I arrived in Athens on Friday, rented a tiny Fiat convertible ….
and headed to the city of Chalkida
… which will be my home for the next five weeks.
Tomorrow morning I begin my volunteer work with children at Ritsona Refugee Camp located 22km outside of the city.
I have learned a few words of Arabic, taken a basic humanitarianism course, read the Lighthouse Relief Volunteer Handbook, signed my code of conduct and volunteer agreement, and ensured that I have proper attire (chest, shoulders, and legs should be covered.)
In the last 48 hours I have settled into an Airbnb, gone to the grocery store (yesterday, as they are all closed today), eaten at a lovely restaurant while reading “We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria” by Wendy Pearlman, walked along the waterfront …
… had a drink (or two) at a bar, taken a jog and sat — just sat — on a rock, staring at the water and my new home beyond, listening to the splash of small waves while hearing the wind blow through the arid, yet lush landscape. And occasionally testing myself on my few words of Arabic.
Here’s to the next five weeks! I will keep you posted!
PS. On my way to Greece, I stopped in London and Switzerland. I have been letting a format slowly develop in my writer’s mind; How to best share things that, along the way, caught my eye, delighted my palette, made me ponder? I’m almost there! Stay tuned for those entries coming soon …