We recently celebrated one year in Turkey! And while we have learned a lot, there is still so much more to understand. This week I’m working on our US taxes (not entirely sure how it works from here) and have signed up to vote by absentee ballot in the upcoming US primary and general elections this year. In December my residence permit was approved for another year! The new online/mail process is so much easier than going in person and we are hoping for a similar good experience when Justo applies this month.
Justo’s parents visited us at Christmas time and we explored Istanbul, Bursa, and four of the Seven Churches. We also had Christmas Dinner at our house for the students from our church. We brought the picnic table inside to create enough seating for a formal sit-down dinner. It was a wonderful evening.
I continue to enjoy the snow here in Ankara, pomegranates in season and salep, a traditional Turkish hot creamy drink made from orchid root. This week I and some of my friends were invited into a strangers home. Two hours and many tea cups later we left as friends. We are hoping that through this relationship we will be able to enact change in their small shanty neighborhood. I was so involved in community service back home and it has been a blessing to start to see how I can be involved here as well.
Our second year here has started out full of meetings, reunions with friends from college, and meeting new kindred spirits. We will be back in language classes next month but continue to practice on a daily basis. At the same time, I’m working on a plan and budget for a business I’m hoping to open this year. With Justo starting his PhD next semester, the business will be a great way to get to know my community over the next few years while he is in school. And will hopefully be a good business decision too.