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Friday, August 29, 2014

Brief Update of Various Topics

Hello again!

Just jumping on this afternoon to update about a few things before I forget.

1) I woke up to tremors from an earthquake today! I looked into it, and it was a 5.6 magnitude quake out in the waters somewhat near Crete (so pretty far from here). My bed shook two separate times for different lengths of time and it really freaked me out! I am still adjusting to sounds and other sense-affecting things here, so my mind didn't immediately jump to earthquake which is why I was so freaked at what else it could have possibly been. Haha. But all is very much well. Absolutely no damage here, just quite an experience to share!

2) It is now REALLY official that I am working at ACS Athens. So that's pretty cool. See?!

3) I just thought I'd share with you all that the whole not throwing the toilet paper into the toilet thing is not as difficult as I thought it would be! It is still definitely very different feeling to me, and still seems a bit weird, but it has been nice to realize that it is not as awful as I worried it would be.

4) As people at the school are already beginning to discuss Thanksgiving vacation plans, it is finally really setting in that this will be my first Thanksgiving away from home. During undergrad, I had missed a couple Easters because timing did not work out, but never a Thanksgiving or Christmas. I can already tell you that I am going to miss all of my family's delicious Thanksgiving foods very much... and all of my family of course! I'm going to have to come up with something fun to do or some place to travel as a way of making myself feel better for not being able to be home!

5) The four of us Wheelock ladies are going to the island of Poros tomorrow morning, spending the night, and then returning late Sunday night as our little getaway for this long weekend. I am so excited! I'm sure I will have lots of pictures to post upon our return. :)

Well I think that's all for now! Emily and I are using leftover pesto pasta and some more amazingly fresh veggies to make a stir-fry for dinner tonight. Yum!

Γειά σας (Yiá sas), that means "goodbye" for now! (Fun fact: It also means hello. Haha.)


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The (Almost) One Week Reflection

I feel the need to write briefly before bed tonight because things have finally begun to settle down and fall into place, so I want to share a bit about that.

After the whirlwind extended weekend of island hopping and touring the Acropolis, the past few days have been more about finalizing our documents and getting things in order before the school year begins. It has also allowed us to settle in a bit more into our apartments. We have been frequenting the local supermarkets for meal and snack supplies, but what has been my favorite is going to the corner bakery and the fresh produce stand across the street from the school! I got 2 large apples, a plum, a big nectarine, and a bunch of 5 bananas for only 4 euros the other day! The food is SO delicious here. The only downsides I have come across so far are that bagels aren't really a thing here... they just don't exist. Neither do bags of salted pretzels, only sesame breadsticks. Finally, Greeks do not understand or get what is so great about peanut butter. So I had to pay 5.50 euros for a tiny container of it and it was very upsetting. Needless to say, I will be requesting a care package of various packaged snacks and items I am missing from my family very soon! Haha.

I am currently just a bit concerned by my lack of energy when getting my morning started to get to school for orientation things, and then during the afternoon. It could be for any number of reasons, i.e. the dreadful heat, the long days, the lulls in plans, or that I am still somewhat not fully adjusted to the time here yet even though I feel like I should be.

Finally, I am getting somewhat anxious to really get into what I will be doing and experiencing in the counseling department during this year at ACS. I've gotten a few small, vague insights, but school starts in a week and me being the way I am, I really would like to have more details!

Well, as usual, I am feeling wiped, so I am heading off to bed. But I am going to leave you with a few pictures of the sunset off my front veranda from the other day. Simply beautiful, in my opinion. It hasn't quite set in that this place is my new home for the next 10 months. It still feels like a really cool vacation. That being said, I am definitely really missing home as well. Video chatting with my family has been both so comforting and nice, but also leaves me longing to be there. I am so, so thankful that I am fortunate enough to have wifi to be in frequent contact with them though!

Okay, that's all for now!

P.S. The girls and I just booked a one night, two day stay at Poros this weekend to have a little beach getaway and I am so excited! :)

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Acropolis!

Today was a VERY hot and sweaty day, but oh how worth it it was! We saw one of the most historic, iconic landmarks in all of the world: the Acropolis. And sitting atop the Acropolis is the Parthenon, looking down upon the gorgeous, historic theatres and pieces of marble and stone used back then. It also overlooks Athens as far as the eye can see. It is truly amazing. Here is a little snapshot of their history:

"The Acropolis, and the Parthenon in particular, is the most characteristic monument of the ancient Greek civilization. It continues to stand as a symbol in many ways: it is the symbol of democracy and the Greek civilization. It also symbolizes the beginning of the Western civilization and stands as the icon of European culture. The Parthenon was dedicated to Athena Parthenos, the patron goddess of the city of Athens and goddess of wisdom. It was built under the instructions of Pericles, the political leader of Athens in the 5th century BC. The Parthenon was constructed between 447 and 438 BC and its sculptural decoration was completed in 432 BC." --

So here we go, lots of pictures coming at ya! Including a couple at the start to prove how difficult it is to be a cat/dog/animal lover here with all of the strays!!