Stark Contrast

Last month, I was having dinner at a friend’s house and was given a chilling reminder about where I am in the world. I’ve spoken many times on this blog about the confusion that exists within me due to the stark contrast between the beauty of the island I live on and the disturbing politicsContinue reading “Stark Contrast”

300 Single Men

Our tiny volunteer team is beginning to wear down ever so slightly during this hectic week, but we’re powering through! Three new volunteers will arrive tomorrow morning on the flight from Athens and we’ll be reinvigorated by our first set of newbies since the new year has begun. With the Hotspot beyond capacity at theContinue reading “300 Single Men”

News from the Waters

Living on one of the Greek islands that hosts refugees means that I constantly pay attention to something called “Aegean Boat Report”, a website that gives accurate and up-to-date information about the number of refugees crossing on boats illegally from Turkey to the nearby Greek islands. New information is posted in real time, but atContinue reading “News from the Waters”

Late Night Bonding, Early Morning Reflecting

The waitress brings out a tray held leisurely at her side to the table I’m sitting at out in the sunshine on the porch of the cafe. She’s probably about 50 years old and has her hair pulled into a ponytail and is waiting tables in sweatpants, which gives permission to the patrons to be atContinue reading “Late Night Bonding, Early Morning Reflecting”

Visa Issues: The Worst

Perhaps one of the most interesting pieces of long-term travel is VISAS. Yes, the dreaded visas. The United States grants its citizens one of the 10 most “powerful” passports in the world, effectively giving us the ability to travel to more than 170 nations without having to obtain a visa. This is something I amContinue reading “Visa Issues: The Worst”

The Simplicity of Driving

Many days, after I’ve finished teaching English, I become a driver. I just kind of morph into something new. I like this. As volunteers, we do a variety of different things. But my favorite combination of tasks is teaching English in the morning and then driving in the afternoon. After being in the classroom, evenContinue reading “The Simplicity of Driving”

The Complexity of Teaching

It’s 12:00 on a Monday and I’ve got that familiar feeling of excitement coursing through my blood. It’s a feeling that I have only experienced consistently in my life while operating a classroom. After three days off, I was happy to get back into the swing of things this morning; I always am. For oneContinue reading “The Complexity of Teaching”

Leros, the Life Metaphor

February is about to conclude. This seems odd to me because I feel like I’ve been on this tiny island in the Mediterranean for much longer than just six weeks. In this brief span of time, I’ve witnessed more than two dozen volunteers come and go. Some stayed for stretches of time, prior to myContinue reading “Leros, the Life Metaphor”

Two Dead Bodies and the Problem of the Season

Oversharing. This is something that happens a little too frequently here on Leros. For my liking, yes, but also in terms of program rules. As volunteers, we need to be careful about how close we become to the residents that we work with everyday. This is something that I will try to elaborate on moreContinue reading “Two Dead Bodies and the Problem of the Season”

Language is Not a Barrier

Working around such incredible people is inspiring. It also makes me want to be a better person and do more with my life. I’m realizing, as I grow older, that if I don’t set out to do the things that I feel as though I’ll eventually get to, they may never happen at all. AndContinue reading “Language is Not a Barrier”