Natalie, outbound to Turkey

Merhaba! As many of you know, there is a lot of events happening around Turkey currently, the most well known being IS. The past week or two, there have been some attacks on the training bases for the Turkish military, which is compulsory for Turkish boys after they turn 18. The Turkish people are enraged by this, because these boys are considered the country's "children". The past three days there have been very peaceful protests and marches on my street for the fallen soldiers, and it is a beautiful thing to see, all the Turks getting together to support and pray for these innocent kids. The Turkish people are very caring and loving and is safe. The media distorts the truth of this beautiful country and its heartbreaking.

Last weekend, Rotary payed for myself and the other exchange students in Turkey to all fly to Antalya, a big beach city on the Mediterranean Sea. We all attended a big conference called EEMA, where Rotarians from all over the world come to one country and tour it. This fall, Turkey got to host it! We spent only one night there sadly, but we made the best of it. Rotary payed for everyone to stay in this five-star hotel called the Titanic, and it was designed like the actual Titanic. It was all inclusive and had a private beach.

Getting to spend time with the other exchange kids is honestly the best part about exchange. Everyone is awesome, and you get to learn about different cultures other than your host country's. Even if you aren't the most outgoing person, everyone is so welcoming and loving that you don't have to feel shy or uncomfortable. I've come to learn that it's not where you are, it's who you're with.

So, some different things to know about Turkey:
- they LOVE to eat, after saying "Yeter" (enough) three times, they give me a third serving
- they have McDonalds, Burger King, KFC, Popeyes, Dominos
- A LOT of stray dogs and cats
-they put yogurt (not american yogurt, theirs is salty) on top of everything. pasta, meat, bread, pizza, anything
-dinner is about 5 different courses
-they have some squat toilets, not all of them are though
-they kiss on both cheeks to greet somebody
- always take off your shoes when you enter someone's house
- Turkish coffee is not normal espresso coffee
- they drink Turkish tea several times a day
-Turks talk really really loud and fast

To see my page and some photos click HERE