An Insider’s Look at Turkey and the Greek Islands

Want an insider’s look at the Jon Baines experience? Read the words of Mary and Raema as they reminisce about the recent History of Medicine Tour in Turkey and the Greek Islands. The Tour was led by Professor John Pearn and explored the historically and culturally rich city of Istanbul, the beaches of Galipolli, Pergamum, Ephesus, Kos and Rhodes.

A poem by Mary:

If you can meet and greet the late arrival

And introduce her to the friends she’ll make

Ensure the whole group’s ultimate survival02_istanbul.jpg

And mastermind the trips they’ll undertake.

If you can wear your knowledge oh so lightly

And know just when and where to let it show

Recall the myths, and lecture to us nightly,

And quiz us on the facts that we should know.

If you can sit with Helen and King Priam

Upon the walls of Troy and watch below

The battles of the Trojans and Achaeans

And brave Machaon, oldest doc we know.Gallipoli pic

If you can pan for gold in the Meander

And mint the coins that made old Croesus rich,

And tell the tale of Hero and Leander

And cross the Hellespont without a hitch.

If you can count the different types of column

Within the cistern where Medusas hide

And then be reverential, not solemn,

In church and mosque, with Alp our trusty guide.

If you can name both butterflies and flowers

With genus, species, habitat and use

And say which ones have special healing powers

(And warn us which ones sometimes face abuse)

If you can gain us entrée to see FlorenceBlue Mosque interior

In barracks that are off the tourist track

Where, at Scutari, we see her abhorrence

At means of care the injured soldiers lacked.

If you can share the dawn at Anzac beaches,

Commemorating both the friend and foe

And benefit from all their valour teaches

Humanity and peace, we strive to know.

If you can make our history serve the present,

The Hippocratic Oath a modern text

So future doctors, ethical and pleasant,

Can swear to standards that we all expect.View at the town Lindos and the acropolis under blue sky, Lindos, Island of Rhodes, Greece, Europe

If you can join the knights of holy order

Explain the past to make us each a fan

You’ve proved yourself a worthy Jon Baines’ Leader

And – which is more – a friend and gentleman!

In response, a poem by Raema:

It is barely a week since we’ve been home

And then up on our screens we find Mary’s poem!

ANZAC Cove[1]The memories again flood back so clear,

Though they’d started to fade, I very much fear!

Now again I am thinking of those rocky mountain sites

The sunny skies, the turquoise tiles, the sparkling city lights

Huge bowls of runny jams, chocolate treats before bed,

Emotional showers, gloomy cisterns– all swimming in my head.

Mosques and temples, rods entwined with that well known coiling snake,

The glittering bazaar full of goods real craftsmen make

Minarets soaring, repeated calls to prayer

Bold butterflies that wing it home in freshest streams of air

Long lazy lunches and dinners by the sea

Dark eyed children up too late, begging alms from you and me.

Wide stone steps leading up to vistas grand

Rhodes Harbour and the Palace of the MastersTreasures still unearthed from that awesome ancient land.

The carpet sellers–the endless tea

The constant refrain–“come buy from me”

The harbours and the ferry trips, the clear azure sea

The beauty and tranquillity of today’s Gallipoli

The laurel and the olive leaves, the tales of gods of yore

The mediaeval castles, the horse of Troy—-and more–

The bright collage continues, flashing pictures in my head

Of white clad smiling women sitting punching out their bread

The images come bubbling out, those talks, and new friends too

The tribute to our leader which was done so well by you

Grand Bazaar istockSo–though back to normal life — work and worries too

You’ve sparked again our memories with that verse sent out by you

We thank you Mary for your poem

Which has brought back the joy, after one week home!

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