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.