To start with the truth, I was a little scared of how December would go. It was my first Christmas without my family and in my life these holidays were really important. However, I’m very proud, thankful and happy to say that this has been the happiest Christmas of my life. Even if I don’t remember well I know I had other really good Christmas until now since for me it’s the time when I finally get to reunite with my family members that are not from Madrid, do traditions with the close ones like eating a lot and just relax from the school ordinary routine. I talk about my past to make you understand why my life here is completely out of my “normality” or comfort zone and that is what makes it the most special experience.
Of course, I had lots of ups and downs but everything was so worthy that I cannot even process that I am leaving in a few days and I will never repeat this again. With this I mean not only how I feel (because of that I care a lot about what I write or the photos that I’m sure I’ll watch over and over my whole life), but also the reasons why and that’s even more difficult to describe. My experience is limited by the moment I live and my surroundings. I could come back to Thessaloniki any moment of my life, for example, another Christmas, but it will never be the same because when I say it’s special I’m mostly referring to the unique people that accompanied me in this period and made a difference in myself.
Even if I like Greece and in general meeting new people, I don’t regret choosing me over the friends that I could have met. I decided to spend my time with the people I cared about more and that makes me focus on my volunteering project. However, at the beginning of the month my German friend Raquel came to visit for a week. I was a bit anxious to present her and have a good time in the city that I had lived in for 5 months but still don’t know like a local. Surprisingly, the plans that we made were perfect also for me in order to recapitulate what I had been doing in the past months and behave more like a tourist again. I took her to the spots that I like the most. Places that I wanted to go but I hadn’t found time such as the forest (also with my Greek friend Athina), the not so close but beautiful thermal baths of Pozar and different restaurants to take a look into the traditional food. And of course introducing her to my Afgan friends that came twice from the shelter because of the new Christmas decorations around the city (just watch in YouTube the moment when they light the Christmas tree on Aristotle’s square with a lot of fireworks). These days helped me a lot to not think about the hardest goodbye that was about to come on the 15th of December… When Alex left back to France.
It was difficult since I grew to love her a lot and I will always do since we share the same star and experiences with Alice. In this month my French roommate and I spent our precious time together doing not only things outside of Perea like a reggae concert that we went with the boys but also built beautiful memories in the living room (that you might feel with the photo I’ll add with the text). Repeating myself I have to say that every second with her was special because both her and our connection are unique. After she left, instead of being heartbroken like happened to both of us when Alice left, thanks to the Afghan boys and the social workers in Perea I didn’t get to feel alone. Even if I was the one doing all the way to Perea by three hours of bus, I went there more than ever. I had a plan with a friend to go on Christmas day to Katerini where we would meet and have fun with more young international people and the night of the 31 I was thinking to go out in Thessaloniki. However, I changed everything and stayed with the guys the whole important dates. Even if they had never celebrated it before the best decision I made was to stay with them and do it our own way. It was amazing how complete it was (so as I said I didn’t feel the urge to miss my other loved ones but that’s also due to the fact of the great amount of videocalls that I had with my parents, brothers and some friends). On the 24rd I celebrated the birthday of my Georgian friend Safiya, went to our favorite restaurant with my boss and flatmates and had traditional homemade dinner in the house of my German teacher. Waking up there (Angelochori) was incredible since it’s the most beautiful place to see the bay surrounded by nature. Afterwards, I went like “ho ho ho” to the shelter with chocolate to wish a happy day to all and then I took some of them with another friend and guys from other shelters for Christmas to the amusement park. It’s not that I created the Christmas spirit for them but the opposite, they absolutely made my day. And the same goes for the last day of the year when I decided to see the fires from the beach of Perea with them in the change of year. They stayed all the night up for me waiting to the 1st of January morning bus speaking, singing, watching a movie, playing cards and magic <3