It's been a long time since the last entry. I used the past month to visit with family and friends and to recharge my batteries for another year in Turkey. I really enjoyed myself and was so happy to be with everyone that it was hard to leave. I have to admit that I was fighting back tears at the Dulles airport because I was very apprehensive about heading back. It's not that I wasn't enjoying living in Turkey. It's just that everything is more difficult and I was enjoying the break and relaxation of being back in America where a red light means "stop" and "tomorrow" means exactly that...There is no qualifier like "inshallah."
As it turns out, most of my concerns were unfounded. Granted, as of today Aug. 10, I still do not have internet in my apartment and my passport was taken until next Friday for my resident's permit so I probably won't get it back in time for my trip to Greece. (Back to super annoying Turkish bureaucracy) But, greeting me at the airport upon arrival were two lovely Turkish sisters who wanted to make sure I was met at the airport and then helped with my bags on the metro ride and walk to my apartment after 13 hours of travel. (Back to super friendly, extraordinary Turkish hospitality.) Not only did they make sure I was safely settled back in my new apartment, they made sure I didn't have time to get homesick by organizing the next evening of "movie in the park" with many Turkish friends. Already my arrival in Izmir far exceeded my expectations and helped me feel comfortable and secure.