My summer was spent primarily teaching English to high school students at one of the most prestigious math and science schools in Turkey. The experience overall was an absolute whirlwind. We started our experience in Turkey with an eight day vacation in Istanbul, which was absolutely amazing, but overwhelming at the same time. Our time was spent riding metros and spending hours getting completely lost in the typical attractions one is obligated to see when in Istanbul (Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, etc).
Istanbul was a city of contrasts–million dollar condos overlooking the Marmara Sea and trash lined streets with children begging for change in such close proximity it was startling. Istanbul reminded me a lot of Cairo for various reasons (particularly because of the amount of stark contrasts that can be found), though the degree to which the gap between the wealthy and poor existed didn’t seem to be quite as large. (more…)