I am in the land of gods and goddesses, temples and monasteries, bazoukis and kalamari. My family and I lived in Greece for the first half of 2001 while my dad took a sabbatical from work as a doctor in the Appalachian mountains. I was also here in 2008, backpacking on my way to U.S. after a summer working in Ramallah. Patrick and Paul both studied here during a semester abroad program with our university.
The Harding group travels out from Greece during their semester, and they came through Israel and Palestine last week. We met them in Bethlehem and showed them around Beit Sahour, taking them to the Al-Basma Center and our house for a slideshow presentation briefly summarizing history, current events, and the humanitarian crisis in Israel and occupied Palestine. Our second visa was approaching expiration, so we decided to accept an invitation to join them in Greece. We arrived here on Tuesday, on the same flight as the Harding group, and came with them to the old hotel-turned-campus in Porto Rafti, on the east coast of Greece. We've spent the past few days hiking through the green hills and long the clear coastline. And it's been incredibly refreshing and in-spiring. I will probably write a more detailed story about Greece at some point, but I have abundant notes for so many stories that I haven't been able to flesh out yet. I was hoping this trip would provide me with that opportunity, but green and slopes and the beach are calling much more enticingly.
Our return flight is this coming Tuesday, and then exactly two months left in the land between the river and the sea . . .