Our First Week In Istanbul, Turkey

Our stay has been nothing but wonderful! Though I must confess that the first two nights were a bit emotional. I guess seeing the teenagers, young adults and a few adults at the  center  made me start imagining how Ziim will look when she would have lost all her “baby-ness”. Yes, sometimes you try to look into the future, the tint of glasses you are wearing at that time will determine your mood. As you know dear blog, CP being a muscle issue could distort the children as they get older…hm…

Off the dark tinted glasses, on the bright shades bringing in the sunshine

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 The first two days we had to do some tests, yes ke, they wanted to be sure that Ziim is healthy I guess, or may be to be sure that we do not have any ….. diseases, that’s their government requirement they said. No problem. To the hospital, they took blood samples, but getting urine from Ziim was like swimming across the ocean. They bought the paediatric urine collector, never knew there’s anything like that….. the many things Ziim teaches me. But tried as the nurse did, the girl refused to release her wee. Of course I know that with children like her it often does not come when you want it to. By the second day, they waived that test, but that meant she will not do hydrotherapy, me do not mind, it’s not as if we have such facility at home for a followup.

By the third day I started to be introduced to the center and how they do what they do.  First stop for me and Ziim was the psychologist’s, who is the first to be seen by a family after they have seen the students’ relation’s principal and their child is accepted to be managed by the foundation. First time I get to talk with a psychologist, as in really have a talk with one.  Had a good talk, I came out with a number of lessons learnt. He emphasized the importance of cutting the “unseen umbilical cord” or closing the third eye.  So next time you see me somewhere sans Ziim, don’t go wondering if I am “hiding” her at home, just  know that I am working on cutting the unseen cord.

Thursday evening I found out that Ziim had another name. I had told the children and young adults in the center that her name is Chizzii, obviously they did not like that, they named her  Chocolate. We have made friends with them, we all eat together at the dinning hall, mostly breakfast and dinner as we have program in therapy area or school during the day, so we have lunch there. About 9.30 pm, there was a knock at my door, I was surprised, but I opened. It was the social worker on duty that night. She speaks English, which I tell you is like Christmas for me here. The children want us to join in a celebration. My daughter is sleeping I said, but I can come.  The lounge is on the same floor as my room, less than a shouting distance actually. I went. One of the boys was 15 and they were celebrating. I noticed it was the same young man who had at dinner requested a picture of Ziim and himself which I obliged.  He had his camera, prize won from a competition I am told. He was all grin.  Kadıköy-20140703-00843

The social worker told me that the children call my daughter Chocolate, that when she resumed work that evening, she was told about Chocolate. The younger ones had gone to bed, with the older ones, we sat at the lounge, ate cake, drank juice, took photographs, then they told me all the places  I must visit before I go  back  to my country. We talked till after mid night when the birthday was official over. The social worker was the interpreter of course. See us.Ataşehir-20140703-00847

Friday came fast. We were taken round the rest of the departments not covered on Wednesday and Thursday. At each unit, Ziim was assessed, I was provided with a camera to do a video recording of any session I wanted so that the physiotherapist at CpCenter can see it and adapt to suit the rest of the children. At the end, a program was drawn for Ziim. Dear blog, remember that all these are F.O.C!!

I had indicated that I’ll like to find a church where to worship on Sundays. My thinking was that there will be churches or at least one nearby. At about 3.30 pm after we have gone through all the program, had lunch and was in the room about to rest till dinner, G.M’s secretary came, she needed to take me to the church. They have located one, but they needed for us to go there so that I get familiar with the route and  also find  out the time for mass on Sunday. The G.M was waiting.  Like I said, I thought it will be a bus stop away if not a walking distance, no, it took us about one hour  to get there, travelling by bus and rail. Little things we take for granted!  From the excitement she was showing, it’s obvious that journeys like this is not what she does often.

We found the church. Oh, there’s a black nun and a black priest there. Yes they are from Africa, no they do not speak English, well the priest a little bit, they are from Congo Brazzaville.

The G.M had to call her driver to take us back, it’s a long journey, there was a walk of about 20 minutes to the metro station, Ziim was tired. and we did not want to put her through the long journey. She handed a bus pass and telephone, asking me call her on Sunday as soon as I get to the church.

Saturday, we just stay in the center savouring the beautiful environment.

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Sunday we went to church. Mass was in Turkish and French. French!!!! I kept hearing my father’s voice, urging me to take  my French lessons seriously, but the stubborn  child I was, I failed to listen. Well, I made it through,  saying Amen and Alleluia as soon as I hear others say so.

After mass, we chatted a bit with the priests (there were three of them) the Congolese was the interpreter. They were quite pleased to see us,  more so when I told them how far we had to travel to get there, from the European side to the Asian side. They gave us 15 Turkish lira, enough to take us home. I was slow at accepting showing them my bus pass, but they insisted, thanking them  I accepted with thanks.

I had parked lunch for Ziim, we went to the sea side, I fed her, we just sat and watched the ships come and go wondering if it’s not similar sea that flows in my country, why cann’t we develop our water ways like they have done theirs.

Here is our trip to the church in Kadikoy in picture. From the bus stop which is right in front of the Turkish Spastic Center, to the church, then the sea side.

That was  our first week in Istanbul Turkey.
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2 thoughts on “Our First Week In Istanbul, Turkey

  1. Temitope Olokuntoye

    Did say you got all that FOC? Am not surprised at that @ all and have not envisaged anything lesser, I would have been embarrased if you never got all that and more.
    We dont know what your heart desires are but we remember you and the rest of ‘our’ family in prayers daily. Your testimonies are source of encouragement to me in facing the realities of life. You did took the challenge of life from an angle people would want to shy away from.
    Posterity I know, will one day attest to this strides of yours. Tell ‘Chocolate we love her.

    Like

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