Tomorrow is our last day in Turkey!!
We got back yesterday from our road trip through western Turkey looking at all the ancient sites. This morning we had our final presentations so we are pretty much done with our class!
Surprisingly, I’m not super sad to be leaving and I’m pretty ready to be home. I’ve really enjoyed the trip and the adventures, but it’s been hard not being able to have my own agenda, or cook my own food, or drink the tap water, or even speak the same language. I’m really excited to eat some Mexican food.
The trip has been amazingly eye opening though, to both the good and the bad. On the good side, seeing some of the most beautiful landmarks, ancient sites, and enjoying some wonderful food has been a blessing. On the bad side, walking through street after street and neighborhood after neighborhood of poverty has been devastating, learning about and seeing government corruption first hand has been discouraging, and talking to individuals about the loss of culture in Turkey has also been disheartening.
On one hand I have hope for the country because we met with so many NGOs that have so much desire and passion to change the country from issues such as the environment to education to women’s rights. On the other hand I’m discouraged because the government has so many problems and corruption but the majority of the people don’t recognize the problem and don’t know that it needs to be addressed.
There are local elections in March so it will be very interesting to see which individuals come to power and if that suggests any changes in the future.
I will treasure this experience forever for the things I have learned about historical and modern Turkey, the people I have met in the country, and the students I have travelled with and experienced so many things with. I am so happy I got the chance to visit this country and learn as much as I did.
Tomorrow we are taking one last trip to the Asian side of Istanbul (hopefully it isn’t as cold as it was today) to finish our shopping and have a great lunch. We have to leave our hotel at 2am (Wednesday morning) to get to the airport, so we’re planning on napping in the afternoon so we can stay up all night. We will also go say goodbye to our favorite waiter down the street (Fatih, but we like to call him Antonio).
I wish I had a deep concluding sentence, but I’m afraid I would ramble too much, so I will end here with some more photos, including me at the Trojan horse yesterday.