Like most people, we have to buy groceries each week, but I thought it might be interesting if this week we shared our meal plan for the week, everything we bought, and how much it cost. I can be a pretty nosy Ned, so I find these types of posts on other peoples' blogs particularly interesting, and perhaps someone else will be the same.
We may be almost three weeks into 2018, but I'm not going to let that stop me from doing a little round up of some top highlights from last year, with a little peek into this upcoming year tacked onto the end, too. Aside from the very first few days of 2017, which we spent in Colorado due to my brother's wedding, we spent the entire year abroad, mostly based out of Madrid, Spain. During the school year, we taught English at Spanish Catholic schools, and during the summer, we taught English at a summer camp in Istanbul, Turkey.
It has been one day shy of seven weeks since I last updated the blog, and while I definitely didn't anticipate that being the case, it has been for a few reasons. One, it took nearly two months for us to get internet installed in our apartment. Yeah. I wrote that correctly. It's almost like we were the first people in all of Spain to get internet service, it took such an insane amount of time, as well as so many trips to the store and phone calls to make it happen...but it's here and it's working, sooo....all is (basically) forgiven. The other reason that I haven't been around these parts is that while we have some internet access at school, our situation is much different than what we both are used to, and we have had to make a lot of adjustments. I simply haven't had the spare time that I had during my school days last year to work on personal projects, and without internet at home, many things like blogging have slipped to the wayside as it's just not as important as things like paying credit card bills or planning classes.
The past four months, while they may have started out in a fairly ordinary manner, certainly didn't continue that way for long. In May we carried on teaching at our respective schools but saw classes very rapidly take a more...relaxed turn, shall we say? In many ways the last two months (ever since returning from Semana Santa/Spring Break) in the middle of April felt kind of like we were on the downhill, especially since just nine days after our 11-day break, we had a four day weekend. Kids and teachers alike took cues from the weather and started checking out a bit.
On Wednesday after work we left campus for a little foray into the city, primarily to get some baklava, but also for dinner and so I could get some socks at the nearby mall. Our time in Istanbul is really wrapping up - our last day of camp is today and we skip town just a couple of days later - so we're getting daring and doing crazy things like this during the week and not just over the weekend anymore. Honestly, I couldn't be more ready to leave Turkey, but that's another story. :)
Last Friday we made a long overdue trip to a tiny village on the Black Sea not far at all from where we're living for the summer. If you take a direct road route, it's about nine miles, but while we're learning, we aren't all that familiar with how buses and everything work here, and took a rather roundabout way, which meant it took us about 45 minutes to get there. Our coworkers have been visiting the seaside town of Kilyos all summer long, almost since the day we all arrived, but since the temperatures haven't really gotten above the low 80's (not complaining though!), I didn't really want to go to the trouble - to me that's not warm enough to get in the water, especially since you have to pay to use the beach here.
Making: plans for the rest of the summer before school starts - it'll be here before we know it - but before then we have some exciting things coming up!
Cooking: honestly, absolutely nothing. Living in a kitchen-less dorm room for two months means we eat every meal at the cafeteria or at a restaurant and while not having to cook sounds fantastic, there are definitely pros and cons.
Reading: sporadically. I've gotten into listening to podcasts while we're out and about in the city, riding buses and metros, which means I've gone from reading a couple books a week to maybe one a month :/
This summer has been unlike any summer I've ever experienced before...more on that later though. It's August which means the start of school for some but for us it means our time here at camp is just halfway over, and we still have seven more weeks till school starts in Spain (don't give us too hard a time - we finished school in mid-June and the students went even longer than us). Most of our weekdays look pretty identical, and just like the reasoning for the posts I did during the school year in Spain (last winter's post here and spring 2016 post here), I want to remember these days: some parts fun, some parts challenging, some parts great, some parts frustrating, some parts just, well, normal and ordinary and little bit boring.