We Really Love Surprises…January 21st

Posted on January 24th, 2012 by

Today was a fairly relaxed day that started off with a morning recap session. With about half the group (including me) being so sick the last few days, we had to rearrange plans a bit to include more time to rest. So today after the recap session we had most of the day to do anything we wanted to do, whether it be shopping, sleeping, or homework. I chose the latter and went off to a coffee shop to do some reading and writing for our fiction analysis paper that suddenly is due so soon…. Others went to the Grand Bazaar, took naps, or explored the beautiful city of Istanbul.

Now comes the surprise part. Since essentially the beginning of the trip, we as a class had been planning to surprise Asli with a group dinner at one of her favorite restaurants in Istanbul. We already had surprised her with a birthday cake once on this trip, so we figured we could get away with it again. We had Lee make Asli think the two of them were going to go out to dinner somewhere in the Taksim area and that Lee wanted to walk around Taksim. I think Asli was a bit annoyed at this point and did not know why Lee wanted to go to Taksim so early as our next group activity wasn’t until 8 in Taksim. Yet Lee somehow managed to get Asli to Taksim by 5:15, where we were supposed to be waiting at the restaurant. Of course we ended up being late because of trams and traffic, but it all worked out anyways and we were indeed waiting in the restaurant to yell “surprise!” to Asli when she and Lee came in. We had a great dinner together and were happy to have the opportunity to thank Asli and Lee for everything they have done for us. They truly have made this trip amazing for us with a lot of hard work.

After dinner we killed some time by walking around Taksim for a bit. Some of use got dessert from the many options on the main street. Windows filled with baklava, rice pudding, and other honey covered pastries enticed many I’m sure but as for me and my gluten intolerance ice cream was the way to go. Around 8 everyone met up again and we headed to our evening activity which was visiting a local NGO called AIESEC which is originally French, so I don’t know what exactly it stands for. Basically it is an organization that is student run and connects people from around the world. They have many intern positions and offices all around the world. Many of the interns at the Istanbul office go to the local school and teach about their particular culture. Some other interns have jobs with  Istanbul businesses including large corporations. I think many of us were interested in the organization and were definitely considering it as a future option. I know some of us including me made connections with some of the interns there, and are hopefully going to be involved with AIESEC in the future!

Unfortunately I did not think I was going to blog today, so I did not take any pictures. However, I do have some pictures of some goods one might see in Taksim which I will post.


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