Monday, 21 April 2014

Tuesday 22 April - things are hotting up

Over the last few days we have seen bus loads of Turkish tourists, a very few others and a couple of TV camera crews from ABC and Channel Seven in Australia  It would be nice to see some other Kiwis! We arrived at the Turkish Memorial in the middle of a practice rehearsal for the service there on the 24th. It was full of Turkish dignitaries, high-ranking military officers and soldiers, with a band playing and two F16s flying overhead.

The interview with Terry has been shown in Australia, and we’ve been given our information packs – the same ones that everyone who comes to the dawn service will be given. The pack (in the form of the Gallipoli shoulder bag shown below) contains several booklets about the history of Gallipoli and about what will be happening on the 25th, a beanie, a badge, a plastic poncho in case of rain and a rubbish bag. Today we have our first full briefing with the DVA (Dept of Veterans Affairs.) We've also got our red jackets, beanies, sunhats and long and short sleeved polos - in fact there seem to be a few spare, so Evan is trying to give them away now. 

We are very glad to be staying here at the Grand Eceabat Hotel, even if the wifi is sometimes erratic, the lift is slow and some people had their view disrupted by the Turkish flag! The door locks are also a bit fiddly and if Leonie comes down after breakfast or dinner before me, I usually find her still standing at the door struggling with the lock 5 or 10 minutes later. But it is very central, the staff are great and there is always something going on to watch outside. 

Every day so far has been amazing. We come home worn out but full of new learning, understanding and experiences. There are a lot of laughs on the bus as well (especially down the back - Jim!) There is still a lot more to fit into the next two days but after that it will be all on with our Anzac Day duties.

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