Most of today was spent in and around a local school. It was my father’s idea, and I was somewhat uncomfortable with it to begin with. To me, it seems to lack propriety to go wandering too far into the lives of strangers. That said, they did seem happy enough to have us.
We were shown around the classrooms and the computer lab and then introduced to the English teacher. Later in the afternoon, we played outside with about ten of the children. A first grader named Ussuf trounced me at basketball – thirteen to six – but he did have a habit of double counting his own points and of initiating quite aggressive fouls. Like the ping pong later, it seemed to be appreciated by all. My father lost an extended match, best of three sets of eleven points, with the English teacher, who is also the ping pong coach, and now we are apparently obligated to return tomorrow with a large bottle of cola and at least one English song. Not standard tourist stuff, decidedly.
Tomorrow will be our final day in Goreme and in Cappadocia. Ivanka returns to Crimea the day after, and my father and I return to Oxford on the 16th. Admittedly, the thought of the two essays and three draft thesis chapters that I need to write by early January is becoming a bit daunting.