Leaving your home once is one thing, leaving it for the second time in three months is something else…it will hurt. I left my family, friends, home, city and country for something new…something that was different from the rest. I came in a country that’s far from my home. Not only in distance, also the religion, language, food, people…were almost the opposite of what I was used to. I became comfortable with everything much faster than I expected. Even though I also suffered a lot. Not knowing the language is one of the hardest things I have been through. Despite all the attention you get in the beginning, you feel so alone. You want to make friends, but it’s not that easy if you don’t know the language. Luckily I came in an amazing country with sociable and curious people. And it’s not that hard to get attention when you don’t look Turkish at all.
The first month was overwhelming. I have never felt so excited, happy, loved, tired, sad and alone all at the same time. It’s not only a physical experience, I also learned a lot about myself emotional. I am actually stronger than I thought I was. In difficult periods (rarely😉) I just stayed positive and never gave up trying to make the best of it. I have always been independent, but here I had to accept that I needed help for almost everything: buying your food in the school cafeteria, taking a metro, read texts from your friends, making easy things like tea or coffee becomes very hard suddenly (thanks to Turkey 😜),… And not only these kind of things. You have to figure out how this society works. How people act, what is allowed and what not, which things you should better not do in public, who you can trust and who not… These were the hardest things, because you can’t just ask: “What is allowed and what not?”, there will always be unspoken rules that you just have to figure out by yourself. Well, you learn the best from your mistakes. You will shock people, but they understand if you explain why you did something and sometimes these unspoken rules are the reason for some hilarious situations.
I learned a lot about Turkey and it’s a beautiful country. I am sure that this wasn’t my last time in Turkey. I feel like I have a connection, maybe because I understand and almost speak the language.
AFS people are the most crazy, amazing, loving, funny people I ever met in my life. You all go through the same thing, in a totally different way. No one has the same experience, but you all feel the same about things. We do crazy things, because we don’t know anyone here. We want to get attention in a funny way and we want people to remember us, or at least the name AFS. We want to leave a little bit of us, just like our hostcountry will always be in our heart.
I fell in love with this country. I fell in love with the people. I fell in love with my family… I want to thank everyone. Thanks to my parents and my sisters to take me in their family, for being there for me, for teaching me everything they could. You became my second family and you will always be in my heart.
Thanks to my friends in school, who became the best friends I could ever imagine. I never laughed so much, I never loved school that much, and I never learned so much about everything from any friend I’ve ever had. No one of you ever judged me, because of who I am. Just me was enough. Even though our cultures and lives are the opposites we became very close and you will be forever in my heart and in my mind. Forgetting you is impossible.
Leaving is a sad thing, especially after 3 months. But I also never felt so happy. I made a lot of new friends, I have a new family and I love them both with all my heart. I grew up and my life will never be the same, but we will see what it brings. I feel like I can do everything now. If I could do everything I wanted in Turkey, it will work out well in Belgium.
This was it…I can’t believe it, but I knew this moment would come. I will enjoy my last week in turkey and Brussels, with all the other AFS’ers.
Let’s say bye…but remember: ‘we only said goodbye by words.’ I will come back, and as you welcomed me in your houses, you will always be welcome in my house! See you all!
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