April 11, 2015

Self-Cheerleading. Driving, Turkish, Volleyball...

Today I've got a lot to be proud of, and a lot to be grateful for.

This morning, I wrote messages to not one, but two Turkish friends in Turkish. My proficiency and confidence has really changed in the past three months. I'm proud of my progress.

Last night, I drove our manual transmission, crazy-time post-factory-rigged Hyundai by myself for the first time. No stalls, no accidents, no peel-outs. I even had to deal with construction, and as always, Turkish drivers. You bet those line lanes didn't constrict my movements.

I even drove a student part of the way to her house after our VOLLEYBALL match. I finally got more than 4 people to come to volleyball at the girls dorm. Interestingly, the co-ed archery team was also practicing in there at the same time. Sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen, right? I also think this particular combination of danger and trying to do my normal thing is particularly indicative of my time in Turkey. Be careful where you run, there might be someone learning how to use a bow and arrow! Be careful where you drive, "one-way street" is only a suggestion! Et cetera.

I've been feeling pretty down lately based on the never-ending winter temperatures and grey skies and also a new teaching assignment that has me teaching the same five chapters (for the third time this year) to students who failed this material in the previous quarter. I'm trying to approach it with grace, but it's not always easy. I survived the first week. I'm also proud of that.

Alan and I have decided not to renew our contracts for next year, so we are on the job market again. We are looking to Thailand for our next phase. A little more tropical and more pad thai (delicious noodles). If all goes as planned, you can expect lots of posts from Southeast Asia in 2016.

I am grateful for what I have here in Turkey. A well-paid job, wonderful friends and colleagues, a car, Cappadocia. Our first year of marriage. Good health (knock on wood). Good wine.

On that note, I'll start my Saturday. All my best to you and yours.