Eating apricots always transports me back to summers in the PNW. Here in Ankara they have just arrived in the markets, and accompanied by warm weather, it seems like summertime in April. Yesterday while riding a crowded dolmuş into town I passed a farmer selling watermelon out of the back of his pickup truck. On the way home a flatbed truck filled with onions, potatoes, and an old fashioned scale was moving up the street. Farmers coming into the city on the weekend to sell their produce on busy neighborhood streets is one reason why Spring is my favorite season in Turkey. Meals this week will be filled with fresh spring peas and strawberries!
While Spring often signals all things fresh and new, for us it has been filled with more than enough new experiences to navigate. In February Justo broke his ankle while walking down some stairs in Istanbul, requiring two surgeries, and many more months of recovery to come. During this same time we discovered his residence permit had been canceled back in October! We had to pay a fine and leave the country before he could get a new permit. A weekend trip to my brother’s, followed by extensive trips around the city to government and translation offices, and I was able to get his permit approved. These and several other challenging experiences have taught us how to do new things in Turkey. While stressful, they are also good opportunities to improve my Turkish and also learn to rely more fully on God.
Aside from monthly updates on our lives here in Turkey, I’m going to start writing some short posts for other expats here in Ankara. There are so many things I wish I would have known!