Stephanie is a 2014 Turkey summer program alum recollecting her experience abroad.

image of a ramadan meal with fruit and bread

I think I heard the famous Turkish drummers this morning! I woke up at 3am, and I remember hearing drums. I told myself to get out of bed and to grab my phone and record it, but I guess I just fell asleep again. Whoops. Hopefully I’ll get another chance tomorrow. The Ramadan drummers I'm referring to are the traditional ones from Muslim history in Turkey that awake those that are fasting for their pre-dawn meal. While this tradition is fading, there are some parts of Turkey that aim to save it. My neighborhood, as it would seem, is one of them.

A closeup shot of a bowl filled with delicious noodles topped with colorful sauces and herbs.

During the breaking of the fast, or Iftar, the food never stops. This is my favorite time of day! After not eating all day, we typically start with soup and then move on to the main courses that include cheese, side (Turkish pizza of sorts), lamb, and dessert. At the restaurant last night the food just kept coming! The köfte was really good. At dinner, I met my host sister’s aunt and uncle, along with her almost 17-year-old cousin that had come over the night before to play Monopoly with my host sister and I. My family here is awesome; they’re all very funny and generous.

Before I got to Turkey, I definitely worried about the food. I don’t remember why now! The food is çok güzel ("very good")!