HOLIDAY: IWAI Christmas Bazaar

Picture from IWAI Website

One of the groups I found before moving was the IWAI – International Women’s Association of Izmir, a non-profit organization that blends international women from all ages, cultures, and backgrounds. This even includes Turkish women that have married foreigners, worked for international companies, lived abroad for a period of time, or want to help expats moving to Izmir. Throughout the year, the group holds regular coffee meetings, social events, and charity events. So when we moved, it was one of the first group events that I attended!

In December, IWAI hosted their Annual Christmas Market at the Swiss Hotel. Guests meandered through 60 tables arranged with goodies – from candies, scarves, jewelry, handmade Christmas items like ornaments and table clothes and even rugs.

Since Jason and I had already spent quite a bit on setting up our new home, I wasn’t really looking to buy anything special. So, instead, the food was the highlight. There were only a couple of food stands, but I managed to buy a jar of caramel, a cake pop(from the picture above), sweet potato chips, and banana chips (none of which are super christmasy, but a treat nonetheless!). I also loved meeting the small shop owners. I collected cards from a few of my favorite stands.

The market also served as a charity fundraiser. All guests paid an entrance fee and that money went towards a pre-selected group of single moms in Karşıyaka area of Izmir. Several ladies represented IWAI at the ceremony and presented the gift certificate from LC Waikiki to the ladies.

Picture from IWAI Facebook page

The group has been a great way to find new friends and provide support as we navigate expat living in Izmir. If you want to learn more about the IWAI, check out their website and Facebook page.