Sunday, May 27, 2012

Learning Turkish


I have started to teach myself Turkish in preparation for my trip. So far, it has been a little tough to learn. Turkish is a language in the Turkic language group, so it isn’t related to English at all. Also, it has a few letters that many English speakers might not recognize: ı, ö, ü, ç, ş, and ğ.

Here is a list of some common Turkish words and phrases that I have learned:

Merhaba - Hello

Nasılsın? - How are you?

İyiyim - I am fine.

Yorgunum - I am tired.

Teşekkürler - Thanks

Güle güle - Goodbye

I have mainly been learning Turkish online, but I have a book (Elementary Turkish by Lewis V. Thomas) and I am planning on buying more. Some of the sites that I have been using allow me to chat with native speakers of Turkish. I plan on doing some intense language study this summer because I can tell that I will need it!

P.S. Don’t forget to donate to my trip, I would very much appreciate it J

Friday, May 18, 2012


Hello, I am Alec Buchina and I am a junior at Kennebunk High School in Kennebunk Maine. For my senior year, I will study abroad in Turkey through the American Field Service (AFS) Intercultural Program. This past year, I have been taking online classes and this summer I will take a class at the local community college so I can graduate next year.

I want to go on foreign exchange because I have a passion for world culture, language, and politics. I am very interested in Muslim, European, and Asian cultures and Turkey has all three of those. Many US citizens, especially in Maine, seem to have little understanding of Muslim culture and I wish to teach people in my community about the culture when I return to the states. I hope that this will lead to my community having a better understanding of the Muslim culture, relieving some of the tension between the US and the Middle East. I also hope that going on this trip will make me more mature and independent, allowing me to succeed in this world. While on my trip, I intend to teach my Turkish community about life in the United States. I think that knowledge of Muslim culture and a foreign language will prove useful in the future, especially if I want to major in politics and linguistics in college.

I need help with financing my exchange because my family does not make much money. Also, because I live in Maine, a relatively under populated state, it is hard to find enough people in my community to donate money. I need to raise a total of $12,500 in order to go on this trip. I am going to apply for a financial aid scholarship to pay for a portion of the cost. I also plan on doing other things to fund my trip. I have been applying to jobs in my town and I am planning to have a yard sale, place donation jars in local stores, and send letters to a few businesses asking for money. Also, my mother and I will be making food to sell at our local market. To sponsor my AFS program now, please click the ChipIn button on my blog. Thank you!