Thursday, September 29, 2016


I just realized it's been a week since I last posted a blog entry. Sorry--there's been a lot going on to talk about, but I've been pretty busy and falling behind. For one thing, after I get home from a day at the camp (roughly 1:30 pm to 11:00 pm--long but I can sleep to a humane hour) I generally get into some sort of political discussion with one or more people at the hostel. I've met some incredible people, many of whom have since become involved. There are two German guys I really hit it off with, Max and Joel, who donated medical supplies before heading off to a perma-culture workshop. They both worked in the ambulance service in Germany and have expressed interest in volunteering when they get back to Athens.

Bonnie is from New York, and was in Athens for some kind of neuro-science conference. She explained it but I didn't get it enough to remember it, really. When I told her what I was doing in Athens, she was eager to help. Bonnie was particularly interested in our plans for a library and is talking to friends in the publishing business and has interested a Brooklyn teacher in coordinating a project with Elea and her high school service learning class.

Then there was the "Kiwi" (New Zealander), and with him, the Australian woman. Jamie was in the top bunk across from my bottom bunk when I came into the room after camp one night. We introduced ourselves and he asked me how I was. I responded tired and he wanted to know why. Well, of course that led into a longish conversation about the refugee situation, and Jamie expressed an interest in volunteering. Normally, Project Elea (and most of the other volunteer groups) don't take people who don't commit for at least a week, but a large group had just gone home and we were a little short on volunteers and I got the okay for Jamie to join us. I was going in early the next morning to do some sorting in our chaotic storage space--we needed to fill some gaps in our clothes distribution room--so Jamie was going to follow at the regular time. I got a call from him telling me about Katie, an Australian woman who had worked in a refugee group home in Germany. She had experience, and as I said, we were short-handed, so Katie got the okay too.

The Elea coordinators were happy they said okay. Katie was great for the couple of days she was there. Jamie is still there and will do his first supervisory shift tomorrow. He came for two days and is now finishing up his first week and thinking about staying longer. He has about three more weeks on his visa, and he still hasn't made it to Delphi, his original plan for last Friday.

And then there's Vasilis, an artist who works the night shift at the hostel and is hooking up Project Elea with a museum to hold an art show of refugee works. There seems to be something about hoteliers named Vasilis in Greece...

It's amazing how the networks grow...