a day in the life: summer 2017

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.

So here's yesterday, Tuesday, August 1st...

(disclaimer: usually there'd be kids in all the places below - except our bedroom of course - but I went back and took the pictures after work when they were at other activities and the dining room, dining room, pathways, classroom, and forest were empty of kids.)

6:00am Alarm goes off, we get up, get ready, walk to the gym, Danny a few minutes ahead of me on this particular day.  

6:25ish Arrive at the gym, work out (all the while listening to podcasts - check out my current favorites here!)

7:20ish Head back to the room, shower, get dressed, usually spend 10-15 minutes looking at Instagram and Facebook and with any/all remaining time I prepare anything I might need to for class, read a blog, or prepare for day trips into Istanbul we usually take on Saturdays and Sundays.  

8:20am Put on our shoes, make final preparations to head out the door, leave within a few minutes

8:30am Arrive at breakfast and begin working.  We fill our trays with our choice of hard boiled eggs, rolls, tomatoes, cucumbers, green olives, black olives, three types of cheese, honey, jam, and butter.  For the first four weeks I was taking hearty portions of cucumbers, tomatoes, and black olives, as well as a piece of cheese and two rolls every day, but after I got quite sick one weekend recently and felt the same sickness coming on one day last week, I've been giving myself some leeway with Turkish food.  I've been enjoying my rolls with jam and butter very much this week :)

9:05-9:15am My co-teacher and I take our kids to the classroom to begin the day's English lesson.  Over the past three weeks, we've done three different projects with the kids (we have ages 9 to 11): create your own superhero, dream up and describe your perfect day, and create your own country.  Between the brainstorming, the vocabulary, the drawing and coloring, the descriptions of the creations, and the presenting of the final projects, each one has taken between three and four days.  We also play a lot of games with the kids, like Taboo, Pictionary, and Charades, and more active games as well where we go outside and throw a ball around.  

10:30am Break time!  We stop for a snack (usually fruit) and give the kids a chance to do (with some limits) what they want during this time.  If they've earned it, they can choose three songs for us to play over the speakers, they can play cards, they can dance, talk in Turkish, draw - as long as it's safe and in the classroom, it's pretty much fine with us.  

10:50am We line up to go to peer mediation which is held in another classroom nearby and done completely in Turkish.  I don't have to do much during this time aside from making sure that my kids are behaving and being quiet, so it's a good chance to reply to WhatsApps, check social media, and/or read a book.

11:45am Head back to the classroom.  At this point we only have about an hour left until lunch, so we're not always feeling that motivated to continue with much of a lesson, so we often play games (in English, of course!) or finish up something we'd started earlier.  

12:50pm Walk to lunch.  Lunch is often pretty carb-heavy (more rolls, joined by rice or pasta usually) and the other options aren't always my favorite (iceberg lettuce salad, main dishes with meat), so I often have a little something and then grab something else later, like a fruit parfait or spinach salad from a place where you can choose your own toppings).  

1:45pm Gather up the kids and take them to the mini-forest in between the dorms on campus to run around and play.  Lunch is an hour and a half long - and they usually finish eating in 10-15 minutes - and understandably get bored staying inside without much so this is something we've started doing in the past two weeks.  It's been a good solution that works for everyone, I think, and the more time kids get in nature with dirt and trees and flowers and leaves, the better.

2:30pm Off work for the day!  Most afternoons I do a variety of different tasks including trip and weekend planning, blogging, laundry, and other random things.  On this particular day I worked on our upcoming trip to the Izmir area of Turkey - we're going to fly in and out of Izmir, rent a car, and visit Pamukkale, Ephesus, and Çeşme over three days - so I figured out what order we wanted to visit the three places, where to stay, the rental car, and so on.  Danny spends many of his afternoons in the student center working on Spanish and other things, and he sometimes meets up with co-workers to play basketball and (American) football as well.  

6:00pm Danny and I usually meet up in the cafeteria for dinner shortly after it opens for dinner (at six o'clock).  I've been tiring of the offerings at the cafeteria so I've been trying some of the other options at some of the other restaurants on campus...and also looking forward to having our own apartment and kitchen again.  On this particular night we ate with a few of our co-workers who were around, which meant we sat around for a bit longer than usual, but it also meant that our conversation was a bit livelier and more interesting than it might have otherwise been. :)

7:00pm  I headed back to the room to finish up arrangements for our trip, Danny followed about 30 minutes later.  Maybe it's just my trip planning style, but there's so much to consider!  I read blogs, guidebooks, and websites which help me figure out what we'll do and when, and then book flights and other forms of transportation as well as hotels/Airbnbs, writing everything out as I go...it's a long process, but it felt good to get everything almost completely done in one day - a rare thing for me!

9:30pm Got ready for bed.  

10:30pm Lights out.  Usually it's 10pm for us this summer, but last night Danny was up working on some things, so since we stayed up a bit later than usual, this morning we decided to skip the gym and catch up on some sleep (this past weekend we missed out on more than usual since we were traveling).