Sunday, August 19, 2007

Ahh Sweet Summer

Originally uploaded by bursajane
Today, I was reminded that though my current situation may not be ideal, I still have plenty to be thankful for. Beyond the last week I've actually had a really sweet summer. It started in May when I left for Crete to volunteer with Archelon--the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece. This organization takes volunteers from all over the world to help monitor, protect, and educate about the endangered loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta). I spent a month camped only a few hundred feet off of Matala beach. Above this beach dotting the cliff sides are the famed "hippy caves." These caves not only housed free spirits from all over the globe in the 60's, they also hold Greek and Roman tombs from as early as the 1st century. My favorite part of the Archelon experience was the early morning beach walks to monitor for turtle activity. There's nothing like being the first one on the beach in the morning in that special quiet when the only sounds are the lapping of the waves on the shore.

Since I ferried from Turkey to Crete, I got to spend a few days on the island of Rhodes. I had a great time exploring the old city but will post about that at another time. From Rhodes, I ferried back to the Turkish city of Marmaris in mid-June. Here I took my first scuba diving lessons with the Deep Sea Diving Co. I'd been wanting to try diving for awhile and had been especially inspired by all the diving tales and photos of a friend of mine living on Saipan. While my first dives left me pretty lightheaded, I'm itching to go back for more. The underwater world is like a magical sphere for me. I understand how people can become addicted to diving. After my diving trips, Evren travelled down from Bursa and we spent the rest of the week in Marmaris swimming, eating calamari, and wandering on the shore.

In July, Ev and I decided to escape the heat and took off to Akcay. A small town on the shores of the Aegean. These were days of pure relaxation. I stayed in the sea as much as possible. And since most Turks seem to like to stay close to the shore, I had the rest of the open sea to myself. Sometimes I feel such a connection to the water that I wonder if I wasn't some sort of sea creature in my last life. During our time in Akcay, I also got to meet one of Ev's best friends from high school along with his family. They happened to be staying in the next little town and invited us over for Turkish barbecue (et mangal) at their summer house. Mmmm, good times.

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