Merhaba from Istanbul!
Istanbul has welcomed me with rain my first few days but I've been much too jet-lagged to really notice. There was a bit of sunshine yesterday, which I took full advantage of. I walked around the Fenerbahçe district (futball fans rejoice!), where I live, strolling past the marina behind my apartment complex and enjoying the cloudy view of the Sea of Marmara.
For those of you whom I haven't spoken to in recent months, I left my corporate job in New York City to move to Istanbul. I'll be teaching English here for the next six months, doing some volunteer work on the side and generally, living the life I love and loving the life I live.
My host family has been incredibly warm and inviting. Their young daughters are as cute as can be. Mina, my young English scholar, is a fun and inquisitive girl to work with. Melda, the younger one is still regarding me with a little suspicion but she's coming around. Last night, she waved goodnight before she headed off to bed.
My living quarters are quite spacious (even by my stunted New York City standards). I live in the second floor of my host family's apartment. I have two terraces, one overlooking the harbor and the other into my neighbors' apartment (not too unlike New York City after all), my own bathroom with a futuristic shower stall, a mini kitchen and a large living/playing space for me and the girls.
As I settle myself into my new surroundings, I've reached out to my Istanbuli and Turkish contacts. I'm slowly making plans to meet with some locals and have been in search of a new belly dance teacher. I'm spending at least an hour a day studying my Turkish as well.
Volunteering at the orphanage may not work out as planned as they were looking for people with bit more fluency in Turkish. Unfortunate but I'm not discouraged. If anyone knows of any other volunteer opportunities here in Istanbul, I would appreciate any help you can provide.
© Connie Hum 2009