My name is Yulia and it has been 9 months 6 days since my last blog post. Not quite a year but definitely a long time – and I stopped blogging right in the middle of describing our epic trip to the USA!
Here’s what we look like in case you forgot. Which is entirely possible and I don’t blame you.
What can I say, I`m a horrible blogger. I do have an excuse, though. This past year has been busy. We spend long hours training Jackie, formerly Demon Puppy, currently Our Only Best Friend Besides Each Other. I moved to a new position at work where I am responsible for developing curriculum and course materials. And I have been working on an assignment for DELTA (Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from Cambridge) for the last 6 months, which I submitted this weekend. However, it’s not time to relax yet because the next (and the last) module of DELTA has already started. I`ll be studying long distance for the next two months and then go to Bulgaria for a month to complete the face-to-face component of the course. It’s going to be a busy summer!
I am dying to get back to blogging though so I couldn’t wait until the end of the summer! Here’s a quick update:
1. We are still living in Kayseri, in the house we rented a year ago. We are loving the lifestyle that comes with the house slightly outside the city – sunrise runs, sunset walks, relaxing in beanbags under the shade of the fruit trees.
Each season had its challenges and upsides. The autumn here was really pretty and in October we had a big apple harvest, so I made a bunch of apple jam.
The late autumn and winter brought some epic fogs which turned the neighborhood into the scene from a horror movie, compounded by the fact that we live in a summer house community and there’s nobody around in the winter except for us, our friends and neighbors Marie-Loiuse and Murat and a pack of street dogs.
The winter brought heavy snow falls which made our surroundings absolutely beautiful! We were even able to do some sledding using a blow-up swimming donut. On the downside, we spend ages every morning cleaning the ice off the windshields or trying to find the car covered in snow from an unexpected snowfall. A big snow storm at the end of December ruined our plans for celebrating new year in Macedonia with Michael’s relatives. We did have a nice celebration in the end, walking though knee-deep snow to Marie-Louise’s and Murat’s house, but I almost cried when we skyped with the family in Macedonia and they showed us the fest they had prepared for the celebration.
The spring was glorious, with lots of blooming trees, a spell of snow, and lots and lots of rain.
Now, enough about the four seasons. Moving on to….
2. The Demon Puppy transitioned into a pretty sweet mostly non-demonic dog(although my recently chewed up pajama pants beg to differ). She very sweetly ‘helps’ us do various activities from cooking to gardening, lets us take ridiculous photos of her for our own amusement, makes an awesome nap partner and generally brings us lots of joy, and, occasionally, headache – like when we have to carry a heavy muddy dog up the stairs for a bath, or pour an insane amount of time and money into securing the fence around the house to stop her from hopping into neighbors’ gardens.
The other dog in the photo is Our Other Dog That is Not Really Our Dog. We found Dobby in the street, malnourished and covered in bites from other street dogs. He had clearly been someone’s pet once. We don’t know if he ran away (no collar, though!) or if he outlived his usefulness to the owner, but the fact is he wouldn’t have survived in the streets. We decided to take him in and find him a new home ASAP, but he turned out to be such a good company for Jackie and so sweet and pathetic that we haven’t been able to bring ourselves to give him away. So for now he’s with us, but I guess the real problem will arise when we leave Turkey. I can’t imagine arranging transportation of 2 dogs, wherever we go next, not to mention finding a home where we can have 2 dogs. Are we cruel by keeping him when we might not be able to indefinitely? Should we try and find a home for him now, before he gets used to us too much? But I`m not even sure it’ll be possible at all here in Kayseri – and I definitely don’t want him to become a guard dog, chained to a fence 24/7, left to fend for himself in the winter, which is the fate of many dogs here. So for now he’s staying with us, untrained and pathetic though he is, running off during walks, plopping in mud puddles to cool down, surfing the counters (we had to buy a whole set of dinner plates because he broke every single one) and sweetly hugging us with his whole body whenever he gets the chance.
I`ll be back soon to talk about some other things that happened in the last year, mostly trips and conferences and work things. Bye for now!