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Who are you?

We are so very international.
A is originally from France. Originally.
H is 100% Amsterdam. But his parents are Chinese.
M’s mother is Swiss, his father is from Romania.
Only R is entirely German/German.

That’s also how different we are. Married, not married. Extroverted, the exact opposite. But all adventurous. And that’s how differently we make money: musician, psychologist, in IT, former facility manager.

What do you want to see?

What do we want to see?
It’s more who we want to see.

The tattoo artist. The singer-songwriter. The lunch crowd from the neighbouring IT start-ups. Those who don’t want to leave the country, unlike all their friends. The ones who like philosophical challenges. The „atheists“ - because religion must not be allowed to deny them their right to reason. Those who can admit that their thinking is limited - who might even pray with us. People who could become friends. Not just friends of ours - also of Jesus!

How did you get this Idea?

It was spring. 2019. R and A were sitting in a café in Tel Aviv. Amazing Espresso.
„Where would you like to go next?“

„I was in Turkey once. Back then I knew: someday, it will be Istanbul. Eventually. Just not yet.“
„I was in Istanbul a couple of years back. I gave a concert. Great people. I´d love to come along.“
„Not this year. Unlikely in 2020. But after that?“
„Count me in.“

Then START50 became a thing. H and M raised their hands:
„We want to come along.“
Istanbul, here we come.

What challenges do you expect?

Let’s face it. M speaks a bit of Turkish. R has learned one other language with Duolingo. Maybe this will work again. In the beginning, English has to be enough.
Istanbul only makes sense if we can be there at least every two months. We will need more people to be involved, to form at least two teams. But we'll also have to help each other connecting with the people we get to know. Calling them. Creating a „we“-feeling. Even though we all live in different cities.
And do we need to mention why we don’t use our full names?

What are you going to do?

Our first trip will be in December. Until then, we will meet regularly online to pray.
A already has some connections. Others do as well. Need to find them again. With social media, however, wherever. Probably they will even help us with our Turkish.

We can´t wait for the trips to begin! We´ll do what we do best: no program, just go where the people are. Getting to know them; listen to them. No shisha café will be safe from us!

published in May 2020