Trip to the East (part I)

Last week I went with some friends from DC to the eastern part of Turkey for about a week.  While we were there we got to do some sightseeing.  Mark had to stay home because of work 😦  Nevertheless, I had a good time with friends and it was very good for me to see other parts of the country, which is quite different than the modern metropolis where we live.

This picture is not from the trip.  I just thought it was a nice picture to share with you all.  It’s a shot of our city.  Pretty, isn’t it?

The first city we went to is surrounded by this ginormous ancient city wall, dating back to the Byzantines.  Some say it’s the second largest wall in the world, after the Great Wall of China of course.  All three cities we went to are extremely old.  This particular city has at least 5000 years of history.

That big creek you’re looking at is none other than THE Tigris River.  It’s right outside the city wall.

Our second destination is a city on a hill.

The Syrian plain is within sight of the city.  Behind me you could see Syria on a clear day.

to be continued…

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Language class

Mark and I started language class today.  We learned 200+ vocabulary in class, and I expect to have them all memorized by Friday…NOT!  Oh, the joy of being students!  Seriously, though, we are excited to be taking the class.  Our desire is to learn the language well so that we can talk to people here about meaningful stuff.  It’s a small but interesting class.  Other than the US and Canada, there are 4 other nations represented – Greece, Brazil, Bosnia and Russia. 

We have been meditating on how God sovereignly orchestrated our lives to prepare us for living here in this Central Asian mega-city.  We are doing pretty much everything that we were doing in Washington DC last year – we walk everywhere and take public transportation because we don’t have a car, we haul groceries home, and we feel that our apartment now is ginormous compared to that cozy studio in DC.  There are other ways that God has prepared us, like experiencing Central Asian culture in Kyrgyzstan and having to figure things out in a culture where you don’t know the language yet.  We are thankful.

Speaking of God’s sovereignty, here’s an article on MSNBC that I highly recommend you read:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/35086396/ns/health-cancer/