This month was full of nice activities and discoveries. For starters, the International Thessaloniki Film Festival took place and we could see several interesting movies that were in themselves a whole experience. I had the chance to watch a Greek film from the 80, Mania, and found it super interesting. I also got to share one of the movies of the festival with some of my students and it led to very interesting discussions on mental health and healthy relationships, with friends, sisters and partners.
One weekend, the ESC volunteers went together to Kavala, and enjoyed the sights of the city there. On our way back we stopped in Filippou to see the ruins and we were surprised by how big they were, although it was a bit sad that they had no archeologist in the team to keep on digging and preparing the place for the interpretation. The ruins were a jewel of the Roman era and they also held the first Christian church, and a bit of the Egnatia road. It was amazing to step on them and see them closely.This month also something great has happened. The center now has a full staff. Cleaning staff, teachers, social workers, psychologists, pedagogues and art educators, and all of the interns. Some new faces, a bit of confusion at the beginning that was overcome with motivation and commitment.
The youth support center now has lessons for biology and physics, greek, english, soft skills, digital skills, sports, human rights… In the mornings, the psychologist and social worker meet the families to hear their demands and help them fulfill their needs, and in the afternoon the place is full with children and teenagers of different ages attending lessons. More and more, the center is full with energy and the loud voices of children having fun and learning, and of course, teaching us something new everyday. It’s not an easy task to be up to their learning needs and styles, everyone is different and has different rhythms, but we try our best.
We keep on learning some Greek, and now I even find myself understanding some things and saying some others. It’s an interesting language to learn and while doing it I’m able to put myself in the shoes of my students, so I don’t forget how confusing it can be to begin with a new language.
I’m a bit afraid sometimes because time is going by super fast. Half of this experience has passed and I find myself thinking about how much I’m going to miss everyone. Then I stop myself… I still have half ahead! Let’s see what comes next this month!