Greece-y Recap

Carla

Twelve FULL days on an organic farm that isn’t really an organic farm, but rather a hotel in a village near Thessaloniki. The  hotel that is run by a spirited Italian woman named Sonia. Previously she had a very urban life. So, this hotel adventure in a secluded and small town has changed the background, but she always looks FABULOUS! She reminds me of the wife on Green Acres for this reason!

I used to watch this with my Grandma when I was a little girl. The best thing about this show, in my opinion—and remember this is through the eyes of a 7 or 8 year old, the wife who has instantaneous wardrobe changes into extravagant and elegant gowns! Sonia always looks terrific. Praying for Sonia, her hotel, Kai, Mathieu, and Brook—all tremendously special people.

Firsts. I have learned QUITE a lot here! Each day I think of my Mama. Growing up in North Dakota I called her “Mom”. And only in the past 10 years did I begin calling her “Mama”. This began as a bit of a joke, but as when one jokes about things? Sometimes they just catch on! So I think of my Mom and wish I had been a better student. My Mom knows SO much about all the things that I am doing: transplanting plants, keeping the pool, making marmalade, canning, gardening, how to plant lettuce and onions, composting, cooking ect. ect. I wish she was here sharing this experience with me!

·         A week ago I learned how to drive a four wheeler—they call them “Quads” here. This was VERY exciting and I’m not sure why this was my first time because it was SO exhilarating!

·         A less fun, but also a first that makes me square my shoulders and stand up a little taller: not ONLY scaling but ALSO gutting a fish. Yep. Your vegetarian friend (that’s me) learned how to clean a fish. I made a ridiculous face the ENTIRE time I did it, but would clean another fish if I had to. Oh, yes. And about being a vegetarian? Not so much here lately. I find myself making exceptions and not feeling badly about them.  

·         I also freestyled a sugar cookie recipe utilizing local fruit (plum, fig, peach—YUM!) and then drizzled mint chocolate over the cookie with Ian. 

·         Went swing dancing at a Greek wedding with the other volunteers and two Italian women who were staying at the hotel!

·         There is a bird watching station near Sonia’s hotel SO Ian, Kai, and myself went on a four-wheel adventure seeking flamingos. Did we find them? No. But? God is teaching me that the journey is of (at least) equal importance as the destination or goal. Enjoy your journey.

Things I find quite interesting:

·         A little over ten years ago this hotel was used for sex trafficking—women were held here against their will. Though the people here have nothing to do with what happened in the past sometimes the spiritual atmosphere gets heavy. While in Southeast Asia many of our ministry emphasis were justice focused with women in the sex industry, so I find it interesting to be in a place that is being redeemed from what it once was.

·         Before embarking on my discipleship training school through YWAM I was actually in the middle of the application process of joining Peace Corps. So, talking with Brook is quite interesting about her time and what Peace Corps has meant to her.

·         TOMORROW I will be in Turkey attending a Strategic Mission School. Wow!

For my last night we had a special dinner on the roof. This was SO special! Candle light, a full moon, delicious food, great conversation, and people that a year ago? I didn’t know. People I have grown to care about very much. Saying goodbye to Ian, Sonia and her hotel, and Kai was difficult this morning—I know it shouldn’t but the tears still surprise me. Sharing everyday  life with these people has been such a blessing. I drove away with Sonia on her four wheeler to head on to my next adventure: Turkey and the School of Strategic Missions.

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