By: Annmaire Delgado

Well, as many of you know I am headed to Konya, Turkey tomorrow to learn how to excavate. The site is fantastic and dates back to 14000 BCE! There has been evidence of ornate burials, agriculture and the domestication of livestock, and the first signs of sedentism in the area. Pınarbaşı is the oldest known site in Anatolia. The nerves and excitement are overwhelming and I cannot even begin to describe the immense feelings of emotions I am having before starting this amazing adventure. When I went back to school three years ago I dreamt of an opportunity to experience something like this but I never thought that it would happen. IFR is an amazing organization that will not only teach me but support me while I am away.

The journey through this experience has been eventful, to say at the least. I was very fortunate and was awarded a Vera Campbell Scholarship to pay for part of my tuition, and it took quite the load off. I thought of every financial logistic that would come in the way of me being able to attend this field school and the scholarship gave me hope and made my dream to attend a reality.

With every experience comes many additional roadblocks to get in the way; our program was pushed back a week due to visa issues and there was uncertainty that the government would not send our permissions to the consulate in time for the dig. After we got the okay there was a huge hiccup for me.. There is no longer a consulate in the San Francisco Bay Area! Which meant a last-minute road trip to Beverly Hills (not a bad place to make a last-minute journey but still) to obtain my research visa. I had a brief moment of anxiety that this trip may not happen if it took much longer. Yet, it happened and I left the consulate excited and relieved after immense anxiety.

Tomorrow I will leave SFO to begin an incredible experience and opportunity to achieve my research and future career goals. I can not wait to update you more once I get to the next phase of my journey.