After a couple days in Eskisehir, settling in and preparing for my class, I traveled to Turkey’s capital city, Ankara. It was a quick 1½-hour trip on the very comfortable high-speed rail. The purpose of the trip was to attend the Fulbright Orientation meeting. It was very informative and included art and culture as well as the practical things we need to know. We visited the anthropological museum as part of the proceedings. There was some amazing pottery from as far back as the 18th century BC!
One of the best things about the meeting was meeting the other 19 Fulbright students, lecturers and researchers from all over the US. Their areas include such topics as painting, writing, history, sociology, agriculture and many others. It was so interesting to listen to them discuss their proposals. The American Programs Office staff, the Deputy Ambassador and the US Embassy staff were welcoming and informative.
I stayed over an extra day to visit the Ataturk Mausoleum. It was very impressive. I learned a great deal about the wars and eventual unification of Turkey and Ataturk’s contributions to modern Turkey. To this day, he is revered by the people of Turkey. It was moving to be among them in what would be comparable to our Lincoln Memorial.
I am back in Eskisehir, ready for a new week to start and anxious to meet my new students on Thursday.