|Which one is the assistant principal?|
deputy principal of our high school.
The teachers here are interesting and intelligent people. We are all here for our own reasons. But we also share the common circumstance of being away from our families and our familiar lands. That in and of itself makes for the kind of glue that binds people together in our shared recognition that we need human contact beyond the day to day interactions at work. So we find ways to recreate together. To explore the new place we live in. To socialize and to eat and drink together. I was missing this in Idaho. I had 2 lovely friends with whom I would go out once or perhaps twice a month with. Both were married, and both had other things going on in their lives. Our social interactions were meaningful, but certainly not plentiful. I also had a friend who was my spiritual mirror and my accountability partner. I could always call her in any circumstance, but she too was married with kids and very busy with her own life. I loved her dearly, but she was not in a position to take off on day to day adventures with me.
Here in Istanbul, there is ALWAYS something to do with others. Word goes out and there you are... venturing with friends to a palace, museum, beach, bar, or hamam. A what? A hamam, the traditional Turkish bath house where you can be scrubbed clean of the dirt of the day and the street. http://www.cagalogluhamami.com.tr/
After this refreshing and relaxing experience, we jump on a tram PACKED with people of all shapes, colors, sizes, and odors. Just when it seemed no more could possibly fit on... we stopped again and another mass of bodies pushed and shoved their way into the car. Well, I had already been in my altogether in a room full of complete strangers, so this didn't seem too bad. At least we all had our clothes on and we were standing up.
I am learning many things in this place so far away from home. I am challenged almost daily to closely examine my life and my beliefs. I will always cling dearly to my faith. Even in a time when the world believes that religion and love of GOD are the same thing, and that one of these is very bad, I will stand faithful to Jesus Christ. He is and always has been, my dearest and closest friend. I will however also stand in solidarity with my friends of other beliefs and support their right to live out their lives in freedom from extremes and from dictation. I don't have all the answers. I just have more questions. I think that's ok. Some things I don't question, because I have tested them over time and find them to be reliable and true. But that is my walk. The world is imperfect and so am I. I yearn for that time when we are all free and loved and full. I desire to be part of the building of this thing, but I cannot force holiness, and I cannot control many things about this life. I can choose to be at peace and to love others better. I will do this with the help of my friends and my GOD. I am at peace with my life.