My dad and sister told me they were going to be about an hour and a half late from picking me up from Logan Airport. After the goodbyes, I walked back upstairs to departures, found an empty seat, and finally hit pause. Between editing, sleeping, and watching “Get Out” on the journey back, I didn’t really give myself a chance to enter the post-trip reflective mode.
To my left, I witnessed a group of students say goodbye to their loved ones, and witnessed their first group picture as they headed off to a far away land. 5 weeks ago that was us. I started to recall the small moments of May 9. I remember watching Hsiang Yu race in with her bags exploding with food. I remember Cody and I humbly bragging to each other of the fact that we only packed 12 kg. I remember making small talk with Danny asking him about his past co-op at NEC, even though he never shared that detail with me. I later realized I only knew that info from his bio. Awkward. I remember some of us chasing after a cute airport mouse during our long wait for boarding.
From our first night out on the boat in Thessaloniki, I knew that this group was top notch. There was already a sense of comradery after only being in Greece for 2 days. This feeling continued for the following 5 weeks and I’m grateful for every single person that decided to come on this trip. From the countless times we walked around the city looking for dinner, trapped in our group indecisiveness to coming home and seeing 10 of us frantically editing articles/ videos for an upcoming deadline, I’ll miss it all.
An fuzzy wuzzy to Olivia: The past week you haven’t been next to me as I wake up and I’m still not used to it. Thank you for being an angel roommate. (Thank you Carlene for the roommate pairing success). I’ll miss your old lady side to side back cracks before you go to sleep. I’m going to miss you noticing my embarrassing quirks…like the fact that I put my dirty clothes in the lock box in Titania because I didn’t have a laundry bag. As a journalist, your remarkable persistence and dedication to the stories you worked on inspired me. And as a dear soul seester, I’ll hold on to all the laughs and late night, half-asleep talks that will bring me back to Greece, even when you’ll be far away in India..
A big shoutout to the wonderful staff of the American College of Thessaloniki, specifically to Theo, Maria, Kristina, and Yvonne. Kristina, you ran all the way back home from your date with your boyfriend to help two locked-out idiots from our bedroom. Theo, your passion for stories without a doubt helped us shape our own. Maria, I won’t forget the warm classroom environment you created, where we got to share the excitement about all the hidden gems of Greek culture. Yvonne, thank you for enlightening us about the history of ancient Greece as well as the cultural landmarks of Athens. You gave each sight new value.
A special thank you to Carlene, Mike, and Danny. As students, we are not fully aware of all that goes on behind the scenes. All of the planning that went on months before we even signed up, all the planning that happened throughout the 5 weeks, and even days after we have arrived home in creating the new site featuring all of our refugee crisis content. I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for your time, support, and endless patience. This dialogue was so blessed to have three mentors who each worked tirelessly (into the early hours of the morning) to see us all succeed.