I returned this Sunday from a week-long vacation in Turkey with two Peace Corps friends. We spent four days in Istanbul and three in Capadoccia, a region in the center of the country famous for its geologic formations and cave cities dating back four millenia to the age of the Hittites.
It was wonderful to be immersed in colors and patterns, to eat great food, meet fellow travelers and locals, see an area I have heard so much about and to get a sense for the origins of the “ottoman” that has so influenced Albanian culture. We could even pick out a few words of Turkish that have become part of Albanian, including the Arabic phrase Marshallah or “god has willed it” – used to express appreciation for a person or event. On our last day we noticed that above almost all of the doors to the houses in the Capadoccian town of Göreme, there is a small “Maşallah” plaque. A beautiful reminder to pause and be thankful for what you have.
Photos from the trip to follow!