Yes, I know, I stopped writing. I’ve started countless posts that I’ve abandoned halfway through. I went to Greece with the passionate intention to write about my experience, it’s just that, I’m not sure how to verbalize it, how to share it. I arrived in Leros and jumped into an exciting, emotional, overwhelming, and sad tornado that consumed me until the moment I boarded a tiny plane back to Athens. It’s taken me a few weeks of aimlessly wandering around Europe to sort it all out. Continue reading “Silence”
Barbed wire. Fences and barbed wire. A cement court surrounded by imposing fences and barbed wire. A policed metal gate opens up to gravel, concrete, metal containers and barbed wire. A military truck dumps crates of bread on the slab of concrete surrounded by barbed wire – breakfast. Children run around on the gravel, playing on rocks in the confined, fenced-in camp. All I see is barbed wire. Surely this is a prison. No? A refugee camp you call it. Hotspot, a prison to some – Syrians, Kurds, Palestinians, Iranians, Pakistanis a refugee camp to others. A border, separation. Continue reading “Barbed Wire”
Queen of the Castle
Sunday morning I wake up with a busy mind and a desire to get lost. I grab a cappuccino freddo and set out on foot towards a distant castle, somewhere on the island. Dodging motorbikes, I ascend a road along the edge of a cliff, looking down at the maze of houses below, stretching out to the ocean. Indeed I get lost, looking for a path that will lead me to the castle. After making countless wrong turns, I realize the path I’m looking for isn’t a road, but a narrow staircase pathway. What seemingly is an entrance to a house is really a secret stairway leading to a quaint village on a beach. Continue reading “Queen of the Castle”
POC, Refugee, Resident
Seemingly, everyone I’ve met since landing in Athens has an opinion about the refugee crisis in Greece – locals, Uber drivers, NGO’s, police, and refugees themselves. Opinions are freely shared with me once I disclose what I’m doing here (teaching yoga in a refugee camp) and I listen, hesitating to form an opinion until I’ve had my own experience on the island of Leros, my home for the next month or so. Continue reading “POC, Refugee, Resident”
What Am I Doing?
Great question. Also, one of the most frequently asked questions along with how old I am (followed by why are you not married) and how I feel about Trump. Most frequently my answer is I don’t know- depending on who I am talking to and when. I still don’t have answers for most of these questions, but I do know what I am doing, for the next few months at least. Continue reading “What Am I Doing?”
I had already taught 2 classes, been bitten by a slobbery baby, gotten my hair pulled, braided, and tied in knots, and it’s my last kids yoga class of the day- I’m out. I finally get all the kiddos to make a circle (ten minutes later) when I feel a little hand grabbing my leg. I go to brush the hand away so I could teach, a little annoyed, and then saw the culprit. Continue reading “Azola”
“Close your eyes”
Uh, alright. I can feel the group of 8-10 year old eyes looking intently my face. I open my eyes to thier intrigued glances. Perfect almond shaped brown eyes studying me.
“Close them again” Continue reading “Purple”
East Side, West Side
When you enter Langa Township, the first thing you see is a brand new public housing complex that is quite nice. The government has stepped in and replaced settler communities with new public housing. 50% of the housing for Cape Town residents and 50% for migrants from the East. At first I didn’t understand the dynamics of this, but it became clear as I made my way through Langa.
Alright, South Africa- you finally won me over. For whatever reason my first week here I was feeling a bit off, uncomfortable about where I was and what I was doing. It doesn’t feel like what I know of Africa here, it’s more Western, developed, and there are a bunch of white people that speak English (I’m not a muzungu anymore). Maybe I should have gone somewhere (like Tanzania) that I’m more comfortable? Continue reading “Game On”
Surfs up- and I’m down. Nothing turns out the way I think it will be. I had visions of myself killing it- surfing like a pro on the perfect waves of the warm South African ocean in the sun. Well. That was a nice vision, but not quite reality. Continue reading “Surf’s Up”