Working for the Campus Life office at UBC in Kelowna means I have much interaction with UBc’s Collegia program – a home away from home for the 80% of our student population who have to drive or commute to our campus.
I have always enjoyed the Collegia program. Some students have really made it their home. Fantastic. Some will only ever see it as a house.
As I wander the neighbourhoods and streets of Istanbul, a similarity between Turks and Collegia came to mind.
Behind all this rich Istanbul and Turkish culture and history lie people. UBC’s strategic plan states (I know this as it is one of my favourite lines): “UBC’s strength lies in its people.” I think this is what makes Istanbul so cool, too: its people.
When you first visit Turkey (or most countries outside Canada) you see the long and at times, hard, history countries have gone through to come to where they are today. Perhaps it is not the history and culture themselves that amaze visitors. The thought of the people who made each tiny, Insignificant decision, to get us to the Istanbul of today. The servants who fed the Sultants so they could lead the republic to the armies (literally) of city employees who clean every street every day (even ally ways it seems). When I was in the Grand Bazaar the other today I had to wonder. Is it the things and goods that are the attraction (trust me, there are stores in here that only live on the streets of New York, Paris, and London so some of the goods are beyond impressive in terms of quality). Or is the salesmen, the bartering with your countrymen, the young sons who carry huge crates of goods on their backs what gives it the grandness.
I think what doesn’t make Turkey or the Collegia for that matter so magnificent are the facts, figures, dates, etc. The people behind the facts, stats, and stories. I think this both the strength of the culture, architecture, and history of Turkey, and why many have a home on the UBC campus – the Collegia. The people, the individuals who have built magnificently on the tiny decisions made by those who came before and with those who we/they work with side by side today.
Perhaps this is why Turkey is still so strong after centuries and generations. They invest in the people, and let them build the history.
Adam is currently traveling Asia, Africa and Europe. Follow him on Twitter (adam13goodwin) – #travels2012.
You can connect with Adam by: Twitter (@adam13goodwin); Email (firstname.lastname@example.org); Web (www.adamkgoodwin.com); In-person