Heading Home

Donovan Nagel
Written by Donovan Nagel

Luckily, we were able to go see Nemrut Dağı a few days ago with the other teachers.

It’s about a 4 hour winding bus journey East of Malatya up on a high mountain peak where an enormous tomb/worship site was built by Antiochus I Theos of Commagene (not the same Antiochus of the Maccabees) around the time of Christ.

In a nutshell, Antiochus created a cult by conglomerating Greek, Armenian and Persian religion, along with worship of himself, and constructed these massive statues that look out toward both the sunrise and sunset, guarding Antiochus’ tomb which is buried under a hill of small rocks at the mountain pinnacle.

It’s an amazing site, even though the statues have sadly been deliberately damaged at some point by Islamic iconoclasts (much like the Buddha statues of Bamiyan ).

It definitely has the same grandeur as a lot of the ancient Egyptian sites I’ve visited in the past.

I’m heading back home in about 2 weeks.

My short-lived time as a teacher in Turkey may have just come to an abrupt end as I have to return home because of some recent devastating news in our family.

This is the most upset and withdrawn I’ve been since I can remember, and it’s made worse by the fact that I’m leaving behind my girlfriend/best friend for an unknown amount of time, the prospect of losing my new job and my increasingly dire financial situation.

It’s one of those times in my life that I wish wasn’t really happening - just a bad dream or something.

I keep trying to put it all out of my mind so I can remain focused on teaching but I’m constantly reminded that I’ll be home at the end of next week having to spend my last moments with and say goodbye to the dearest person in my life.

I don’t know when or if I’ll be back to continue with this job, or even if I’ll make it back to Turkey.

I really hope I do.

The job’s not great, nor is the money but the experience is what I came here for and I have a 1 year residency permit, bank account and so on all set up already. There seem to plenty of opportunities for university work which will be easier to get in future if I’m living in Turkey, rather than applying from abroad.

If I’m unable to get this job back then I’ll be going somewhere else before the year’s out.