If you want it, you have to go out and get it - Accounts of Ankara
  One month.  Thirty days. That's just about how long someone can survive without food. 
  In that time I have traveled over 5,000 miles, moved into a new house in a new city with a new family, started going to a new school with new friends, and learned enough Turkish to order the right sandwich at lunch without too much trouble.   
   I'm not going to say that now it seems normal to be interrupted half way through class by the call to worship being projected from the mosque right out of the classroom window, or that the pictures of Atatürk that are everywhere are suddenly looking more friendly, or that I can actually identify and name every piece of food that ends up on my plate - but I'm learning.  
   But, looking back - the month seems to have flown by: arrival, hockey camp, first day of school, figuring out the school bus system, finding a music school, sitting with people I met five minutes ago at lunch, birthday parties, shopping, sleepovers, new faces, new names, craving hamburgers, eating hamburgers, being invited to join a band, learning German, trying to learn Turkish, getting all sorts of permissions for this and that, waiting for Rotary to help me out, receiving mail from home, Friday night hockey games, unexpected trips to the city center, and, of course, saying "Amerikalyim" or "I am American" at least five times a day.  
  I'm not going to pretend that when I come home from school most days, I don't have headaches from trying to understand and communicate the most basic things like - I was late because I couldn't find a bathroom with toilet paper in it.  I'm not going to say that I don't miss home. I'm not going to flaunt that I never get frustrated or angry or that I'm constantly just having the time of my life, skipping through the street of Ankara without a care in the world. But I know that even when the going gets hard, thinking about everything I don't have is a waste of time when I can just look  around me and see everything I do:  I have the kindest and most generous host family, I have a hockey team, classmates, teachers, and maybe eventually I'll even have Rotarians looking out for me after this weekend.  
    The last thing I will ever tell you is that this is easy. 
    In fact, this might just be the hardest thing I've ever done - but I won't stop trying and there's no way I'm going home now.  
10/11/2011 09:52:17

Gaia, you make me very proud. I admire your strength of character and your ability to take the path less traveled and to travel it well. I love your writing too - your voice rings through so very clearly to me.

I love you and I miss you, and again, I'm very proud of what you are doing and who you are.

Your Homie
10/11/2011 12:35:20

Doh Doh,

Thanks for the update. Glad to see you are doing so well. Love you and miss you lots!!!!!!

HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!

10/11/2011 16:33:33

Ahhhhhh . . . . No more blogger's block - your writing is amazing. And so are you!

10/16/2011 12:15:34

Gaia, you have so much to say and such wonderful ways to say it. We miss you and I so appreciate that you're flinging open the windows of your soul for all of us to see. We miss you and love you.

Your favorite derp
10/17/2011 11:41:27

Gaia, I just want you to know that I respect you so much. And soon enough you'll be back in the states getting a headache from all the english you'll hear!
Keep yo' head up, girl.


7/13/2012 02:48:32

THX for info


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