Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It Happens

I'm sure as I start to show, I'll have plenty more stories, but this pregnancy story may take the cake.

Though getting pregnant wasn't our primary reason for leaving our job or moving back to the states, it was easier to tell people that's why we were returning. Our last day of work, we went to the English Time main office to pick up our last paycheck and met with our supervisor's boss, the woman who hired us.

Now, when she hired us, she explained that her options were to either move to Turkey 12 years ago or run for public office in the state of Oregon. Every time I interacted with her, I always came back to that thought. She's more political than anyone I've ever met. I was putty in her hands when she spoke with me and would do whatever she wanted, though the promises she made were rarely realized.

That said, she was very understanding of our leaving when I told her we were pregnant and encouraged us that it was the right decision to make. Everything went very normally until we were leaving. She started out by encouraging us saying, "I've only heard good things about you and we'll miss you" and suddenly led into, "but you know, I've worked here long enough to know that..." she motions to my stomach "...s--- happens and that's just how life is."

Jonathan and I froze in surprise, but continued smiling, though we no longer nodded our heads in agreement. She continued talking not realizing what she said. We kept it together until we were out of her eyesight have since revisited the conversation again and again whenever we need a good laugh. She is a kind person and I'm sure she didn't mean it how it sounded, but it's definitely a story worth remembering.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Recap

Well, it's been a couple of months since I've posted anything. A lot has happened in the past two months, but sometimes it's hard to process it until you're on the other side of the experience.

Jonathan and I are now back in Atlanta. Long story short...it was time to come back sooner than later. We learned a lot about our strengths (and weaknesses) through our time in Istanbul. We both also learned to appreciate what's in front of us rather than desiring that which we can't have. Here's a brief summary of our 6 months in Istanbul.

Our Favorites
  • Being together 24/7. Jonathan and I had the great joy of working the exact same work schedule. This means we were literally together 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It was definitely our very favorite part of our 6 months in Turkey. We never got tired of each other, and though for some, absence makes the heart grow fonder, for us, continual presence makes the heart grow fonder. We continue to be amazed at how our capacity for loving one another grows day by day.
  • Living in a big city. We loved walking to work, walking to the supermarket, taking the train, subway, metrobus, taxi, and whatever other forms of public transportation we needed. Life in Istanbul was so simple! No car, no car insurance, no monthly cell phone bills, etc. On top of that, I'm not sure I've ever experienced such a beautiful city in my life!
  • Friends. We are so thankful for the friendships we developed--especially with other ex-pats living in Istanbul. They welcomed us into their lives with open arms and were all so encouraging and supportive when we were struggling with work, language difficulties, and everything else.
  • Teaching. Though teaching had it's ups and downs, we are thankful for the relationships we developed with our students and the joy we had in introducing a new language to eager students.
The Tough Parts
  • Language barrier. We were teaching 35 hours a week and lesson planning on top of that, which meant we had no time to learn Turkish. It was frustrating not being able to communicate in general day to day life.
  • Loneliness. We had an amazing community around us in Atlanta, from our roommates, to our community group at church, to lots and lots of family. We love being around LOTS of people practically all the time and missed sharing day to day moments with others.
  • Teaching. Though the pay was good, the company we worked for wasn't the most upstanding company. After teaching English, Jonathan learned that teaching English isn't the job for him. I'd still like to give it a try, but for a different employer.
The Sweetest Gift
  • Baby Pascual! Due August 16, 2010!!!