Merhaba from Turkey!

I promised everyone and their moms that I’d keep up with a blog while I’m here, so the ending of my first full day seems like a good of time as any to write my second post. If you’ve read my Facebook status, you will know that I spent over 30 hours traveling from Minneapolis to Central Turkey. My 10 hour transatlantic flight was mostly uneventful. I passed time trying to contort myself in creative positions in order to catch a few hours of sleep, eating odd-tasting-but-I-pushed-through-anyway airplane meals, and watching the Parent Trap with the dude next to me after his tv quit working. He had limited English so I’m not sure how much he understood, but with twice the Lindseys in a movie, one can’t complain. The 10 hours went surprisingly fast and I landed in Istanbul, where I had to change airlines. This meant going through customs, grabbing my luggage, and re-checking them in. Thank goodness for a 6-hour layover because one of my suitcases was MIA somewhere between Toronto and Istanbul, and I had to spend 2 hours in a hot, stuffy claims office trying to locate it.

While figuring out the whole luggage situation, I was able to chat with a girl from L.A. who was planning on backpacking around Turkey and Greece with her boyfriend. I also met a German couple that was taking walking tours over many different parts of the country for the next month. When it came my turn to tell why I was where I was, my story felt weird in my mouth – like, not quite a lie and not quite a truth. Even after a full day here it still hasn’t set in that I am 6,000 miles away from home, and I won’t be coming back in two weeks. I’m here for the next 8+ months. God sure has me on crazy journey in life. Sometimes I love it and sometimes, not so much. But, I am trusting Him through all of this. It is so comforting to know that I serve a God who is already working on the things that are ahead of me, and I am so grateful to know He is right by my side every step of the way. No matter how crazy it seems.

Once I arrived, the sun had set, and I had hardly slept 3 hours in the last 48. I was shown my cute and lovely flat, but with the jetlag and zombie brain fog, I could only focus on the fact that I had my own bed to sleep in. I have never been more thankful to sleep on something other than a plastic bench or a 90-degree angled seat. After 14 hours of straight snoozing, I awoke feeling somewhat normal. I spent today at the home of the family I will be homeschooling so we all could get comfortable with each other. The kids are great and so full of energy. I already received a beginner’s lesson in Turkish by the two oldest children. I’m practically fluent now. With little hands holding/pulling me in every direction, I got the grand tour of their house and the schoolroom where I’ll be spending most of my time. And I now go by the name ‘Auntie Sarah’ (so precious). We spent about an hour reading the jokes on the back of the Laffy Taffy wrappers my mom packed with me (yay American candy!), and watching “Do You Wanna Build a Snowman” on YouTube…I won’t even tell you how many times – yes, Frozen has made its way to Turkey too. Tonight, my flat mate and another woman from the team took me out to a nearby town for dinner. The town is built into the “Fairy Chimneys” and caves that Cappadocia is famous for. Tomorrow I’m going on a hike with the family to explore more. While there are many foreigners that come through to see the sights, people are still able to climb and explore all they want in and around the caves.

That’s all for now! In short: I am alive, having fun, and delusional-ly exhausted. P.S. My luggage has been located and is on its way. It will hopefully be at my doorstep within the next couple days. Though I must say, I’ve gotten quite creative recycling the two outfits that were in my carry-on.

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