The evening we arrived is typical of how things have göne. We were met at the Adana aırport by our headmaster, Mr. Hanna, and Ramazan, one of the school's drıvers. We were driven to our new campus apartment, arriving at around 11:30 pm. The apartment was clean and immaculate, fully furnished, and the fridge stocked with groceries, including five bottles of Efes, the best Turkish beer!
Over the first week, there were quite a few orientation meetings for new teachers. And each night we were all taken out on the town to enjoy Turkish cuisine at local restaurants. Everything we've been treated to has been delicious, even the popular hard lıquor Raki, also known as Uzo in Greece. Christine has already developed quite a taste for it, so I'm keeping a close eye on her whenever we go out.
On Thursday of that first week, all of us were flown to Istanbul for three more days of orientation to Turkey, Turkish education, and sıght seeing along wıth new teachers from two other private schools in Turkey. Our first trip in Istanbul was to the medievel underground cistern, the famous Blue Mosque, and the Agıa Sophia, a centuries old church that as been both a mosque and Christian church, depending on who was in power at the time. These places were fantastic to visit. But the next night was even better. We were taken on a private dinner cruise, just for the new staff and the administrators of the three schools. The boat took us up the Bosphorous Straight, the body of ocean that separates the Asian from the European sides of Istanbul as well as the two continents! We had more drinks and a beautiful dinner on a perfect night while seeing the shorelines and hills of the two continents.
Since then we've been back in Tarsus settling in to the school and our new life. We've had to learn a few things, lıke the importance of checking carefully what you put in your mouth. The first morning here I woke up pretty thirsty. In the fridge I found a plastic bottle of what clearly looked to be flavored drinking water. I was pretty sure one of the Turkish words on the label meant lemon in English. So I unscrewed the cap and took a huge swig of cooking oil!
I think I'll let you go for now. Just know that Christine and I are very happy and safe here. In fact the campus is completely closed and has 24 hour security protection. And every time we walk into town we couldn't feel safer. The folks here are awesome to us. And there is a genuine sweetness and generosity in the people of Turkey. We love them. I'll write again soon. Our love to all of you.
Mike and Christine.
And here are some more pıc's for you:
At Yesilov Restaurant our fırst nıght. Our headmaster ıs next to me.
New Tarsus teachers and office staff in front ot the Agia Sophia
On the Bosphorous dınner cruıse. Look at my glass of wine. Either the boat or I am tilting!
At Kleopatra's, one of our new hangouts in the old part of Tarsus.
Stickler Hall, built in 1888. My classroom is on the thırd floor.
Our own little courtyard and garden.