I had such good intentions for this first full week in Greece. I was headed back to work, and I had something planned for every night! And then I caught this weird flu/cold bug that’s been going around Athens.
I spent all day Sunday and Monday in bed. This illness was especially untimely because of jet lag. I couldn’t sleep at night, and I found it all too easy to sleep until 5:00 p.m. Nightmare.
By Tuesday I felt well enough to go to work, both because I wanted to and because I knew I had to break my sleep cycle. It was WONDERFUL. I got to meet our newest participants, I got caught up on everything from the past month, and I got to go to a bunch of meetings. I love meetings, is that odd?
After work, I met Kendra for coffee to catch up. She’s leaving Greece permanently-ish (the -ish is mostly wishful thinking) in August, so I was able to give her “how to take care of yourself while adjusting to the States” advice. Then I bragged about how with DayQuil and NyQuil I had conquered my sickness in two days, and oh how sad that you are still sick with yours two weeks later.
On Wednesday I woke up feeling like death again. I did go to work, where I talked so much that I lost my voice. I did not go to Bible study that night, and slept all evening instead.
On Thursday I felt better! Wow, it’s like there is a direct correlation between sleeping for massive amounts of time and feeling healthier. I went to work and taught my favorite class, Self-Esteem. We talked about the different categories of negative people in life. Our newest participant said that she has a lot of Two-Faced people in her life, people who seem nice and friendly but who actually want to use her. I pointed out that it must be hard to be at HD, because hey, we’re all acting nice and friendly, but why should she trust us? She looked away, smiled, and said yes. It is overwhelming, sometimes, to realize how much we ask of these women, and how easily it is to hurt them again. They are so much stronger and more resilient than I will ever be, and I hope so much that my dumb selfishnesses will not hurt them more than my shaky love might heal them.
Since I was riding high, I went to book club with my friends. We planned it back in December when a bunch of us went to a bazaar to buy cheap books and realized we all wanted to be in a book club. Of course, because it is Greece, it took an hour for everyone to arrive (including one person getting lost, one rescue mission, and one car stalling in the middle of the road blocking twenty angry motorists). Then we ordered food, spilled wine on a white tablecloth, Googled how to get it out with salt, and anyway it was 10:00 p.m. before we got to the actual book (Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton) part of the book club.
Surprise, surprise, my late night cost me big! When I showed up to work on Friday, one of the participants told me in Greek, “You look horrible!” It was both encouraging and discouraging that I understood her. Luckily my coworker came to my rescue and volunteered to take my period later in the day, so I went home early and slept all day after cancelling my plans to see Rogue One (I am never going to see Rogue One, apparently).
On Saturday, Olga made me – oh wait. I haven’t talked about Olga, my roommate! She’s awesome. For instance, she made me soup on Saturday for lunch, and when she came to tell me it was ready and found me asleep at 2:00 p.m., she waited another 45 minutes so she could eat with me. She’d set up an adorable table setting and everything, it was so wonderful.
I cancelled more plans for Saturday night, but then Tatiana and Natasha (former roommates) came over. We all talked for a couple hours, and when it got to be 10 I kicked them out because I was sleepy, but then Olga and I sat on the kitchen floor and discussed the theology of animal souls (my favorite topic, I cannot resist it!). I have decided that this is a good friendship test: if you have fun sitting on cold linoleum with them, probably they are a pretty good sort of person.
That was my week: high expectations rarely met. But I’m so glad to be back, and I hope next week involves fewer sore throats and less sleeping.