I didn’t keep my word…I didn’t write a thing while I was in Turkey…not because I didn’t want to but because I just couldn’t find the right time to sit down and put my thoughts down. It was a whirl wind of a trip…a ten hour flight and four hour drive only to be in Bursa for a day and a half and then back to Istanbul for two days…but it was amazing!
Turkey is the second Muslim country I have traveled to (Morocco being the first) and I must say I really like going to Muslim countries. I like it because it is so different from what I know and what I am accustomed to. I like it because being in a Muslim country my misconceptions and preconceived notions are slowly dismantled. I like it because I feel I learn so much from a culture and a people that have been demonized. I like it because I feel being in a Muslim country and having people to people contact truly helps in building a new and better future. Every person we encountered was kind and warm. When they found out we were American’s they would bring us tea, ask us to sit down and talk to us about their cousins that go to Michigan University, or their uncle that lives in Tiverton, might we know him? Time and time again we laughed with them, we talked politics, some disliked Obama, most didn’t trust Bush, but almost all LOVED Bill Clinton…funny!
I realized on this trip while it is wonderful to see beautiful buildings and eat delicious food the true joy of traveling is laughing with people over tea while talking about sports, love and politics!
I too have been blessed to travel to several countries – and have found out that people in all parts of the world are as God created them – special and no matter whether Europe, Asia, Africa, China – we are more the same than we are different! Love does conquer all the differences and we can see/feel how special it is to connect with our “brothers and sisters” and break bread to share ourselves with them… thank you for sharing your time.