is the Cinderella moment of the season which features the 2013 courts of more than 50 Krewes with kings, queens, royal dukes and duchesses, captains, courtesans and jesters, It’s where they get to strut their stuff in their fabulous finery. Depending on the size of the Krewe…the strutting runs anywhere from one to five minutes.

This is where the Royal Gala took place. We sat on the left side about 1/2 way up with our new friends from the Krewe de Cajun…which had it been a football field would have been the 50 yard line…


Before the program began, a member of the 12th Night Revelers posed with a child…


Before I show you the photos, you need to know the conditions were most difficult. All photos were taken hand-held. A purist would have used a tripod. In addition to being far away, the subjects were, because of the moving spotlights, in the light one second and in the dark the next second…and they were constantly moving. Here;s a short video which will help you understand the circumstances of the event. Just click the link…

Now that you understand the photo difficulties involved…here are some of the photos that I took…





















As the revelers left the runway, they stopped and bowed to the assembled royalty…


The colorful program ran an enjoyable 2+ hours.

Tomorrow you get to see the photos from the final day of Mardi Gras where we got to ride on the float of the Krewe de Cajun.

Enjoying Louisiana Mardi Gras is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of Louisiana. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…


Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein


If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2013
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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