Just after our camping week, I had the wonderful privilege of making some new friends and rekindling some old ones. Our school hosted a conference for all the administrators in our network who are in this region. Several of their spouses came along to see Turkey. I got to coordinate their excursions and time in our city. It was so fun. These are all people I pray for, but now I know who they are! I took them to Ulus one day.
We shopped and walked and shopped and walked and had so much fun. Then we stopped for some gozleme for lunch.
Not only did I make several new friends, I got to be with some I've loved for a long time. Next to me on the left is J. She and her husband helped start our school in Turkey with us. She co-taught Kindergarten with me when my now-11th-grade-daughter was in the class! I'd say she's an old friend! I miss her here in Turkey now that she's gone. To her left is Pops and Nonie.
Pops and Nonie are my brother's wife's parents. Got that? They've known me since I was in the 8th grade, drove me to parties along with their daughter, been my chaperone on short-term trips, attended my wedding, hosted us for my first Thanksgiving as marrieds, let my kids swim in their pool every summer, and have been behind us and in touch with us for all these years overseas. We were excited to have them come see our home.
It was a beautiful day to see Ulus.
No props in Ulus to make it look authentic. Just someone washing and drying the goat fur from inside their mattress on a sunny day.
And the very day I am typing this, our city (not so far from this place) has been hit by twin bombs, killing 86, wounding many others. The details are slowly emerging, but on this day, this picture touches me. A teacher had lined her class up for a photo and graciously allowed me to take one. Please pray for this nation.