RPCV Turkey Groups

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Turkey: Peace Corps Turkey : RPCV Turkey Groups

Web links to Peace Corps Turkey

By Rebecca Aktas (cpe-024-074-105-046.carolina.res.rr.com - on Monday, January 23, 2006 - 5:25 pm: Edit Post

My husband (Yildirim Aktas) is Turkish and was educated by a Peace Corp volunteer in a small Turkish village (Plumer) in the mid-late 1960s, early 1970s. He would like very much to find this volunteer and thank him. He believes his name is David Vandergrist- but cannot recall for sure. Because this kind person, my husband went on to get his PhD in Physics and would like to touch base with his teacher. If anyone can assist me, I would be very appreciative.

By David Vandegrift ( on Tuesday, June 14, 2011 - 1:45 am: Edit Post

Merhaba Rebecca and Yildirim,

Masallah! Your message reached me today via a link from Gokhan Esel, with whom I have been reminiscing about my service in Turkey from 1965-1967. My first year assignment was in Pulumur, and I have many fond memories of the students there. I know that I learned more from them than they learned from me, and in more ways than one. Everyone in the town was very tolerant of the gawky young American who spoke Turkish so poorly and lived in the school.

If you care to send an email, I'd be interested in knowing a little about the journey that led Yildirim from Pulumur orta okul through a university education. It must be quite a story.

I had not been aware of this web site, else I would have responded sooner. As it happens, I met my wife in Turkey between my first and second years of service. We met on a ship from Istanbul to Izmir. Though not a Turk, she and I still have a strong affinity for all things Turkish. In fact, our dinner tonight was kofte, bulgur pilavi, and yogurtlu ispanak.

Hosca kalin,
Dave Vandegrift

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