Monday, June 25, 2012

Merhaba, Bursa

A lot has happened for me over the past week and a half. First off, "merhaba" means "hello" in Turkish and two host families have been found for me in Bursa (in map)! I will first be hosted by the Erdogan family between August and January, then will move in with the Ermutlu family for the remainder of my exchange. I've had some contact with my first host family in the past week. My host father is a journalist and my host mother is a housewife.  I'm not sure if they will have kids living at the house while I am there, but I know they have at least one daughter who is around my age.

I don't really know much about Bursa right now.  I've been doing some studying here and there;  Bursa has many mosques and holy sites, so I'm really excited to be able to see a new religion, way of life and language first hand.

So far I've only written about Turkey, but I do have a life outside of my exchange, and I have a few more adventures over the next month and a half I'm looking forward to.  Next month my mom and I will be driving down to Florida to visit my aunt, uncle and cousins.  We haven't made any big plans for the trip, just a lot of lounging by the beach and relaxing.  From Florida, I'm going to fly all the way to the west coast to San Francisco to visit my sister, and she, my brother (who will be flying in from Ohio) and I will be driving back east to Ohio.  I like my sister living in California, because I get to take trips to visit her and I can easily rationalize them by reminding myself that I need to learn how to fly and get through an airport on my own.

Anyways, I've never done the whole "cross country drive" and based on what I've heard, it's an unforgettable trip. We'll probably visit parks on the way and have some needed sibling bonding time before Zach goes back to college, Molly starts grad school and I go to Turkey.  The best part about the trip s that I'll get to drive Molly's really fast car! Woo hoo! (Mom, I'll be safe.) Okay, well, that probably won't be the best part, but I'm really looking forward to my trip to two ends of the United States and back.

Okay, well I think my family and I are going to go out to celebrate the fact that I found a host family! You have no idea how much "exchange preparation" I've done at all of the Turkish restaurants around town. I mean, let's be honest, it's much more fun to go out to eat yummy food than it is to use Rosetta Stone by myself. :)