So our time here in Gaziantep is almost over - in fact we had planned to leave today but my stomach was playing loop the loop last night so we decided to take a day off and make our way north in the morning.
We have had an incredible time here working with a friend we met in Germany who is setting up a youth center in the city and staying with a wonderful family from the states.
It has been a busy but amazing week. Sabine had organised for us to run some circus workshops in two of the schools she has been connecting with since she's been here. It was really great to be working with kids again but very different from working in schools in the UK. We might as well have been pop stars for the reception we got from the kids. They all wanted us to sign there arms - and we really couldn't refuse - so in the end we exchanged signatures with them all and had kids writing all over our arms too.
On Friday we had the opportunity to visit one of the refugee camps on the Syrian border. If the schools in Gaziantep were crazy this place was something else - from the moment we arrived kids followed us everywhere. We arrived at the camp at 9am and had organised to run some workshops in the schools there. We had hoped to run workshops for groups of 30 but it seemed the teachers wanted all the kids (of which there are about 4000) to have a go. So our first workshop consisted of us holding a ring of over 200 kids, trying are very hardest not to get completely swamped as the circle got smaller and smaller around us. I lost count of how many workshops we did that day. In the evening we had organised to make a fire show for them. As it began to get dark and we started to set up a huge crowd started to gather, the kids were going wild, we were dancing together, playing games, singing songs, just to keep them at bay while we waited for the sound system to arrive. When an older group of boys picked Patrick up and carried him off i thought we'd lost it... Finally the sound system arrived and a crowd of nearly 2000 people watched the show. When we tried to share a few words at the end i could see the crowds pressing in on us and by the time i had said Jesus loves you we were mobbed by a crowd of excited children, literally climbing all over us.
It was a day that i will never forget. I was completely exhausted but blown away. After the show we were invited out for dinner by the camp manager and all the officials. Patrick and i sat in our scruffy smelly clothes dining with smart officials and a posh hotel - very very bizarre.
So of course the other important event of the week was the purchase of a new pair of shoes! My old red toms aren't quite dead yet. (they still just about stay on my feet) But i fell in love with the traditional Turkish leather shoes, although sadly they didn't have the red ones in my size.
This is the point in our tour when we turn around and start heading home. Tomorrow we make our way north to Albania to work with a YWAM group there for a few days and then it is all the way north to Germany. It feels quite strange to be hitting the road again, we have kind of cheated the last few weeks with taking buses, but tomorrow we go by our traditional method. Hopefully we'll be there by Saturday.
so signing out...