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  • Writer's pictureJocette Lee

Returning to the Village...

I landed in Turkey on December 25, 2020, at the local time of 8pm. After flying and travelling for nearly 24 hours, I was exhausted and acutely aware of my need for a shower. Traveling in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic is bizarre as every country, airport, group and person have their own rules on how to stay safe; as I traveled my assumptions and expectations were consistently challenged. We arrived home, ate some dinner and I passed out. The next morning, the winter sun peeked through the window at 11:00 am. Despite the physical cues from my body, I dragged myself out of bed to force myself into the new time zone. It is always harder to get over my jetlag and adjust when I fly to Turkey from the US. I cannot get myself to fall asleep at a decent hour, which of course impedes my ability to feel productive the following day. And at the same time, I unhealthfully operate under the impression that jet lag is for the weak. In my late nights of restlessness, I call my mom, grandma and sister; this is a perk of being 8 hours in the future. However, now with help of a soothing bedtime routine - a cup of tea and a melatonin supplement, I am acclimating.

Getting back into our home in the village was a relief. While I am grateful for the time with family and access to all my mom's fancy kitchen gear, there is nothing quite like my own kitchen and routine. Two days after I returned, I completely reorganized our pantry and Tupperware cabinets to take an inventory and refamiliarize myself with the ingredients and tools available.

Today on January 1st, things feel normal again - the roosters crow early in the morning and çay is available at all hours of the day. Today, Salih and I resisted the pressure to formulate restrictive resolutions and instead focus on themes and words we hope to be true of 2021. Creativity, movement, faithfulness, gratitude, and focus were some of the words that came up more than once as we dreamed about the potential of the new year. I think that is the most trust we can give to 2021.

This morning, we started our day with a strong cup of coffee and a lovely Turkish breakfast with a cheesy and semame omelette. I am a huge fan of this crispy and nutty take on fried eggs. To see the whole video of how we made it, check out my latest Instagram post (@hasatgunu).

I do not have much wisdom or advice for the new year except a strong endorsement to sign up for James Clear email newsletters. He is full of wisdom, inspiring quotes, logical perspectives and motivation. I genuinely look forward to his succinct and encouraging emails. Here's an example of one his quotes:

"Broad ideas influence more people.

Specific ideas influence people more."

Happy New Year and thanks so much for signing up to be apart of this community. There are some fun and exciting new things happening for Hasat Günü in 2021. Here’s to many more delicious recipes and food shared with the ones you love (even if that has to be virtual) and to a new year full of opportunities to grow and moments to practice gratitude. I hope the best of your 2020, is the worst of your 2021.

Art work by Alessandra Olanow ©


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