Our First 8 Weeks in Turkey!
It's almost two full months since we relocated to Ankara, Turkey. We're about a month overdue for a proper update; though I'm sure you can understand what a whirlwind it's been lately.
Thank you for all the messages, texts and emails inquiring about our transition to Turkey. The past two months have been filled with a variety of emotions for each member of our family. But, God has been so good to us throughout the entire journey.
I'll try to start from the beginning!
We arrived in Ankara in early August. Our flight was relatively comfortable, with little turbulence, extra seats and a compliant toddler. Upon our arrival a representative from the school picked us up from the airport and took us directly to a hotel. The next day, another colleague met us at the hotel and took us to our new home, which is twice the size of our previous apartment in Hong Kong. We've been placed in a furnished four-bedroom, two-bath second floor apartment. We had another colleague kindly chauffeur us around to grocery stores, Ikea, and malls to assist with setting up our new home.
Our new neighborhood is a gated community with quiet, yet outgoing neighbors, and playgrounds for the kids to enjoy. We have already began to build relationships with people in our “Cite” (Turkish for neighborhood or residential complex). We do hope to learn more Turkish, as English isn’t spoken widely and the locals feel respected when we at least attempt to use the language.
My school is an exciting place to be; it's been a great transition from the classroom into administration. I've been blessed with an office, yet will be teaching a few Bible classes each week. Which brings me joy, as I didn't want to totally leave the classroom. I am the Principal for pre-kindergarten through third grade. In addition to starting this new role, I am also beginning my first of two final courses for my university school leadership licensing program.
Mallori is gradually building her network and community in Ankara. The ease of her transition is slower and harder as she doesn't have a built-in community as I do with my school. She's started a bit of volunteering and is transitioning back into remote work from home.
Levi has entered his third grade year with ease and excellence. He's made friends quickly and is thoroughly enjoying his new school. A relief and answered prayer! He's thriving in school and already impressing us with all A's in class. He's also recently joined a few after school clubs and seems to be most excited about Drama Club. Overall, Levi is adjusting well!
Malachi has also adjusted to starting pre-school for the first time. Our neighborhood and community doesn't have a bustling expat or stay-at-home mom community. With Malachi's social personality, he needed to interact and engage with children his own age. He's enjoying school, learning some Turkish and usually tells us about the "Turkshish Food" he ate at school!
What might come as a surprise to many, we're now a family of five! We adopted a stray puppy who was living with its litter in the woods of a local university campus. Koruyucu, which means Protector in Turkish, is a gentle, timid, loving puppy. He will grow to weigh up to 100lbs. At four months old he's already giving our neighbors a fright.
- A Car. Though we originally had no plans to purchase a vehicle - we assumed we'd take the train, bus and taxi everywhere as we did in Hong Kong. Unfortunately, Ankara simply isn't set up to get around as easily and we've learned quite quickly that our family needs to have a car - especially before the Winter months hit. We're praying that God will provide our family with a car, soon!
- Health. We've had a few health issues since our transition. Between stomach viruses and colds, it seems someone is feeling unwell each week. We're praying for excellent health for all of us!
- Joyful Transition. The transition to Turkey is a bit harder compared to the transition to Abu Dhabi and Hong Kong. Mainly because we don't speak Turkish and English isn't widely spoken or understood. We live in a very local area and it's easy to feel out of place and very foreign. We're praying that God continues to bless us during these beginning months in a new country, new culture and new community.
- University. I have two classes left in my Principal Licensing Program. We're praying that God will provide the means to cover the final tuition costs.
Thank you for praying with us and for us!
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