This week will be sad. For expats, the end of every school year typically brings a turnover. Some years lots of people leave, other years it doesn't seem like many. This year will be tough as I am losing 4 good friends. Ones I saw every day at school, commisserated with over kids issues, discovered Istanbul with, and shared lots of glasses of wine and lots of laughs.
There's Julia, my fellow American and supplier of vanilla extract, boxed cake mix and other American "necessities". We've shared a number of taco dinners with kids while our husbands were traveling. Our kids get along well and they always have fun together. Julia is a mom who "gets it" and we've always been able to rely on our shared experiences to help each other out.
Then there's Liz, one of my British posse who knows the best places to find any odd item you might need, from felt to party supplies to styrofoam food containers. She knows the streets off the Spice Bazaar like the back of her hand and is so much fun to shop with. She throws spectacular parties and we've had some really great girl's nights at her place.
Kris, my good friend from Belgium, cracks me up. We've laughed A LOT. She would also give you the shirt of her back if you asked. She is a master kids party planner and makes the most fantastic invitations and cakes you've ever seen. She's also an amazing cook and we've had some great dinners at her house that usually end late and see a lot of wine consumed.
Sian is another Brit and Matt and I have spent lots of time with her and her husband John. Who knew there were others with such eclectic musical tastes? They've made our time in Istanbul really special and we will miss hanging out with them, whether it was taking the kids to the forest, sitting in their garden with a cup of coffee, or sitting by the water in Ortakoy taking in the view.
Now I'm looking forward to our trip home to the states, but I know when I come back this will be a different place. Don't get me wrong, i still have a lot of friends here, but it will be strange to come to school on that first day back and not see the faces I'm so used to seeing.
It's the one aspect of expat life that never gets any easier. We don't have our families here, so our friends become so close. But we won't say goodbye, we'll say see you soon.