Saturday-Sunday. July 26-7, 2014:
Message of the day: I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.
Yasas! Today marks the beginning of Week 2 for our 100th Greece service team. The 16 of us who were here for Week 1 are welcoming a new member today who was unable to join us last week. Another Week 2 change is that several team members will be serving disabled adults and children at a different facility just outside Amadourra and not making the 20-minute daily morning walk to the summer camp school with the rest of us. But, in step with the Global Volunteer philosophy, we have a flexible team that is adapting to local timing and needs and ready to use their therapy education and experience to serve this special community.
Three of our 7 team goals are fun, cultural learning and connections. Based on stories shared around the dinner table last night from team members who dispersed into several different areas of Greece for weekend excursions, we moved a long way down the road of fulfilling these 3 goals. About half the team took ferry and plane rides to Santorini and soaked in the serene natural and built beauty for which that island is so well-known (. . .oh, and there might have been a donkey and ATV ride or two woven in there somewhere). Two members spent the weekend among the world-reknown ruins and Plaka shopping district of Athens. Two others used our Handakas Hotel as a base for venturing out in a rental car to explore churches, monasteries and traditional Cretan villages in the region. Still others traveled 2 ½ hours west of Heraklion to the island’s second largest city of Hania to explore the bustling streets and alleys of Hania’s shopping district and to hike the 16km Samaria Gorge.
The cultural learning and connections goals have also been woven into this past weekend. Whether it’s been through serendipitous interactions with shopkeepers, village women serving traditional cake on Name Day or witnessing Greek Orthodox services, our team went a little deeper into connecting with the Cretan people. We came back together as a team today, having our souls touched in more meaningful ways by the people of Greece.