After three missed flights, a few extra dollars spent on change fees, and an unfortunate turn of events in my mom's car, I finally arrived in Greece. Although I arrived to Crete a few days late, I was greeted with hugs and much love from our hosts at the institute.
I have learned a lot about the culture here on the island. For instance, the seemingly innate generosity that at times becomes too kind- if there is such a thing. In my 21 years, I have never felt so unable to reciprocate all that has been done for me.
I have learned how to say several things in Greek. The list is as follows:
Με λένε Diane. (Pronounced may len-ay; My name is ____).
Τι κάνεισ (Pronounced tee-kan-ees; How are you?)
Είμαι μαθαίνω ελληνικών (Pronounced ee-may ma-then-oh ell-en-eek-ah; I'm learning Greek).
I intend for this list to grow, but what it lacks in length it makes up for in heart- trust me. I am receiving a lot of positive encouragement despite my thick accent and incorrectly stressed syllables.
I have learned that there is nothing more difficult to follow than geopolitics during the cold war period. Period.
I have learned that the Mediterranean diet is the only diet I shall ever hunger for again. Who would have known yogurt on a lovely slice of fresh bread would become the base of my food pyramid? (Don't knock it until you have tried it).
The whole experience here in Crete has been overwhelmingly positive. The group here at the institute is composed of the best possible people, and from birthday celebrations to early goodbyes, (our friend Jack was a student at the institute last year and is now a world traveler who has left us for Budapest), we have become a litte family of sorts- in every sense of the word- pranks and bickering included.
αντίο για τώρα
(Goodbye for now)
This was taken at the end of our trip on Sunday, after the Samaria Gorge hike.