Saturday, November 23, 2013

Istanbul, Part 3

The next morning the girls and boys split up to divide and conquer. Tami and I hit public transportation for a little work at a clothing shelter. Refuges (mostly from Syria these days) are serviced here. They usually leave their politically charged country with the clothes on their backs. They were allowed to look through small bins of clothes for 6 minutes to pick out 5 items of clothing for each child. We ran out of warm clothes quickly, especially coats. One mother looked at me with the eyes only a mother can have for a child and across language barriers made the point that her child did not have a coat. She will not get to come back to the clothing closet for another month. I pray it does not too cold between now and then. My heart broke for her.  Really broke for her.  

After serving there for most of the morning we headed for a little relaxation at a hammam (Turkish bath). I will spare the details of the bath and pictures. You'll have to google it to get all the details, but let's suffice it to say that I have not giggled like that in a long time. Once that experience drew to a close we treated ourselves to a cup of corn (a common street food) and started our journey home on the metro. While we were at the hammam, the boys visited the ruins of an ancient castle. Fred was telling Sierra where they were going. Shortly after that conversation this sweet girl disappeared and quickly returned with this garb...

Princess indeed.  Is she not the cutest thing?!?  There may have been a little stress over the fact that her pink crown did not match her purple shirt.  Grin.

Not to be left out the boys hit the hammam the next morning. Tami and I waited at home to hear about their experience. Fred loved it and vowed that if he lived in Istanbul, he would go once a week! 
Dan and Tami had heard of a market relatively close by so we headed there. It was basically a giant flea market. We did not buy much, but enjoyed the sights. Before the big kids came home from school (their school day runs from noon to 6pm) we went to Real (basically an international Walmart). I love a grocery store. I really do.  We walked up and down aisles and I oohed and aahed. (I know. I'm pretty easily impressed.)

After six days of fun we headed out of Istanbul.  We said good by to Dan and his family and headed toward home.  

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