Γιασάς (Yassas) once again from one of my favorite places in the world – Greece! Since you last heard from me, I returned from Hawaii to the east coast (for all of a week) before heading back to Thessaloniki, Greece! Here I am once again facilitating a study abroad program for students of Northeastern University’s N.U.in Program.
I am leisurely typing away and sorting out my thoughts at a coffee shop that came most highly recommended from the American College of Thessaloniki’s chemistry professor, Mary. After teaching my Friday morning seminar, I returned to my neighborhood to Facetime with my beau before exploring another massive and lively market.
Lately, I’ve been feeling really inspired for a variety of reasons.
For recent clarity in regard to some of my personal and professional goals and decisions. For feasting on the most delicious Italian in food in Italy last weekend with my girlfriend, Erin. For being gifted not only delicious plump grapes and a kiwi at the market moments ago, but for the acts of kindness themselves that Greeks so often display. And for the coworkers and students that I am surrounded by in this small but mighty community that evolves every year come September in Thessaloniki.
My coworker, Hillevi, and I recently discussed how these on-site roles in study abroad programs rarely allow us to feel the monotony and mundaneness that sometimes (eventually) go along with other jobs. There is no such thing as working 9 – 5 here, and although we perform certain activities with regularity, there are seasons within the semester that keep us on our toes and allow our job to be different every single day.
For example, last night I took twenty students to an escape room in Thessaloniki. On Sunday night, I am running our first residence Community Council meeting, and next weekend will be facilitating a service learning activity centered on awareness of human trafficking.
My job is to advise, teach, and support 100 students who are currently experiencing something very similar to this (see video below), and I absolutely love it!
Life lately involves a whole lot of feta cheese and Greek salads. Beautiful nightly sunsets enjoyed from the balcony of my room. Daily interactions with this wonderful group of staff and students. And attempts at speaking just a little more Greek each and every day.