UmAy is a house full with delightful feelings, I couldn’t even dare to imagine its existence for a long time.  If I hadn’t actually spent time there I would have thought it is just utopia. All the things that I thought were devalued in the world such as art, critical thinking, creating, books, human beings and animals are all highly valued here, and this helped my hopes for life to flourish.

The days I spent at UmAy and having the opportunity to know Sevil, Özlem, Adrianne and Şule opened new horizons in my life. Our yoga session was a unique experience. It reminded me of my long-time deafness to my own feelings and ideas. I can easily claim that Şule is the sincerest and approachable yoga instructor that I have ever met.

Özlem’s sharing a new book, Kıvılcımlar, affected me a lot. Upon completing and offering a presentation on it to UmAy residents encouraged me to take further steps in my own life. In fact, UmAy reminds me of the significance of being a woman and empowering them. Through observing that all tasks are shared and undertaken by the volunteers, I felt the collective power of a women’s group. My positive feelings took almost a concrete shape by the time of my departure from Sapanca. I could feel that my soul revived. I can’t thank enough to UmAy for enjoyable conversations, beautiful moments  and introducing me to other enchantments. It is hard to find the words for my gratitude for having crossed paths with you.

Elif

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