Anna S. Dybis MC'99 wrote the following comments about her trip to Turkey and Greece in May 1999. They were placed on the web by Tom Sienkewicz of Monmouth College. If you have any comments or questions, you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
On May 19th-28th, Anna Dybis '99, Zina Lewis '01, Emily MacArthur '99, Dana Strubel '99, Bill Van Leeuwen '99, along with Prof. Jim Betts and Vicki Wine participated in one of the most fascinating multi-cultural trips offered to date by Dr. Tom Sienkewicz of Monmouth College. Spanning two continents, and two cultures, we visited Turkey and Greece. Just outside modern Istanbul lies the site of ancient Troy, setting for Homer's Iliad and parts of Vergil's Aeneid. In addition to seeing ancient Greek ruins in Ephesus and Pergamon, our group visited Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque, highlighting ancient Turkish culture as well. During free time, we were given a chance to get to know the people of modern Turkey, and found them to be very outgoing, warm, and friendly. Although Istanbul spans both Europe and Asia, the cultural barriers seemed almost non-existent and we felt practically at home. After six days in Turkey, the group took a ferry to the island of Samos, where we were given a chance to discover the local culture on our own. After a dinner on the coast of the Aegean sea and a beautiful sunset, we returned to our hotel. The next day we set off on the final leg of our journey, two days in Athens Greece. On the Acropolis and at the National Museum the group learned what it was like to live in Ancient Athens. Late afternoons and evenings were devoted to the modern city, bustling in preparation for the Olympics in 2004. As the group departed for home, the reality of what we had accomplished started to set in. In ten days, we had taken five planes, visited two continents, explored both ancient and modern cultures, and learned that regardless of where they live or what language they speak, the joys and concerns of the human race are all the same.