It’s Sunday afternoon, 16:45 to be exact. I’m sitting here in my bed, in my hotel room, in Athens, Greece, and I have Christmas music playing. I am exhausted, both physically and especially mentally/emotionally. I don’t know if I have the words to define all of this, but I will try.
You see, I said goodbye to Guisi today as I put her on the bus to the airport to go back home to Italy. For Guisi, this has only been her second time travelling — her first time alone. She was excited, yet terrified. She knows there is a big world out there and wants to be a part of it. Trouble is, she loves home. Big trouble isn’t it?
Guisi and I literally ran around Athens for the last two days, trying to see as much of it as we could. Through the sunshine and the rain — and it rained! No coat — Guisi has one! No umbrella — Guisi will get you one! Not sure where we are at – Lynn will find out. Communicating between Italian, English, hand signals and a lot of laughter! And even a little Greek. One girl looked at us and said “Italian – English – how do you communicate?”. We put all our ‘differences’ aside and shared our similarities. We experienced probably what most people will never get the chance to – the other side. And we laughed!
We all talk about things, wanting to do things, but we never get there. The joy of being an American, we are always just too b But life does not wait, even when things do need to end, or change. My time travelling abroad is about to be my change. My time in Europe is my end. I am losing a piece of my heart. Smile here, please.
My first ‘friend’ in Athens was a dog. You see, the media, in its true form, has definitely not shown the loving side of this country. There are dogs everywhere here that people have had to abandon. YET, they are all well fed and even given medical attention if needed. The people of Greece are angry, like some others we know, but they have not stopped loving and taking care of one another. That’s where they fight! What a beautiful Christmas experience for me to be part of. Like having these last few days with Guisi. Scared, but still giving.
I will be leaving on Thursday morning for Thailand and then back to the states on Dec. 27th. I have people ask me about Christmas all the time, and then they do not know what to say when I tell them I will not be home for it. I guess I have been greedy in that I have been experiencing Christmas for weeks. The gift of seeing life, in all of its forms, is blessed. No other gift could compare to what I have experienced. I will be taking it all with me though, in my heart and my 7,000+ pictures!
My point of all of this to all of you reading – please share with your friends and your families for Christmas. Take care of that dog in the rescue program that needs a sponsor. Be like the NYPD officer who went and bought socks & boots for the homeless man – his first pair! Find something IMPORTANT to you, and make it Christmas. GIVE to someone who truly needs someone. Or something.
As Americans, like it or not, we still are the richest country. The biggest country. The best country. I could go on with what I have been told, but bottom line, the world is waiting on us. And they need US. Look again at “your” Christmas.
Thailand awaits and the beautiful elephants that had been living a life of abuse. I get to help take care of them, as they will take care of me. If you want to see more of what I’ll be doing, google StarfishVolunteers. Learn something new. I will not have internet availability so this is my sign-off. For now. 😉
Have a Merry, Merry Christmas.