Running on Fumes
Feeling a bit ill during international travel is normal. Within the first week, one of the program professors was knocked out for several days, and other students have missed stretches of the trip. Between being in close quarters on planes, trains, and automobiles, the foreign cuisine, and long days of meetings, it seems that half the group is currently feeling at least somewhat under the weather. Count me among them.
Knowing the difference between being dangerous to the rest of the group and able to push through is critical, and I walked that line today. I am thankful that I did because the meetings with the Center for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies, Ankara Strategic Institute, and the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research afforded us a unique opportunity to hear similar though nuanced perspectives on the future of Turkey, specifically Turkey’s role as a leading power in the Middle East and its policy towards Syrian refugees.
We arrived on time for our first meeting to the location we confirmed in the spring, only to find an empty (though unlocked) office and a new address for the group. That characterized the unexpected challenges we faced all day, which left us fluctuating between running minutes late to an hour early. We arrived back at the hotel from our meetings around 5 o’clock, but there were no adventures or exploring the vibrant streets of Ankara in the evening. Rest was too important, and hopefully a good night’s sleep and lots of water find us all well enough to experience more of Turkey’s capital city tomorrow.