year-end blog review

…or should I say, year-end show you everything I haven’t uploaded in 2012. I have been quite negligent of my blog this year and I’m sorry for that.

The first half of the year was filled with lots of travel and major life changes. The apartment I rent was sold out from under me and this news I received after having been gone for almost 39 straight days (with only a few days to rest and wash laundry in between 4 major trips). I moved and then immediately was gone again for another trip. This one a major one for work that required a lot of prep and a lot of post.

So, thus ensues the year-end blog update. I will schedule out the posts to come once per day for about the next 30 days. All posts will be updated by the date the photograph was taken. New photographs taken in the coming month will be added to the queue and, hopefully, 2013 will be a more vigorous year for photoblogging.

happy advent.

5 November 2011, Saturday

We made our first trip to the epicenter town, Erciş, today. En route we stopped to see some families who were immigrants from Afghanistan. Most of them were Tajik and a large portion of them had only recently come to Van. Their shanty homes were no match for the 7.2 magnitude earthquake. The winter is on its way and the locals say, “It’s not cold yet.” Temps are hovering around freezing most days. Many are lighting fires inside their tents to keep warm and are suffering the effects in the form of respiratory problems like bronchitis.

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After visiting with these families, we went to meet another family with whom we plan on spending most of Monday. They lost two sons-in-law in the quake and one whose wife had just delivered twins a week before. We spent a few hours with them and drank lots of çay and ate lots of bread.

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4 November 2011, Friday

We made it to Van and spent some time at the local church here. They are doing a pretty substantial outreach for such a small group of people. They feed about 250 people per day. The kitchen is outdoors and on rather large camping stoves. People also come by to receive medical care. Tonight some folks gathered for an impromptu worship time.

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3 November 2011, Thursday

While I was in Moscow (photos to come soon), eastern Turkey was it with a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. As it turns out, this weekend is the Muslim equivalent to our Christmas holiday. Grace and I are headed out there to shoot and write. We’re taking along a little aid material as well. Yarn and knitting needles. One of the leaders of the Turkish Christian relief organization suggested that it would be good for the women to have knitting so they can both pass the time and prepare for the winter. Temperatures are hovering around freezing right now and many people are afraid to go into their homes (if they still have homes).

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