Posted by: Stephanie Nawyn | June 24, 2010

Hosça kal Istanbul

Henry and I left for the airport very early this morning, in case the traffic was bad. We had said most of our goodbyes the night before, and Henry found it very difficult to part with Zeynep in particular. Banu was so amazing to see us off, even though she got little sleep the night before. Other than finding nothing that Henry would eat, everything at the airport went fine. One bonus was finding Kinder Surprise at the duty free shop – they are candy eggs made with chocolate and lots of condensed milk, so that they are a more healthy than regular candy, and they are hollow with a toy inside. I had wanted to bring several back so that Henry could share them with his sister and cousins, but all the markets stopped offering them in the summer because they melt easily.

Once on the plane, I basically plugged Henry into cartoons until we landed. He slept about an hour and a half, and I slept less than an hour. After arriving at Rich’s parents (where we are staying tonight in Chicago), I promptly took a “nap” that lasted over 4 hours. I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep, but since I’m almost falling asleep as I type this, I think I’ll get my internal clock reset quickly.

The best part of returning home was seeing Rich and Meredith at the airport. Meredith was unexpected, as I thought Rich was going to let her nap (and who wants to bring a toddler to the airport when you might be waiting for a long time for a traveler to make it through customs?). She was so excited to see Henry and I, and she wanted to be held by me right away (I was worried that she would be so accustomed to only being with her father that she wouldn’t want to go to me right away). She kept saying, “Turkey?” and then telling me how she pooped on the potty while I was gone.

Tomorrow I’ll write something about the end of the trip, post some pictures, and tell you about my experiences with Turkish tea. There’s much to tell about Henry’s Turkish immersion experience, my time at Istanbul University, and some of the political, economic, and genomic background I learned about Turkey on my trip. For now I just want to give a big hug across the ocean to my hosts, Banu, Murat and Zeynep, to Murat’s mother who treated me so well and gave me presents to bring back to the US, to Banu’s mother who I never got to meet but gave me a present anyway, and to all the people of Istanbul who were so nice to me and Henry, even the strangers who touched Henry too much and made him feel uncomfortable.



  1. Welcome home!!!!

  2. Welcome back, Stephanie and Henry! I’ve enjoyed reading your travel blog!

  3. Welcome home Stephanie and Henry! Thank you for sharing your adventure with us.

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