Alan of Archers of Okcular has recently posted an interesting account of his fund-raising success for the local village school. http://archersofokcular.com/thank-you-no-i-thank-you/ The teachers and parents in his village are obviously very grateful for his generous efforts. My connections with Turkish schools ended in 2000 when my daughter left to join the British education system and I stopped teaching English. Recently, I was enjoying a coffee and cake in Bodrum with an old friend when he took a call on his mobile from “Mudur Bey”. As the friend is self- employed, I was wondering to whom he was being so deferential and he explained that the call was from the headmaster of his children’s school and there were outstanding bills to pay. As chairman of the parents' association, my friend was expected to come up with the cash. The government only provides the teachers’ salaries and pays the electricity bill for this state school. Cleaning costs, photocopy inks and toners, repairs to the building and all the other incidentals have to be found elsewhere. This past winter was so cold that the electrical heating wasn’t sufficient and fuel had to be bought for the wood-burning stoves. His kids’ school’s only extra source of income is the tuck shop so the parents are asked for “donations”. Some schools can use their playgrounds in the summer break as paid car parks but this isn’t an option for most villages. A lot of effort in the ex-pat community seems to be directed at charities looking after street animals, which is a very worthy cause, but I’m more inclined to follows Alan’s direction and see what help we can be to our local village school, which looks considerably more dilapidated now than it did when we left 12 years ago. I was looking forward to volunteering to teach some English when schools open in September, but this now seems a rather naive offer in view of the financial difficulties the school must be operating under. I don't think I'll be up to writing a book like Alan, but am open to suggestions.