All tagged Sejal Goes to Greece
This week was tough. Mentally, emotionally and physically. There were moments where I flung up my arms because I just didn't care any more. There were moments where inside I wanted to cry but I kept it together and kept it moving. There were moments where I had to drag my limbs to take that next step and to keep it going. This week was tough. But I made it. I'm here. If you're reading this, I'm still here. Hopefully still kicking butt and taking names, but if not, you can bet your bottom dollar that I'm giving it my all and I'll eventually get there.
It has been just over a week since I left Lesvos to return back to the USA and I just got home on Monday. I took the longest route home, partially because it was cheapest and partially because I made a detour to see some friends on the east coast. Since getting back to Portland, it's been a whirlwind few days as I tried to get my bearings, as I pack for a move to the Bay on Saturday and as I try to say hi (and bye) to as many people as I can. One of the highest items on my to do list during my 5 days in Portland was to stop by my friend, Ms. Maynard's, sixth grade class.
A month ago I was packing my bags for what I know was the biggest adventure I've had to date. A month later, I'm sitting at the Thessaloniki Airport, enjoying my last bit of genuine Greek food, waiting to take the second of seven flights to eventually get me back home to Portland, OR. Once I get back to Portland on Monday, I have 4.5 days to catch up on what I've missed, pack up what I need, and say my farewells as I leave for San Francisco on Saturday for 5.5 weeks of training. Yes, it's a crazy schedule. Yes, I chose to do it this way. No, I don't regret it (at least not yet).
The mood around the bonfire when on night boat patrol is usually jovial as volunteers chat with each other in the warm of a cackling fire while keeping an eye on the horizon for a speck that turns into a boat. Usually. But not tonight. Tonight I made the worst phone call I've ever had to make.
Someone asked me last week, "How is your volunteer trip going?" I've been quiet. Not because I have nothing to say, trust me--there's a lot that's been happening, but more so because there hasn't been as much time to sit and write. Or I'm simply too exhausted to. Or more often than not, there's so much to say and share, I struggle with where to start.
I woke up today not knowing what day it was. It's Tuesday. The last scheduled day I worked was Friday. So what happened between then and now? Your guess is as good as mine--time has flown! First off, there have been more volunteers arriving, which means more people to hang out with, which means less time for writing and sleeping, but I'm trying to figure it out. No complaints--there are some really cool and interesting people here who I genuinely have enjoyed getting to know. After a long day of doing various things, grabbing a bite or a drink together is a great way to unwind, decompress, share experiences and get to know each other.
My Monday night was a special one. It was my first shift on my own at the clinic, meaning there wasn't anyone to ask questions to. I kind of knew what I was supposed to do but also had no idea what I was supposed to do--but it was going to happen. Fake it 'til you make it? And made it I did. From helping reunite two different families with missing family members to using my Hindi/Gujarati to act as an Urdu translator (very similar languages) to working with an incredible group of people, it was a good night. The highlight of the night was meeting David though.
All my bags are packed, (I think) I'm ready to go...Singing that song is how I woke up my roommate this morning at 4:15am to drive me to the airport. (Best roomie ever--for taking me to the airport, and not hitting me for singing.) I, myself, woke up after my second of five alarms went off at 4:05am after an hour of sleep, with the lights on, because I was terrified that I wouldn't wake up. Anyone else have that fear or just me? Today was the day. I was starting the long journey to Lesvos to volunteer at the refugee camps.