Okay, maybe we’re not living the dream, but we’re living our dream, and it’s such a sweet season for us. I’m so thankful that 8 months ago we moved to Istanbul. I feel like our family belongs here. I adore the challenge of living life in a place where I have to learn a new language, culture and way of living. I like making discoveries such as finding the freshest eggs in town, learning to use local ingredients in cooking, and figuring out how to manage conversations in a tongue that is foreign to me but enchanting nonetheless. Have you heard Turkish? It’s a harmonic language, so it sounds lovely to the ear.
We’ve been keeping busy as usual. Scott is currently writing a dissertation that requires him to research material in several foreign languages. Imagine that?! Not only does the poor guy have to write a book, but he only can write it after reading tomes and tomes of material, old material, mind you, in Turkish, Ottoman Turkish, Persian and Arabic, with a side of French to boot! In addition to this, he teaches English to Japanese people on the internet, is involved in translation projects for a local university, and has written several e-books that have been released in the past fews months. My personal favorite is his book on Insane Rulers which you should definitely check-out!
He is also a great husband and father, and is quite involved in our local church. He helps lead a weekly small group and once a month translates the sermon for guests that don’t understand Turkish. Did I mention he’s really a great husband and father?
I should have started with an update about me because it’s hard to come after that! At any rate, I’m also doing well. My big life endeavors continue to be raising Ellie and learning Turkish. I’ve been trying my hand at several Montesorri ideas with Ellie, and it’s been fun to see how well she responds. For example, I decided to see what would happen if I let her run around naked and point her to the potty when she goes. As it turns out, at her own will, she’s gone in the potty 4 times and told me, I’ll spare you the specific details on this one, but has told me that she has gone #2 twice.
In addition, she’s speaking a lot. She even likes to sing “Row, row, row your boat”- row, row, row, boat…so sweet. Also, E, I, E, I, O is a big hit around here! Some of her favorite things to say are “apple, no, brown bear, book, mama, daddy, bye bye, olive, bible, doggy, and gel (Turkish for come). Yesterday she conquered the stairs and the slide at the park on her own. Prior to that I’d help her, but yesterday she was ready to show me how independent she can be. However, I suppose she’s still not ready to leave the nest just yet as she’s nursing several times a day and doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. Women here aim to nurse for 2 years, so no one is rolling their eyes at me just yet.
Learning Turkish is so much fun! So far, I’ve only been able to actually take one course with lack of childcare available to us, but I’ve done a lot of self-study and study with a friend. Scott helps me untangle a lot of the grammar, and I practice everyday while I’m out and about. In fact, I’ll speak with anyone who will let me! Ellie adores going to the grocery store because she ends up getting several free bananas and pickles, but I like to go because I get in good practice! Also, I continue to watch a Turkish drama as many times a week as I can. Each episode is about an hour and a half, and I try to get in at least 3 a week. I learn a lot of vocabulary and situational Turkish. It’s really great! Also, truth be told, I’m totally addicted to the program and secretly (well, not anymore) hope to bump into the actors on the street. I’m sure if they stumbled upon Ellie’s big blue eyes and dimples they’d insist for her to be in their next show!