Young Travel Writers 2015

Owen Joyce, 8

Last updated 20th July 2022

Author: Owen Joyce
Age: 8

I was amazed when my Mum told me we were going to Kurdistan, my Dad lived there before and I had never even met my Kurdish family.

I was bubbling up with excitement for the whole 7 hour journey. Mum said I fell asleep just as we landed in Erbil. We left behind a lush, green place however Kurdistan was really dry and everything looked scorched. Mum and Dad said it would be hot but it was like standing inside an oven! I gave my Nanny and Bappy huge hugs, I was overjoyed to see them. As we drove to Nanny’s house we saw our first mountains. They were like colossal, jagged rock giants! Kurdish people are proud of their mountains and I felt proud too.

Life with my Kurdish family was a bit different. We all slept on mats on the floor, I loved sleeping next to my Mum, Dad and sister. It was like camping inside. We went shopping at night time because it was too hot in the day! The toilets were holes in the floor that were a bit hard to get used to! Everyone went to sleep after lunch and sometimes they didn’t wake up until dinner time! At first it was Ramadan so my Kurdish family were tired and they were very hungry after the sun had gone down. After Ramadan there was a celebration and lots of people visited us, I ate lots of sweets! We ate our meals on the roof in the evening because it was cool. We ate lots of rice, chicken and vegetables. We also ate baklava which is delicious, Nanny said I could eat as much as I liked! We sat on a rug on the floor not at a table and my Aunties did lots of cooking.

I was allowed to go out and play with my little cousins, we met friends and played around the bottom of Nanny’s mountain. I played football with the boys, we didn’t always understand each other but we loved playing when the grown ups were sleeping. When the sun had gone down a bit Mum, Dad and I went walking in the mountains we heard wild pigs once and we ran home! We had big adventures on our walks, Nanny said we had to take water and we needed it! We saw lizards, two scorpions and strange birds and we ate grapes and figs that we found. We went into the city and the shops were different, we ate yummy kebabs and Daddy drank tea. People sell things by the road in Kurdistan, we bought watermelon, nuts and water. We drove to a waterfall and paddled our feet in it, we even went on a cable car to the top of a huge mountain. Kurdistan was my best holiday and I hope we go back soon.