All tagged adventure

A "Plane" Ole Adventure!

With the window exit off, I stepped over the fuselage and into my shoes that were strategically placed outside. As I slipped back into them, I stood up, felt the welcome cool breeze and thought, “Whoa. This is SO COOL!” I was standing on the right wing of a Boeing 727, in the middle of the woods, outside of Portland, Oregon. This wasn’t an emergency. There were no commands that were being shouted or screaming panicked guests to corral. I wasn’t in uniform or at work or commuting to work. And the only danger I faced was accidentally falling off the wing because I was more focussed on getting the right angle to capture a photo, and even then, the fall would be 8ft, max, to the ground.

If You're Reading This, I'm Still Here

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.

Taking Time for Myself 

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.

Change, Coincidence and Focus

Blogging is tough for me to do. It's something I want to do more often and on a regular basis but it requires time and thought and effort and energy that sometimes, much of the time, I just can't, and sometimes won't, muster up. I have tons of half-written blog posts floating around in my head that I just didn't make the time to sit down and write out. I honestly hope to get back to those half-baked mental blog posts and write them down at some point--one day, someday. When I write, it's for a number of reasons. 

From Stab Wound to All Smiles

While the weather the past few days have been reminiscent of spring days, sunny with a chill but dry, we do have winter days where the rain doesn't let up and the cold sets into your body. As a result, most of what we see in the clinic are colds, or what's come to be dubbed as the Moria flu (headache, runny nose, sore throat, cough). Every once in a while we do get something different, like a broken leg, sprained ankle, toothache, pregnancy issue and even a stab wound. Yes, stab wound. That's what happened the other day.

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.

Reuniting Never Felt This Good 

Yesterday was a good day. I finished my first solo shift. I helped two different families semi-reunite with missing loved ones. And I held back tears as a wonderful soul shared his story and experience fleeing the Taliban with us (covered in a later post). This is why I'm here.It was my first day of working solo and working an evening shift. And 5/6 people who were working were new. With so many volunteers coming and going, this is pretty typical but it also means you need to think on your feet and just figure things out. Challenge accepted.

Day 0 and Day 1

As I was telling you last night before I drifted off into deep sleep (melatonin, you are helping me kick jetlag's butt like no one's business!), I had the option of taking it easy yesterday and acclimating, or checking out the camp and helping out. I wanted to do something so I opted to head to Moria camp to finally see with my own eyes the camp that I heard so much about.  This black barn right here is the Moria Medical Clinic that's run by Offtrack Health, and where I'll be spending most of my time. I'm what they call a floor manager--I'm responsible for intake of patients, crowd control, recording notes and anything else in between. I stopped by yesterday to see the clinic, meet some people and just get the lay of the land. And to buy a local SIM card nearby.

So It Begins

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.

48 Hours Until the Biggest Adventure to Date

In 48 hours, I'll be on a plane starting the long trek towards Lesvos, Greece. I've booked three different round-trip(ish) tickets to get there. On Wednesday, I fly from Portland to Minneapolis to Boston as part of RT Ticket 1. I have a little over 24 hours in Boston, a city I've never been to, and I plan on exploring a little bit (weather pending) before my flight Thursday evening. Thursday evening is the start of RT Ticket 2, Boston to Istanbul to Thessaloniki. I get to Thessaloniki on Friday evening and then I take off Saturday afternoon with RT Ticket 3 to Mytiline. Why so many flights? Why take so long to get there? Simply put: because I'm on a budget and this made the most sense. My first RT Ticket was booked on a voucher, the second RT Ticket was a deal out of Boston to Europe and the third RT Ticket is a domestic flight within Greece (much cheaper than trying to book it all on one ticket). As for the timing, it's the best I could do given schedules and the possible threat of bad weather forcing delays or cancellations.