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Brookings teachers share travel to Turkey experience October 3

Kathy Miller and Tracy Nelson, two of four South Dakota educators awarded traveling fellowships to Turkey last summer, will share experiences and lessons learned during discussion at the Brookings Public Library in early October.

Their presentation, entitled "Turkey Bridge Between East and West" will be held Wednesday evening, Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. in the Cooper room of the Brookings Public Library. The event is free and open to the public with a reception following the talk. "Before I went (to Turkey), I was a little apprehensive about how Americans would be received," said Miller, a Central Elementary School counselor. "I had also never experienced daily life in a Muslim country and wondered how that would be."

So she researched about Turkey on the Internet, talked with people who had been there and queried those who knew about the country. On July 25, they, along with 22 other American educators, began their adventure in Istanbul, a city with a history that dates back to 680 BCE. Here, they visited, among other things, a 17th century spice market, the Blue Mosque, and Hagia Sopia. "I quickly learned that Turkish people are very friendly and hospitable and that their religion is just one thread of the fabric of their days," said Miller.

The 16-day itinerary included meetings with Turkish teachers and students from public and private educational institutions. Nelson, a physical education teacher at Hillcrest Elementary, also found similarities between here and there.

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