Leaving Minnesota

Trip Start Aug 15, 2007
Trip End Jun 01, 2012

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Flag of United States  , Minnesota
Monday, August 20, 2007

Here we go... The beginning of an ending to only one way of living. I will try and take the last few decades and encapsulate them into a smallish story that will bring those reading up-to-date --- and to Ankara, Turkey where we currently reside. Debra and Todd... two travel junkies... studying abroad, traveling around the world, working in foreign destinations... coming off a 14 month adventure... landing and getting pregnant... canceling the trip to Guatemala and... deciding that it was time to stop traveling... for a spell...
Bought a house in the very liveable neighborhood of Seward, located in the excellent city of Minneapolis in the very well run state of Minnesota, within the controversial country of the United States of America... Gave birth to a wide eyed little boy... named him Carsten Joseph Raju Cota... life was wonderful... Continued to travel with young Carsten... before he was two he bathed in the thermal waters of the Blue Lagoon outside of Reykjavik, Iceland, drove cars made out of legos through Lego Land in Denmark, toured the home and gardens of the Pirate Mandaca on Isla Mujeres of the Yucatan Penninsula, and ran from the waves crashing on the shores of the Dominican Republic. Which brings us to our second son... One rainy tropical afternoon while Carsten slept in the other room of our Dominican Hotel... mom and dad spent some quality time together... well you can figure the outcome... Another beautiful baby named Aidan Lores Dominican Cota joined our happy family... and we became happier... well that is after Carsten overcame his dethroning period... well maybe it is still going on... but continues to diminish as the years go by... we still have our fingers crossed...
Set roots and lived the life of a Good American Family... house, 9-5:00 for dad, stay-at-home mom, gardening, movies, restaurants, yoga, soccer, tennis, baseball for the boys, great friends and family times, Yellowstone National Park, Skiing vacation in Salt Lake City, Utah... I think you get the idea... Not to say that it was bad... it was actually good, even great most of the time... but something was missing... damn that travel bug... once bitten... always cursed...
Mom and Dad continued to dream... this time for the whole family... decided to get a job teaching overseas... pulled together resumes, went to a chaotic international teaching job fair in San Francisco, California, declined the jobs in Oman, Morocco and an intriguing opportunity to design and implement a start-up school in Ghana... with the family in mind, we accepted the job in Turkey... a country we had loved while traveling through a decade ago... Went home, informed the boys and family and friends, quit our jobs, sold our house and most of our belongings... made the rounds to our favorite restaurants... put what remained in a 10x6 foot locker... rolled our eyes as the boys fought over who was going to put the padlock on... Result, Aidan closed the door and Carsten locked it... help... Spent quality time with family and friends... many hugs and tears later were dropped off at the airport and boarded our flight to Chicago, Illinois and caught our connection onto Istanbul, Turkey... landed in a smoke filled airport... our first experience of the Turkish past time of smoking... waited, waited and waited in wafting clouds of smoke for our connecting flight to Ankara... finally came... boarded a clear and clean airplane... no smoke... and landed in an empty airport many kilometers from the city center... loaded our small hill of bags onto a bus and headed off to Dogu Campus Logmanlar at Bilkent Universitesi located on the high hills overlooking Ankara, Turkey... city of 5 million or around 7 million if you count the new residents, the city officials do not count, moving in from the countryside and setting up tin card houses on the hills surrounding the city... Shown our apartment... many adjectives thrown out... few positive... brought our bags up... missing a few... One of them being Debra's bag with all of her clothes... not good!!! No worries... many hours later, bags show up by a gentleman that went out of his way to find and retrieve them... Very good!!! And the Grand Roller Coaster of Acclimation continued and continues to take us up and down over the undulations of living in a foreign country...

Over the next few years we will be Living in Turkey, traveling extensively within it's borders as well as outside of them... Please enjoy the additions as we add them... and please send us a few notes so that we may also track how your lives are going...

The photos provided in this entry give a snapshot of the members of the Cotaclan4...
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