Looking Forward to Greece

One of my DTS friends recently decided that she and her husband are moving to England instead of staying in Texas.  I freaked out, screaming, “Oh my gosh, that’s amazing!  You’re going to live in England!  That is such a cool opportunity!  I’m so jealous!”

She stared at me for a moment.  “Tricia.  You’re moving to Greece.”

I gasped.  “You’re right!  I’m so cool!”

I was flabbergasted.  I guess I’ve been so involved in the planning, and worrying about the fundraising (donate here!), and thinking very practically that I forgot:  I’m moving to Greece.  I’m going to live in Athens for a whole year!  This is literally a bucket list experience (which I would prove with a picture of my bucket list notebook, but it is already packed for my move to Peoria), and I don’t think I’m appreciating it enough.

Luckily, I have friends like Michal, who share my love of traveling (read about our Puerto Rico vacation or our New Orleans weekend) and ask me, “What in Greece are you most excited about?”  Well, here’s my top five.  Continue reading

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Bible College Fight Club

When I was twelve years old, I fell in love with Fight Club.  The plot blew my teenage brain, Brad Pitt was overwhelmingly attractive, and the anarchist violence appealed to something some dark part of me.  I watched the movie four times in a week before my mom realized the content of my latest obsession, and she forbade me from seeing it again.  It was too late.  The movie was deeply ingrained in my psyche.

Fourteen years later, I sat on my bed at a Bible College in Greece when my American roommate said she was going downstairs to a fight club.  Continue reading

A Greek Husband

Before I left for Athens, my grandparents called to say goodbye.  “Just don’t marry a Greek man!” my grandma said.

“But that’s my plan!” I answered.

“Tricia can marry whoever she wants,” my grandpa said.

I knew what my grandma was worried about.  “If I do marry a Greek man,” I assured her.  “I’ll make sure he is okay with frequent trips to Peoria so we can see you often.”

“Okay,” she said.  “Just make sure he’s a Christian.”  Continue reading

Greek Time

I’m pretty sure my body was made for Greece.  Once I got over jet lag, the pace of a typical Greek day (at least, according to the school at which I was staying) was exactly what I would choose if I could schedule the world.  Everything is two hours later than usual, and I LOVE IT.  My typical day at the Bible College went something like this:

8:30    Wake up, eat breakfast, slowly get ready for the day.
10:00  Work and/or classes start.
11:30  Snack and socializing break.
12:00  Back to work.
2:00    Lunch time!
3:00    Back to work.6:00    Finish work and hang out for a while.
8:00    Eat dinner!
9:00    Socialize, finish projects, whatever.
12:00  Bedtime.

Three other North Americans were visiting at the same time as me (two Canadians and one USian).  Several times they expressed surprise (and dismay) at the schedule or slyly over-mentioned how weird it was to eat lunch at 2:00.  Not me!  I fully embrace the Greek lifestyle, and I plan to subtly complain about the weird American system for now on.

If you could force the world to adapt to your personalized schedule, what would it look like?

Blog Silence

I have been in meetings all day yesterday and today.  Tomorrow is even longer, and Saturday we have exit interviews.  I know myself better than I ever have before, and I think my teammates are the coolest women on the planet. However, it’s hard to talk much about what exactly I’m experiencing.  So much of it is deeply emotional, and I don’t like to talk about those sorts of experiences without first processing everything.  And since we’re in the middle of our evaluations, there is no way for me to process things!  Continue reading

Flying First Class for the First Time

When I printed my boarding pass after checking in online, I was surprised to see the my seat number labeled “Check at Gate.” I didn’t think much of it, and the next day I worked my way through DFW to Gate E30. As boarding began and I realized everyone else knew their seat assignment, I went to the gate desk to ask for help. The man behind the counter looked at my boarding pass, said, “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you,” and told me to sit down for the next few minutes. The minutes passed, and everyone had boarded the plane but me.

The desk guy butchered my name as he called me to the desk, handed me a new boarding pass, and said, “Enjoy first class.” I checked the slip of paper. Seat 2D. FIRST CLASS?? Hyperventilating with the sort of excitement that fears a cruel joke is just around the corner, I walked onto the plane. Sure enough, two seats from the very front of the aircraft was an empty seat. My seat.  Continue reading