March 10, 2014

Life these days

practicing the local archeological tour / key words: "flint" "adobe" "Roman baths"


Basically, I'm teaching English to villagers who live along a ten day walking path in southeastern Turkey. The goal is that they can better communicate with tourists who come for the path, offering home stay experiences and walking tours.

Money going straight to villagers; the chance to promote other local projects like tree planting, dental health, and primary education; the possibility of real cultural exchange instead of just a tourism service–it's all pretty good.

Walking on the Plains

One nice thing about my work (ok, there are many) is that I can actually walk on the path.

17 km walk to work, from one village to another
a temple several thousand years old

Walking here is obviously very different from hiking in British Columbia. (Notice I can't even call it hiking). There are no mountains, you interact with farmers and shepherds along the way, and you are constantly reminded of past humans. It's just a different experience.

"Local, organic"

Everyone I work with has fields, gardens, orchards, and/or animals. Fresh eggs, homemade yogurt, home cured olives, local bulgur, dried eggplants, tomatoes, and peppers–all have been sent home with me. We roll rice in grape leaves picked in the summer, make salads with pomegranate syrup from the trees out back, and the bread is made from wheat grown in the fields and processed at the town mill.

Social life

In the end, though, I'm not a villager in southeastern Turkey. I don't have three kids already, for example. So I'm pretty stoked to have found in Urfa a small but groovy community of like-minded, equally childless people. And even a climbing gym.

Life is full these days, and time is flowing like water, as they say here. (su gibi ge├žer)

You can tell that there was a photo-savvy visitor in town. Thank you, Jakob.


  1. Wow, Mary, you are one of a kind!! I am so happy to have spent time with you and being able to follow you in your adventures! Lovely!!!
    Hugs from the 5 Salines in Sweden, Lisa is now 6 weeks and both she and Elliot has yet to meet you!

    1. Maria! I am so happy to hear from you. A new girl! Aghhh, I must meet her and little Elliot. Alaina was talking about a Sweden visit at some point. We should revisit this idea. Love to you and the family.


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