My Short Foray into Voluntourism

On July 19th 2015, I traveled to Istanbul, Turkey to teach at a 3-week summer camp for Syrian refugees. I specifically taught them computer skills, while others taught English, Arabic, Turkish, Art, and Quran (the Islamic holy book). This travel and volunteer model is typically labeled “voluntourism,” and is a growing – yet problematic – … Continue reading My Short Foray into Voluntourism


The Roses

Ortaköy, Istanbul I turned away from the glittering water and gazed up at the coral colored mosque, beneath the glowing sunset. I wanted to stay here forever; but no matter the view, reality always wins. I had to make a phone call and check out the vendors to find some postcards before dark set in, so … Continue reading The Roses

First Reflections on Turkey (and Syrians+Turks)

I barely remember the last time I was in Turkey. I was maybe 11 years old and did mostly tourist-y things with my family. So the situation is a lot different now: I am travelling with the US-based Syrian Orphans Organization to help teach Syrian refugees in Istanbul during a 3-week summer camp. I also have some … Continue reading First Reflections on Turkey (and Syrians+Turks)