Well……we’re still alive. And what a crazy time it’s been. We went to storknest in Germany for two months during Jan/Feb – the military has families stationed in Turkey go to Germany to deliver. We came home with this handsome little guy!
His name is Austin and we love him to death. Evan is a great big brother most of the time.
We were back in Turkey just long enough to take down Christmas decorations and un-pack/re-pack, then we headed to Dallas for my second semester of Dietetics internship. It was amazing and I am more excited than ever to be a Dietitian! We’re back in Turkey now – and adventuring around.
Last weekend we went to check out “snake castle”, about 30 minutes east of Adana. It was beautiful, but hot. What really sticks in my mind actually isn’t the castle but some people we saw by the road. They were living there under sheets propped up with sticks and poles. I mean – doing their laundry in buckets of stream water. And cooking on fire. Kind of like camping – but not as nice with modern equipment – and not for fun. This is their life. I saw a little boy about 18 months old walking around in the dirt wearing rags and it just broke my heart.
Incirlik is such an odd place – the base feels like America (almost), but you drive 15 minutes away and see this kind of poverty. It’s like an alternate reality. I don’t know if these people are Turkish or Syrian refuges, but I seriously want to drive out there and drop off some children’s clothing.
Anyway, we have other updates to share, and coming soon! There’s not much to do here during the summer so…get ready. 🙂
We’re back in Turkey! Well, we’ve honestly been back a week now but it took that long to get Evan over the time zone difference (10 hours), and start to feel settled again. Our house arrived while we were gone, so there’s been a lot of unpacking going on. Hello stuff, how’ve you been for the past 5 months?
Evan and I were in California with my family. I had to complete the internship hours for this semester of my RD program. It went well but was so busy! I was working 6 days/week plus my online classes to get done and come home. It took 7 weeks but the next two semesters will be shorter. Then one long one and I’m done!
It’s good to be back, but I can’t believe it’s only for about 5-6 weeks, then I have to go to Germany for the remainder of my pregnancy (I will be 36 weeks). The military does now allow deliveries in Turkey. So, I vowed to chill out on Christmas this year. We’re buying gifts online and sending them directly to recipients with gift wrapping. We’re having our Christmas cards addressed and mailed by the company that makes them. Not my usual style, but I’m determined not to get all stressed out this year!
We finally got our first shipment from our house in California! This is just the small, early one and the big one comes later. It’s been 2 months since we arrived here in Turkey. The whole experience has reminded me that we really need so much less than we think. But hey, I was Sooo excited! Evan was obviously really happy to see his stuff. I was amazed he remembered it after we packed it 5 months ago. Things we haven’t had and now received yesterday:
– measuring cups/spoons
– chefs knife
– crock pot
– table cloth/ placemats
– coffee mugs
– our own pillows
– our own plates/silverware/glasses
– our nice stroller
Plus lots and lots more toys, books, linens, and kitchen equipment! Yay! It all sounds so minor but feels SO luxurious to us.
Well, there’s not a lot for little pre-schoolers to do here. Now that Evan’s swimming lesson is over we thought we would check out the library story time. There was a dog for the kids to pet, stories, and crafts. It was so crowded! Lots of sweet Turkish nannies there. Ours stayed home to cook some fabulous Turkish food. These women put my cooking to shame.
Side note – is it normal for a 22-month old to be a bully? Evan pulled a little girl off a play set, she fell down and hit her head on a bookcase. I felt so bad…and angry…and not sure what to do. Five minutes earlier he was sweetly hugging and sharing. Ugh, parenting is confusing. I took him out to the car and we went home, but I’m not sure he understood why.
I’m so confused. I mainly went to the mall hoping to find some clothes that would be appropriate to wear off base – long skirts, capris, loose shirts, etc. The women at the mall were, as usual, dressed conservatively. However, the stores carried only western style clothing – short skirts and shorts, tank tops, bikinis, etc! Who is buying all this clothing and where are Turkish women buying the clothes they actually wear?? I’ve heard two answers: markets and making by hand. Anyway, I’ve gone twice and no luck.
I do admire the conservative dress here, I just don’t understand the mall phenomenon. Turkish women are beautiful and so is their clothing – especially the scarves they wear on their heads. American women buy them (pashminas) just because they’re so pretty, then we’re not sure what to do with them. 🙂
Some of the women here cover and some don’t. These pictures kind of cover the most to least conservative I see. I haven’t seen the full burkas like in Afghanistan, which actually was kind of upsetting to me. I’m sure different areas of Turkey may be more or less conservative than Adana. Most conservative:
Least conservative (long pants and shoulders covered):
Anyway, not much else to report. Tom and I have been super sick. Even Lucy seems sick. Evan seems fine, but he did take a 4-hour nap the other day. He woke up really happy!
I call Phase I survival. You’re just getting by with what you have and figuring out what just happened. And what to do now. We’ve moved into phase II now – thriving? accumulating? I basically gave up on waiting for any of our household goods. Washing the same 2 dishes and 2 forks for 5 weeks was about to drive me insane. Also, I’ve finally figured out where to shop – you can get almost anything for an insanely cheap price here! On base there is a thrift shop and a virtual “yard sale” page. There are markets of base, and we found the mall in Adana:
It’s right next to the Adana mosque. How beautiful is that?!? Sorry for the poor image quality. I was trying to drive/survive in a Turkish traffic circle. Side note: I’ve yet to see another woman driving in Turkey. I’m sure some do but it’s obviously very rare. One of the ambulance drivers told me that by law women have to drive with their hazards on. I’m hoping he’s wrong or kidding!
ANYWAY, Some of my purchases this week include this set of stoneware for $5:
This set of silverware for $1
Plus towels, bath mats, toys, books, oven mitts, pillow cases, and cooking utensils for literally pennies. Why did I wait?! Actually, I just didn’t really know where/how/when to go until now. I’m feeling so much happier here now! I don’t think it’s just the difficulty of living out of the suitcase that was getting to me, but the feeling of HOME vs. HOTEL.
I’m not the only one feeling good here. Actually Lucy has been loving it since day one. Her big hobby is laying in the sun and getting so sleepy she can’t keep her eyes open:
I’ve noticed a lot of women knit or crochet here at Incirlik. I think it’s just the slower pace of life; there’s less to do here. I’ve knitted some projects but only crochet one major project – a baby blanket for Evan. It took me years! I started it for another baby way before I got pregnant but ended up finishing it for Evan. So, I’m worried about finishing this blanket with only about 5 months until my due date. So far, I’ve been finding time for it, so maybe it will happen! I hope so – I feel less focused on this pregnancy than I did with Evan. I don’t want this baby to have less than Evan because its not our first – so here! A blanket of your own! I feel better now. 🙂