On Tuesday, May 20, 2008, we depart on what promises to be a remarkable journey to Turkey. 
We will be gone from May 20th May 31st

We look forward to sharing with you words and images that try to capture our experience.  We are unsure how frequently we will have internet access, but we will do our best to fill these pages with at least some glimpses of our expedition. 

Our trip is sponsored by the Institute for Interfaith Dialog.  IID is an extraordinary organization whose primary goal is to help bring together the communities in order to promote compassion, cooperation, partnership and community service through interfaith dialog and conversation.  For more information about IID, please visit their Website (http://www.interfaithdialog.org).

We hope you enjoy.
Gary and Karla

30 May 2008
We End at the Beginning
Today is our last full day in Istanbul; we leave at 2:00 a.m. on Saturday.  We are grateful for the opportunity, saddened by our departure, awed by our experience, and humbled by the gracious generosity of our hosts.  Turkey is in our hearts, and it will remain there forever.


29 May 2008
Bon Appetit--Istanbul Style
We return to Istanbul for a busy day traveling around the city.  We visit a hospital, we take a boat tour around the city, we meet with an impressive alliance for women, and we visit the STV television studio, where we meet the host of Turkey's most popular cooking show.

On the Set with Chef Oktay

One of the Chef's Many Best-Selling Cookbooks

28 May 2008
Izmir Takes Us Way, Way Back in Time
Today we went back in time as we traveled outside Izmir to visit the home of the Virgin Mary (in Turkey they say "Mother Mary"), and the Roman ruins at Ephesus.  Much like Aspendos the day before, I was able to able to walk on the stones of the Roman theatre structure that I have tried to tell students about for many years.  From Ephesus we traveled to St. Johan (St. John) Basilica and to the magnificent mosque that resides right next to it.  Finally, we returned to Izmir where we enjoyed supper with another wonderful host family.

The head of Medusa carved in stone at Ephesus.

The Majestic Library at Ephesus.

27 May 2008
Yes, There Are Camels in Turkey and in Antalya
What a day.  We visited the Tolerance Garden outside Antalya, the extraordinarily well-preserved Theatre at Aspendos, and a refreshing and picturesque waterfall.  We also had yet another wonderful meal at the home of a guest family. Oh yes, our hotel rooms overlooked the Mediterranean.


26 May 2008
Excellence in Education in Antep

We visited another Peace and Friendship school today, and the story we heard was very similar to the other schools we have visited.  Emphasis is placed on high academic achievement and a strong relationship between students, parents, teachers, and administrators.  And the students seem to be having a wonderful time.

The school's "logo" is displayed throughout the building; it is even woven into the carpet.

Just a few of the many students with whom we visited.

25 May 2008
Roosters & Roses Greet Us in Harran and Antep
Today was yet another hectic yet beautiful day.  We visited the world's oldest university located in Harran as well as their cone houses.  We visited another elementary school and learned how educators are achieving academic excellence in Turkey.  We visited the birthplace of Abraham, the Cave of Job, and the
Halil-ur Rahman Pool (Fish Lake).  We traveled two hours by bus and walked in the waters of the Euphrates River.  We ended the day enjoying the hospitality and food of a lovely host family in Antep.

  A roster points our way in Harran. Beautiful roses from the Host Family's Garden outside Antep

24 May 2008
Greetings and Expressions of Love and Peace from Urfa

We were honored and blessed to visit the most wonderful family and their friends in Urfa.  The meal they prepared was magnificent, and the discussion we had was unforgettable.  We were deeply touched by their wisdom, their generosity, and their warmth. 


23 May 2008
Greetings from the Children of Konya!

22 May  2008
Greetings from the Topkapi Palace!

21 May  2008
We have arrived!  It was a very long trip, and we are tired but thrilled.

Thanks to the
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