First off, I'm sorry it's been so long since I last posted. It's not that I've been busy, more that I've been weary.
On Tuesday I visited the Amasya Museum, which was small but had some interesting artifacts nonetheless. The funny part was being questioned by six, 6 and 7 year olds what my name was, where I was from, etc. They also told me all their names and I struggled to pronounce them without a hope of remembering them. The visit ended with them signing that they wanted me to take their picture and then having one of their moms come over and take a picture of the kids with me.
On the way back, I walked past a store I stumbled upon a few days before that sold guitars and I decided to check it out. The owner showed me the collection, but of course there's no browsing in Turkey so we were shortly joined by four young girls who had been in the midst of a lesson until they saw a strange foreigner come in. I was then pulled in to watch some of their lesson, most of which was spent asking me questions in the little English one of them knew, and the rest was talking to me in Turkish and laughing at me not understanding them. All in all made for a fun day.
On Wednesday, while still in Amasya I visited the archaeological crew that were working at the citadel in Amasya. Unfortunately not much English was spoken so I couldn't really understand what features were exposed. I did understand when someone found a scorpion however. I also made the mistake of trying to walk the several kilometres through the town and up to the top, which was a huge mistake given how hot a day it was, how long a walk and how much of a climb up the mountain it was. Fortunately for me a kind Turkish family stopped and offered me a ride when I had maybe a fifth left of the hike.
On Thursday I checked out of my hotel and waited for several hours at the train station before catching the 3 hour train to Samsun. What a beautiful journey, at least the latter part was once we were into the mountains and their heavily forested vegetation. While I was still at the train station in Amasya, I had a call from Zeliha, the sister in law of Pastor Orhan who is my contact here. They very kindly told me I could stay at the church here in Samsun and that is where I've been since Thursday. They also picked me up at the airport which was so great to have friendly faces to pick you up as you enter a new cityın a country who's language you don't speak.
It's been excellent staying here. I've been very comfortable and I currently have a whole living space to myself. It may be hot but it's excellent. I've been sharing the living space with the church's care taker Ukzul (that's probably spelt wrong, sorry!) who has been very kind. We don't talk much because he has only a little English and I have even less Turkish though when we do it`s largely im signs. Today I drunk coke for the first time in many months because he so kindly offered it to me and I had refused so many other times.
On Friday night I was invited to join Orhan and his family for a visit to the beach. They had a lovely table booked that looked out over the Black Sea, and there I smoked a nargile (Turkish smoking pipe) for the first time. It tasted like chocolate. Orhan and Zeliha were smoking it and offered me a try and Orhan's son took a picture so I'll have to try to get that photographic proof at some point.
Most of Friday had been pretty rotten, I was pretty anxious and unhappy and was very close to booking a flight home. But Saturday turned things around. I had a long walk along the beach around noon, and when I came back to the church, much to my surprise and delight, there were westerners!! I joined them for a bible study and then I asked them if they could pray for me since the last couple of days had been pretty rotten. They did pray for me and I felt so much better for it. I am so thankful for God's timing in putting Brittany, Lisa, Katie, Emily, John and Chad from Oklahoma and Texas in my path when I so badly needed an interaction like that. After church today I was able to spend more time with them as well as some other English speaking members of the church and it was so lovely. Chad and I both had iPhones so we tried to exchange contact information through the application "Bump" but unfortunately were unable to. The Turkish people at the table were very confused what we were trying to do.
So I'm thinking I will leave Samsun tomorrow, but at the moment I'm not sure where I'll be heading. There was a contact between here and Istanbul to make but unfortunately as of yet we haven't heard from them. I may be flying into Istanbul tomorrow if nothing comes up. I'll just have to wait and see for now.
Also of importance to note, the music of Mumford and Sons has been very important to me the last couple of days, with so many of their lyrics reflecting my current state. If you haven't heard of them, check them out. Though don't check out Little Lion Man if you are adverse to the f-bomb.
"Oh these are my desires and I will give them up to you this time around
And oh I'll be found with my stake stuck in this ground
Marking the territory of this newly and fashioned soul!"