Well, it has been a week and we are settling in. We’re still overwhelmed and have been busy with orientation, shopping to complete our new apartment, and dog walking.
We arrived at 2:30 AM last Thursday, by the time we got our luggage into our new apartment it was 4:00 and we went to bed at 4:30. Five hours later, we woke up to look for cat supplies – litter and a box – since the kittens had been holding it (yikes!) for about 30 hours. One of the directors drove Akasha to town, and by noon we were set up enough for Akasha to go in to work. It wasn’t much of a first night’s sleep, but it had to do!
Since then, we’ve been going through orientation, mostly. BLIS is a growing pre-K-12 school that is part of Bilkent University. The university is a sprawling institution with three campuses set on rolling brown hills in a southern and as yet lightly developed section of Ankara. We’re on the East campus, with two K-12 schools (1 Bilingual-international and 1 turkish), about a mile from the middle and main campuses, where the university is.
Aside from a night of jet lag, where he kept us awake until 3 in the morning, Remi has adjusted perfectly to our new home. The cats are also pleasantly settled – they love the view of pines blowing in the breeze. We’ve taken Remi out into the rolling dry hills surrounding the campus, and he’s in love with all the new smells. And, on one of our night walks, he roused up an actual hedgehog. We were all very surprised. Ankara doesn’t have squirrels or bunnies, but it does have turtles and hedgehogs.
The nearest big store is a REAL, a German chain, and it’s massive, with one whole aisle of juice (Mango! Peach-Grape! Mulberry!) and another aisle devoted entirely to variations of yogurt – and not the super-sweet kind with fruit on the bottom. Turkey is amazingly yogurt oriented. Also in the mall is a KFC, a Burger King, Body Shop, a Pet World, an OfficeMart, and a Marks and Spencer. Very modern. It’s not the quaint on-street ajjuma mart of our old Mokpo neighborhood, but it’s quite nice.
Our apartment is beautiful. Clean, light, and modern, with three balconies and large patio doors that face east, so we have beautiful views of sunrise every morning, and moonrises in the evening. We have been shopping to make it home at Bauhaus and Ikea. It is almost finished, except for when we paint in October. There will be a video tour in a bit…
Food! Oh my gosh have we been eating well. The breads, cheeses, and olives here are phenomenal. Food is as affordable as it was in Korea. Today Mike and I went into the city center and ate at a restaurant that opened in 1923. It was covered in beautiful tiles and was very Mediterranean. For less than $10 we had an entire loaf of bread, a half a roast chicken with barley, a tomato salad, fries, a coke and ayran (Turkish yogurt drink.) We will be eating the leftovers for dinner tonight.
Monday morning workshop week begins and I will be up to my ears in writing unit plans, decorating my classroom, and coordinating curriculum. It will be fun to be back in the game.
-Oh man, I can’t wait to show you my classroom. It is huge! and it has a beautiful balcony! It is the most amazing classroom I’ve ever seen.
Well, that is all for now. TTYL!