Day 2 in Turkey

Saturday, January 14, 2006

We were supposed to spend Saturday setting up our room for the kids. (Meetings started on Sunday.) But… since our luggage didn’t arrive until Saturday afternoon we had a lot of free time.

At breakfast we ran into the Palestinians & the one other American that we had met on the bus from the airport to the hotel on Friday. They were going to a tourist town nearby called Belek for a few hours.

So we split the cost of three taxis and went with them. Aren’t they cute little taxis? There was hardly anyone in town. We were told the area receives about 14 million tourists a year but mostly in the summers. One reason the conference was here was they got such a great price on the hotel for off-season.

As we were walking down the sidewalk some men invited us in to their rug store. We ended up staying about an hour. One of them tried to teach Diane how to tie Turkish knots on a silk rug. The other man, Mario, spoke very good English and gave us a long history of their rugs and how they were made. Very interesting!

Here’s our first taste of Turkish apple tea. It was delicious. We ended up buying a set of these little glasses & saucers. That’s how they served hot tea everywhere we went.

This is most of the group that went with us. I think I was taking the photo. From left to right: Glenn, Lauren, George (Palestine), Carolyn (California), Barry (Florida), Samer (Palestine), Amal (Lebanon), and Diane (California).

Amal and Samer ended up being very special to us all week. When she introduced herself to me that day she said, “My name is Amal, I’m from Lebanon. This is Samer, he’s Palestinian…. We’re enemies.” Imagine her saying this while smiling and having her arm around Samer. Then he turned to me and said, “It’s Jesus.”

A great start to our week! Tomorrow we meet the kids.

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