At the end of July we headed to Trabzon for about 5 days. I’m not going to lie, I almost cried when I knew we would be be in the boonies for that long but I know how important it is for Cengiz so I put on my game face and did it. It was as expected – lots of sitting, lots of insisting I am capable of washing the dishes, lots of insisting I am not hungry, and trying to convince them I really don’t want any tea. No shower, a toilet in the ground, and a huge pile of cow manure outside of our window. That being said, it’s a beautiful place and it’s so green and and the air is so clean and refreshing. His family is so warm and sweet and I can’t complain, and I am so lucky they are so open to me. I didn’t take many pictures this time but you get the idea!

Me and the cow

Just hanging out with some cows.


King of the forest


King of the rock


I have kind of a weird face going on, and I’m not really loving the beard on Cengiz’s face.


We were there in Ramadan. His poor family cooked so much food in the day yet they couldn’t eat it until like 7:30 – I don’t know how they did it! Another issue I ran into there was the lack of refrigeration – I saw meat stew that stayed out for 24 hours. Cengiz’s mother makes butter from the cows she takes care of, and I love the idea, but the taste is very farm-y. They use it in everything (rice, soup, meat dishes…) and I had a tough time getting beyond the taste. Cengiz and his sister got really sick out there and I lost a lot of weight because I was scared to eat anything. It was good though because I knew we were headed to America soon so I considered this a detox before heading there!


One thing we do to pass the time and get out of the house is to go walking in the woods. One of Cengiz’s sisters pointed this huge hole out to me and from what I could understand, people say Greek people used to live here a long time ago. Now I can’t remember the details – when people explain things in Turkish and it’s a little tough to understand, I forget easily what they said – I don’t even remember if there were any formal archaeology digs. I doubt it. Something about the holes are where the doors used to be in the walls…I honestly can’t remember but it was interested! I was ready to get my shovel! I recently read a book about the Turkish-Greek population exchange in 1923, and they definitely wrote about a Greek population that lived in and around Trabzon. Very cool! Next time I go I’ll try to interview more people.


This is NOT in Trabzon. I had been talking about pretzel salad with my friends and I finally made it. There were 5 of us I think, and there was just a teeny bit left. For those that don’t know, pretzel salad has a crust of crushed pretzels, sugar, and butter, topped with a mixture of cream cheese, Cool Whip, and powdered sugar, and finally strawberry jello with strawberries. I kid you not, the recipe says it can be served as a dessert or as a salad if you serve it on lettuce with a dollop of mayonnaise. You’ll be the hit of the party, I guarantee!

I hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving. I’m sad to not be with my mom and dad but I’m now in Switzerland with Heath and Veronica and Veronica’s mom, and I’m getting my fill of pork and other goodies!


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