Osmaniye has been a quiet, peaceful, beautiful, interesting home to me this past year. I have met many incredible people, too many to mention.Though many students and people from other parts of Turkey don’t understand the appeal of Osmaniye, I feel very grateful to have been placed here. My colleagues in the English Department were amazing, I stumbled upon the most wonderful roommate and friend, my Fulbright site mate was a perfect match, and though the students might not always care so much about putting forth effort to learn English, they were really fantastic. There is much I will miss about Osmaniye. The greenery, the mountains, the agriculture all around; the captivating politics and cultural differences; sticking out as quite possibly the only Western woman for tens of kilometers and therefore often being the focus of stares and all kinds of discussion; the food, the fresh and often fragrant air, the thunderstorms; and last and primarily, the people.
Over this past year I have become smitten with Turkey. Though it will be a very different atmosphere, I am excited about my plans to return for another year. I am planning to renew through the Fulbright program and spend the next year teaching at a brand new university, Adana Bilim ve Teknoloji Universitesi (Adana Science and Technology University). Adana, said to be the fourth largest city in Turkey, sitting at around 2 million people, is a modern metropolis with many things to do and much diversity. The climate is hot, but it is a rich agricultural region and home to some of my favorite regional specialties, including but not limited to şalgam, Adana kebab, muzlu süt (banana milk), bici bici, and Șirdan. It will be great.
Though I am still working diligently on learning Turkish, I’m happy to be able to incorporate some local colloquialisms into my speech these days. So Osmaniye, Adana, and Turkey, this isn’t goodbye but görüşürük (görüşürüz for those not from the region)! I will see you soon, inşallah.