After a month journeying together in Europe and the Middle East, we are now in Frankfurt and making our way back stateside towards the Link basecamp in Colorado. It was a full final day in Istanbul yesterday with Sunday School in the morning up on the hill by the Hagia Sopia, where we shared the final chapters of the Gospel of John together in conclusion of the world religions class exploring primitive Christianity. Then it was final shopping for gifties in favorite spots around the city, some house, and then dinner out at a kebab place overlooking the Bosporus Straights.
The afternoon debrief was a time of continuing to make conscious the connections and lessons gained through the experiences this past month. Reflections stretched back through the hike where the film crew filmed us for 3 days and helped us articulate our explorations, to the time delving into Paul and John around Ephesus, to historical and cultural studies around Turkey, and back to Madrid where the trip began with language, historical and religious studies.
I was heartened by the students’ abilities to articulate their own experiences, connections and education. Those kind of moments like in the tea house make this kind of work something pretty special where one is given the opportunity to really see the ways in which students have learned and deepened.
Each person brought a 6 word story they had written to open the wrap up together and I have included those below.
* Oh man, I don’t speak Turkish! – TJ
* Six word story? Covering this month? George
* Trip was over before it began. Forrest
* Materialism breeds conflict. Love alone governs. Bryan
* Ancient civilizations. Realizing our country’s youth. Elliot
* Tastes smells and sounds. What memories! Jenna
* Dude, they wouldn’t forget us, right? Darren (after he and Daniel got lost in Madrid)
* We basked in everything around us. Tay
* Cenk, your tourist friends are lost. Cezy (after getting lost in Kas)
* Privileged to gaze upon this place. Jeremy
* Around ancient walls, goats still graze. Natalie
* This trip blew me away. Kapowie! Bobby
* Hey, lookiethere, just another ancient ruin. Daniel
* I love to eat chocolate gözleme. Dev
* Appreciation, realization, understanding whole new cultures. Avery
* Some differences, but many more similarities. Hannah
* Reunited with family. Turkey enchants me. Jess
* Love one another, my root command. Ryan