Living in Greece, Personal, Travel

A Week in Greece #38: EVERYTHING IS LOOKING UP

It’s amazing what having time with friends and having renewed interest in work can do to make a girl feel better.

Work

This week we finally had resolution on a major issue that has been in the air for THREE MONTHS.  It was one of those things that affects you in such a subtle way that you don’t even realize it was bothering you until it’s gone.

And in addition to that – we welcomed our fourth participant into HD!!  The story of how she escaped from her trafficker is crazyballs as always, and it is all kinds of rewarding to get to be a part of her life as she chooses health and recovery.  We’re in the first stage where she’s trying to impress us and be especially good, which obviously is easiest, but I’m looking forward to the day when she is comfortable enough with us that she can get assertive.

Augh, this is always the worst, because there is SO MUCH to say, but not in a public forum that will live online forever.  The short story is: work is really great right now.

Greek

Well, I’m still learning.  I’m finally getting comfortable with Evangelia, my Greek teacher, which means when she explains a complicated grammatical issue in Greek, I feel okay saying, “Alright, I’m done.  See you in a couple days!”  Of course, next week is my last week of lessons with her, so.  Just when you get used to a person…

On the plus side, she said that I’m just two or three concepts away from knowing pretty much all of Greek grammar!  Which is great, except that she said my vocabulary needs a lot of building up.  It’s all super true and makes total sense.  Grammar is the stuff I can study and categorize in the safety of my brain.  Vocabulary is nonsense that I have to speak out loud, and that doesn’t happen all that often.

Friends

The week started really well – at church on Sunday, Janet sat beside me, making me feel a lot less like a fly on the wall.  There were three new Americans at the service, so seven of us ex-pats went out to lunch together.  One of the new Americans paid for all of us on the sly.  He’s married with kids and a steady job – I really appreciate when people who have their life together treat those of us who don’t.

Luciana came back from Hungary, and after work on Tuesday we went out to lunch to catch up.  I have been avoiding taking my wheelie cart down to the main road to buy Hans Harrison cat food and litter because I…can’t…do it on my own?  (God, I hope I’m not slipping into agoraphobia.)  But anyway, since we were walking together, I took it, and I bought everything in less than five minutes, which made me feel stupid for all the days (cough weeks) that I’ve been avoiding it.

We had another Bible study on Wednesday night that went from 8:30 – 11:30.  I REALLY love this time of female theologians studying Revelations.  It was also CRAZY encouraging to see how my view of God and Scripture has changed.  We read the letters to Ephesus and Smyrna (in chapter 2) and people kept talking about God’s judgment and how we have to be careful, and I kept saying, “No, but I feel like this is so comforting, like a hug.  Jesus LOVES them.”  It’s like I’m actually starting to believe in this grace thing after all, without even having to force my brain to go there.

Several of us live along the blue line, so we got to go home together, and there is something so lovely about walking down the street with a group of friends late at night, laughing and sharing stories.  This is one of the main things I’ve been missing – I have a lot of individual friends, but I also love a good group dynamic.

A similarly nice thing happened on Friday, when I went to the open house for the organization that Luciana helped create on the days she’s not at HD.  Janet was there – she works for the same overarching ministry (all the ministries are hopelessly intertwined and I always wind up finding someone I know at a random event).  I stayed until 11:00 again, and Janet and Luciana and I planned to get together for dinner and to read some Icelandic sagas (because Janet is British/French but grew up in Iceland and I couldn’t be more jealous).

Luciana and Giorgos drove me the 40 minutes to the metro near their house, but we just missed one and had half an hour to kill.  They drove me around Koropi, and we talked about how they might be moving in with me soon.  I really hope that happens – all I want in a living situation is to have a bunch of my favorite people in the same space as me, and this is a great step in that direction.  If they wind up finding a place of their own, I was talking with this other girl at the open house who said she needed a roommate, so Hans and I will have someone new around soon either way, I hope!


Next week should also be great:  Kendra and I are going to drink wine on a hilltop overlooking Athens as “payment” for me catsitting one night, and Sarah will come visit!  We’re hopefully going to go to Meteora next weekend, which would be AMAZING.  That’s been at the top of my list of places I want to see in Greece the WHOLE YEAR.

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