Monday, August 04, 2008
Team Turkey Update
Wow…where has the time gone? We have been planning to blog for a while but have been busy with the kids and time has been slipping away. The last few weeks have been an incredible whirlwind of excitement and busyness.
In the past few weeks we have been able to see some of Turkey’s beauty. We went to Duden Falls with Verna, our coordinator. It’s a gorgeous waterfall that flows throughout the city and pours into the Mediterranean. We really enjoyed the experience and it was nice to get out of the city.
Recently, we were invited to two birthday parties, which were a lot of fun and it was interesting to see how different cultures celebrate occasions. We learned some Turkish dance techniques that involved wearing jiggling skirts around your waist. Turkish people are incredible dancers and they start very young. Even our three year olds at the Kres are impressing us with their belly dancing moves.
Despite what you may think, we still have not fully adjusted to the heat, and are envious when we see Turkish people in jeans and long-sleeved shirts not even sweating.
Work at the Kres is going well. In true Turkish fashion, the number of kids that come everyday has dramatically fluctuated since the first half of our trip, which is a bit intimidating, but keeps us on our toes. It is teaching us to be more flexible, and learn that everything happens in God’s timing. Lately we’ve been reading lots of books with the kids, and even though they are in English and we hardly have a translator, they are always so thrilled to listen. The pictures are so help to make up for what gets lost in translation. One thing that we are so proud of is the unbelievable amount of English that our kids have been able to absorb. It is our favorite thing to hear them using what we’ve taught them and reciting English phrases in their cute little accents.
The longer we are here, the more our eyes are opened to God’s work going on in Turkey,, and our role in the process despite not being able to openly talk about our faith—especially to the kids. Not being able to use our words has helped remind us that we are a small part of how God is working, and that our actions are just as important as our words. Although it is difficult to measure, we can see how our subtle influence makes a difference in the projects that Verna oversees here in Antalya.
We are really enjoying ourselves and we’re trying to soak up our last week and a half here by going to the beach as often as we can, and appreciating the scenery. It is so bittersweet to be coming to a close as we realize that saying goodbye to the kids we’ve been working with will be quite tough. We feel so blessed to have witnessed the generosity and kindness of the Turkish people. Until next time,