Natasha moved in! Technically she moved in Sunday, but I’ll talk about it all here. It’s so nice to have a roommate, especially one who speaks English as their native language. On Sunday night we talked and talked, and I showed her around the neighborhood. On Monday I left work for a while to take her to the laiki – street market – that we have in the area every week. She would whisper to me, “Listen to what they say,” when the sellers gave the price, and it was super weird to be in a position of knowledge. Sometimes knowledge. Good enough knowledge!
Anthi took me to Jumbo after work (the Greek version of Walmart), and I bought a bunch of kitten supplies!! Kendra texted me that she petted my little stray kitten, so hopefully within a week or so, it will be person-friendly enough to be caught. I’ve been reading up on how to domesticate a wild kitten, and I’m super excited. Also nervous, because he or she is a little beat up, BUT. My theology of animals demands that I give love where it is needed, not where it is convenient. I’ve been brainstorming names. I cannot wait to have a little bundle of fur in my home again!
Tuesday was stressful! I got up early to finish some work before work actually began, because I spent the day going back and forth to my house as minor construction projects got finished. The day got considerably less stressful when some Texan college boys came to HD, and I commandeered them into helping me move a bed and construct a garment rack for Natasha.
I love boys! I love American boys! I love their dumb need to impress, to tease each other for their mistakes, to laugh at my jokes. I love when they smile up at me before intentionally making a mistake, and I love bonding over things we miss in America.
Flirting. That’s what I mean. I love flirting.
Anyway, after flirting, I went home to Natasha who said, “Let’s get take out and watch a movie!” This is, by FAR, my favorite thing about roommates. I love impromptu food + entertainment.
I had my Greek lesson with Maria followed by Bible study at Kendra’s house. I really love these nights – they make me feel like I’m really starting to have my own life here unconnected from HD. Not that HD is bad, but…I don’t think it’s particularly healthy to have your entire life revolve around work or work people.
It was also really great timing, because we studied Galatians 6, which has a verse about, “Let us not grow weary of doing good…” and through discussion I realized how much I’ve been worrying about HD moving toward an all-Greek Day Program. My worries are two-fold, that I’ll either have to kill myself learning Greek (which I think could only be done by dropping out of HD to study full-time again), or else my job changing at HD in the future. And like, that isn’t even that awful. It might even be nice to not divide my time between the communication stuff with Dina and the Day Program classes. BUT it’s a change that I can’t control, and so I’ve been thinking things like, “maybe I shouldn’t pursue staying in Greece another year.”
But when I realized that this thought was coming from fear, I rebelled against it. I NEVER want to make a decision based in fear (I do so all the time, but I never want to). So. Yay for mental clarifications!
What a day! After work I met Marilia downtown for an eating (burritos and ice cream) and shopping (home goods and lipstick) spree. Marilia is super cute and fashionable bold without being intimidating, so I asked her to show me her ways. I came away with two shades of lipstick that I will attempt to occasionally wear because I want to be more confident in my femininity! And in my case, femininity definitely means wearing lipstick while inhaling burritos and ice cream.
Then I met up with Dina to spend 9:00-11:00 in the downtown brothel area. Dina is taking each of us HDers to join an established organization at least once, because it’s extremely important for us to see the place and the life from which girls are coming to us. It was….man, I still don’t really have the words. But I’m going to attempt to put something together and write a separate blog post about it sometime next week.
After work, I went home and stayed home!!!!! I have been DYING from social exhaustion. It turns out having a social life again is hard enough on an introvert…added to that is the whole culture shock “HaHA, extroverts will become introverts and introverts will become even MORE introverted” phenomenon, and anyway, I really needed a day of being completely alone. Natasha was away on a work retreat, too, so I had the whole apartment to myself. Lovely.
Today I’m meeting up with Kendra, Marilia, and Dawn to discuss a young women’s small group that focuses on the topics we’re most scared to discuss. I don’t know what my full involvement will be (since I’m not a member at their church), but I’m excited to contribute in any way possible!
Hopefully after that I’ll return home and have a little more alone time before the month really begins. It’s going to be a crazy month (of good things, I think!) and I want to fill my emotional battery while I can.