January 5, 2011

We spent the day in Istanbul, and now we are back in the airport headed to Nairobi. Senya did a great job on the flight here, and she also seemed to love being somewhere totally new and different. We are all exhausted, and Senya and I are still a bit sick from our last adventure through a blizzard on a train to Boston. I am really looking forward to a month of sunshine and warm weather, actually. Little Sen was too little to really enjoy her first summer; we spent most of the hot days in doors. Now she is much more durable, and she is going to love being outside and in the sunshine. I am so excited to see her go swimming with Collin in the pool or in the ocean. She is going to really love it.

I am seriously exhausted. I can’t remember being this tired for quite some time now. I almost backed out of this day in Istanbul because of how tired I am, but I just couldn’t bear to disappoint Collin. He has had a lot of frustration and disappointment this past year; we both had been looking forward to this day in Istanbul for so long. I am glad we decided to go out into the city for the day, but man, I really feel like I could sleep for DAYS. In fact, I am a little nervous that I will pass out into such a deep sleep that I might not hear Senya when she wakes up. I hope that is not the case, and I don’t think that it will be. I am just SO tired.

We had Turkish Delight today in Istanbul; it was really good and so unusual. There were many different flavors. None of them were rose flavored which is what I thought it was going to be. I had braced myself for a perfume-like taste, based on Jason’s warning. But no! It was so delicious and subtle. I really enjoyed it so much. Collin had Turkish coffee, and I had tea. We shared some Baklava at a little place that smelled so strongly of old hookah smoke that I thought Senya might get asthma just from being in the room for the twenty minutes we were there. I think she’s fine, though. And no one was smoking while we were in there, so that is good. Then I bought some gifts for people that are beautiful, I think, and they only cost a fraction of what it seemed like they should.

One final note about Istanbul–people adored Senya there! It was like we had a celebrity with us. Men and women alike would come running from their store fronts, stop us in the street, and smile and talk to her. When the three of us would get on a crowded train, men would leap from their seats to give all three of us their seats. It’s a funny contrast to my experience at the JFK airport. When we arrived to our gate, all the seats were full and everyone just stared at Senya and me as we meandered looking for a place to sit and nurse. The hospitality and kindness were welcome.

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