Today, my family and I decided we would try to fast for Ramadan. I was looking at it as a cultural experience when I agreed to make a pact not to eat today, but that quickly changed.I prayed to my undefıned god that I may fınd Strength as I make my way through this challenging but rewarding journey. I also prayed that I would end the experience with all my goals completed and to hold the strong relationships I have at home. As far as my understanding goes, which may be wrong, for Ramadan you fast from sun up to sun down for 30 days. This is to help you understand your blessing and show submission to Allah. I really enjoyed this day of fasting. There was not one time I wished to give in and eat, although I felt a lıttle faint and tired because we couldnt even have water in this heat! Anyways, so the morning began at three or so when we all got up to eat. We had to wash our faces and hands. Then we set up a white table cloth on the floor and began eating. Ill cover what we eat here another day. We laughed and even took some photos. Then once the singing man came, we stoped eating and went back to sleep. The singing man is one of my favorite parts of Turkey. Five times a day a man gets on a loud speaker all through town and sings in Arabic. This works as a notifıcation for when it is time to pray and or eat. The day passed and we listened to the singing man knowing each time he came,It was a little closer to food and water. When the time finally came, the food was like heaven. My anne is such a good cook, but tonight the food tasted better than ever. But even more than that, was the feeling that came with the food. I was over come by a rush of gratitude for all my blessings. My life is a lucky one.Not only was I born into a loving wonderful family who was blessed with everything to provıde for me, but now I have recived this experience too. I get to have two amzing families, and two countries to call home. The best part of this night came next. Sitting the porch listeningto the rustle of the night and the waves of the sea, my host mother and I sat and sipped Turkish tea. In broken English, she told me she loved me. Wow. I am so happy to be here. To be invited into such a loving home. They have taught me so much already. About family. I will never take family for granted again. I love both of my families. The end.
What else has been happening? Many great adventures and personal growth. Gizem and I have had lots of fun this week since my last post. I have hardly felt the intense pain of home sickness, but instead fondness for happy memories with loved ones accross the ocean. We went to a Turkish bath, had a fun filled day of swimming, and many late night walks on the beach. Today she went off to school, leaving me to what is probably going to be the hardest ten days of my exchange. I will have nothing to do and no english until we meet her again for the wedding in Istanbul. Other news- We will visit my annes village in Eastern Turkey in February and she has already begun teaching me the dilect over there. School starts on the 24th, of which I am very excited for, but also dreading. Summer time by the sea in the country side of Dardanos has been swell. But city life will bring new adventures also. My turkish improves daily. Oh and today and the market anne bought Sude and I both pet chicks. Some how they are dyed blue and orange! haha Im just really hoping they dont become dinner in a few weeks!!
Some cultural notes- Did you know in Turkey you tube is blocked?? and that there is an intermission for movies at the Cinema??
Thats all for now, xoxoxo from across the ocean, Amber.