As the room buzzed around her, my friend S sat on the floor rocking the infant in her arms, silently praying over the tiny baby boy. Just 20 days old and already fatherless. His twin sister, too. His father didn’t make it out of the shop where he was drinking tea when the earthquake shook Ercis (pronounced Er-jeesh), Turkey on a Sunday afternoon in October. His father’s brother, however, took a dive… Read More

“Keep looking and see if you see anything.” I did as I was told. As we walked the silent streets of the town in eastern Turkey, I squinted down the side roads, looking for anything. I didn’t really know what that “anything” was going to look like. Blood running in the streets? Families gathered around some sort of ornate, golden altar? Dance rituals? I had no idea. Animal sacrifice has always been… Read More

There have been more than 50 “micro” or “minor” earthquakes here already today. We don’t feel them all, but one’s happening now as I’m typing this — a 3.5. My bed’s shaking a little. It’s not much, but it’s unsettling. No wonder people here are scared to sleep in their homes. You don’t feel it during the day when you’re up moving around, but you do when the bed starts to roll… Read More

“Grace. Wake up. Did you feel that?” I cracked one eye open. Still dark. My roommate LB was holding her phone up next to the bottle on the nightstand, trying to light up the water to see how much it was rocking. “I’m pretty sure that was an aftershock.” I missed it. But I think I’m the only one. Everyone was discussing it at breakfast, and it’s the reason everyone over here… Read More