Our group spent the weekend in Cappadocia, which is in central Anatolia. On Friday morning, at the butt of dawn, we piled into a bus and drove and made many stops for snacks and bathroom breaks until we finally made it to the region of Turkey famous for its rock and ash formations. The panoramic views were absolutely stunning, and made for many great photo ops. Our tour guide called one area “Imagination Valley,” because of the wide variety of visual interpretations of the rocks. It was a little like watching clouds pass, trying to squint and tilt our heads to see the chameleon or camel or kissing couple in the rock formations.
We also spent a few hours at a pottery center. There were demonstrations on centuries-old techniques for throwing pots, plates, bowls, and jugs – I was lucky enough to get to try out the wheel. Our director overheard the staff say, “Let’s have a bit of fun,” and my experience in trying to make something out of clay was a bit absurd. In the end, though, I ended up with this lovely, bottomless bowl and mud all over my arms. Fortunately, they gave me a pair of flower-printed pants to cover my jeans, but somehow the clay seeped through and my jeans still managed to be browned.
It still hasn’t sunk in how strange my life is this semester, but I’m loving every minute of it!