In the past two decades I am so humbled to say I’ve had support as I have grown, developed, and matured in the good graces of my family and people who I’m incredibly thankful to call friends. My time abroad in Greece has now been a little over two months and the amount of experience I’ve gained is so difficult to put into words. The last few weeks I’ve traveled to Rome and different parts of Greece, a country I find myself speechless and in awe of everyday. Not only the beautiful landscape of the sea a short hike away from my residence, but also the mountainous areas that hold amazing beauty. This experience is unique as I mentioned in my last blog the country’s political standing and many changes occurring. I have found it difficult to see the poverty and the struggle of the country because of the area I live in and of course, it is not a great or safe place to go and look for the suffering of others due to economic down fall. The neighborhood Agia Paraskevi is where a place where the country’s deficit has not caused too many repercussions due to the wealth and luxury of the area before the crisis.
However, I have crossed paths twice now with demonstrations in the city center of Athens, called Monistraki, and have witnessed a variety of protesters. The first protest I witnessed weekend after the Greek elections concluded and people dressed in all black carrying banners and wooden batons walked and chanted down the street. In shock of what was taking place around me I thought it best not to whip out my phone and take pictures or video and simple kept walking. The cultural environment surprisingly made me feel intuitive and wanting to know what was the reason for this, and I’m sad to report I never found out exactly the reasons for the people coming together this way. The other demonstration was much more of a rally or almost “town meeting” type of gathering. I remember as I was headed down to the metro after having spent an afternoon walking around the city center trying my best to fit in with the busyness of the people of Athens. Banners were strung across the railings of the top of the metro entrance in front of the capital building I remember seeing the first weekend in Athens. People weren’t chanting, people weren’t dressed in a uniform color of clothing and the day was shifting from late afternoon to evening. The two events I cannot forget even though they were a pinch of a moment in time coming in and out of my physical presence in the blink of an eye. The even stranger part for both moments’ people ebbed and flowed through the sidewalks and in and out of the metro as if nothing out of the ordinary was going on around them. And they just kept moving forward.
As always be kind,