‘Thank You!’ – ‘No, I Thank You!’

Okçular Book Project Promo

The Okçular Book Project is not something I go on about a lot – especially on this blog! The reason is simple; the project is very localised and unless you live within a reasonable distance or are planning a holiday in the area and enjoy walking/cycling then it is of very limited interest. The fact that my books have been sent around the world to the likes of the US; Europe (of course); South Africa; Australia; New Zealand and even China is a source of utter amazement to me.

J and I started the project as a way of putting something back into this ordinary little farming village that adopted us as family and gave us a feeling of belonging that neither of us had ever had before. Our aim was to encourage people to visit and enjoy the natural wonders that are taken for granted by those of us who live here. The books part people from a little bit of their money and then we use that money to fund worthwhile projects for the community and environment in Okçular – it is working a treat!

Your money has given the kids a play park; funded the fantastic murals at the village school; provided the funds to restore an ‘antique’ wooden, garden chess set  and provide an outdoor playing board for the school chess club; helped fund a village photo archive.


not much to look at but it gives the whole school access to the web

A couple of weeks ago we agreed to fund a few extras at the school that will make a difference on a daily basis: a rack for 20 bikes; wi-fi that covers the whole school; two toner packs for the photocopier used for worksheets; six complete sets of reading books – enough for every student to have a book to take home during the holiday, separate from their class books.

J and I were chuffed no end to be able to do these small things for our village. It is thanks to you guys out there who buy and promote the ‘Okçular Books’ and you deserve credit too. In fact, if you drop by you’ll be able to share in the school’s ‘teşekkur’. How is that? you ask. Well, yesterday we were summoned to school where J was presented with a beautiful, traditional coffee set by way of a thank you from the teachers and kids. Her delight when she carefully unwrapped the box and realised what the gift was, was written all over her face.  ‘Thank you! Teşekkur ederim!’ she exclaimed. ‘Hayır! Ben teşekkur ederim!’ cried the teachers in unison (No! I thank you!). So, if you drop by (book in hand) we’ll be happy to serve you Turkish coffee in our delightful new cups so that you too can enjoy one of  the pleasures of being part of this wonderful project.

J getting her just desserts!
Oi! You lot - get on with your lesson!

Alan Fenn, Okçular Köyü

18 thoughts on “‘Thank You!’ – ‘No, I Thank You!’

  1. I had no idea, Alan. Very impressive and very touching, Hat’s off to you and your lady for making a difference.

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