BAYRAM DINNERS - 2009
For this year's Cumhurriyet Bayram dinner, Russ (T-9/8) and Liz
Whitesel decided to host the event at their home in Madison. Eph Frankel
(T-9) was co-host, coming in from Milwaukee. The idea was to have more
relaxed, personal time to be together and not get shushed out of a
Russ & Liz invited two Turkish families involved in study and work at the
UW-Madison. Metem, a surgeon, his wife Isthar, a micro-biology prof, and
their 15-year-old daughter Bocu were there along with Leyla, an
international tax law school professor, with her 5- year-old daughter Idil.
Also with Rus & Liz, Eph Frankel and wife Marian Vieux were there: daughter
Alexander bussed in from Minneapolis for the event; and Dave (T-15) and Ann
Wilson came too.
Russ and Liz had reached out to both these families as they were confronting
all the unanticipated difficulties and stresses of integrating into a
different culture. Special bonds were formed.
Along with the home-hosting idea, this event was brilliantly, pot-luck
oriented, with everyone contributing ethnic food for a delicious dinner.
There was lots to eat and to talk about. The interaction, and the event, had
again that special quality we all associate with that moment we experienced
In the morning, it was heart-warming to reflect that our friendship, and our
connection with Turks and Turkey, would not be were it not for the Peace
Corps. Forty-four years after leaving our assignments in Turkey, the Peace
Corps experience and vision were alive and well!
(PS: We were all so engrossed in the moment that we forgot to take
pictures; but, Russ is aiming at collecting some photos of everyone for the
Madison Cumhurriyet Bayram Collage -- Stay Tuned, but no promises ).
Report by Eph Frankel, Co-host