October 21. Charity Travel on a CS meeting.

After a lazy morning and a delicious Turkish breakfast Mehmet explains me how to get to Taksim. Getting around in Istanbul with minibuses is easier than I thought. So, with the afternoon sun in my face I stroll down the main shopping street towards the famous Galata tower, and have myself shot to 60-something meters for an amazing view of the city. Dutifully, I produced some digital carvings of Istanbuls smoggy horizon that is so characteristically needled with minaret spines. Mehmet calls me since we have an appointment with ACEV, the charity I am supporting in Turkey.
A bit later than planned we show up and get a thorough explanation of what açev does: fighting illiteracy and too late child schooling in 78 of Turkey’s 81 provinces. I decide to visit one of their projects in a poor southern province on my way to Syria and that can be arranged. All excited, we step out the building and have a pide-dinner in that area, before going to the couchsurfing meeting.
That meeting surely has some good vibes. I get to talk to many friendly people and explain Charity Travel a couple of times. I demonstrate my mini-beamer, one of the coolest gadgets around, to an Australian guy that is about to start a hostel chain in Colombia; I talk to a Canadian violinist who is a great admirer of Barenboim too; I chat with a Kurdish man who quit his “boring job in finance” to travel big time on a round-the-world ticket; I listen to Mehmet and his friend conversing in Kurdish; say hello to Daniel an American English teacher with a fantastic moustache; I’m introduced to Deniz the 19-year old management student who believes I’m twenty; it’s a nice evening and it really makes me feel good to see how much alive the couchsurfing spirit is.


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Kamiel Choi

Dutch philosopher and poet, sometimes sharing thoughts on the internet.

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