Monday, November 9, 2009

Duke Invades Athens, Laura runs a marathon, rallies take form, & Beyonce puts a "ring on it"

Last week I got to experience "political Athens" first hand. As I was walking home from class last week I stumbled upon a huge protest. Apparently the government fired hundreds of interns (being an intern is considered more a job here, but for very little pay), so many Athenians were in an uproar. Hundreds of policemen were on guard too. It was quite a bit intense.

Tutoring has become very rewarding. Last week we worked on an English essay, and the solar system (I work with her on the most random topics). In a week I'm taking her to the premiere of New Moon, I can't wait. She got really excited. To get her pumped up I gave her the soundtrack of New Moon.

This past weekend was wonderful. Duke invaded Athens (part one). Michael, Jackie, and Grace, who are all studying in Madrid this semester, decided to come to Athens. I was thrilled.

Friday: After class, I met up with them for dinner. Was so great seeing them. Because they got caught trying to put three people in a two person room, Jackie stayed with me (which was a happy surprise). We got dinner at the Fillipou Taverna in Kolonaki (the same one I took my mom too). It was delicious. I got the highly recommended lemon chicken. I loved telling them all about Greek food, culture, and a little bit of the language. Afterwards, we went to one of the funky little bars in Kolonaki. The bar was playing amazing music, which is always a great plus. After catching up for a couple hours, we decided to call it quits for the night, because they had a packed day of touring and I had my school trip to Delphi.

Saturday: Was the last field trip I would have with CYA (we went to Delphi). One of the most famous sites in mainland Greece. The bus ride was three hours each way, so a bit of a hike. The small town outside of Delphi was also adorable, highly recommend it if traveling in the area. The site itself was quite pretty. We saw the famous theater, treasuries, and the gymnasium. The Delphi museum was also really nice. I also got to see the famous Charioteer of Delphi (yay art history 69). Once back in Athens I took a very enjoyable nap before meeting up with Duke loves to go out to the Gazi (dance club/bar district of Athens). We bar hoped to about 4 different places, the music was also great (all of our favorite european/greek music was played). At about 3ish we decided to head back because another big day was planned....the marathon a Beyonce!

Sunday: It was finally Marathon day for Laura. She woke up around 6 am, to get to the meeting place for all the runners. The race began at 9am. Emily and I got up around 10am, so we could see the winners come in. They run 26 miles in a little over 2 hours!! Isn't that surreal? We got the the olympic stadium (the one by my school) just in time to see the top runners come in (all of them were Kenyan). It was incredible to see them. Their running is so fluid and beautiful, and it looked like they weren't even sweating. Watching the marathon was one of the most amazing experience. I really think that marathons bring out the best in people. Everyone was cheering and being so nice to one another. I got to watch people accomplish one of their biggest goals. I watched as couples finished holding hands, mothers and fathers carrying their children over their shoulders across the finish line, people in costumes, and much much more. It was incredible. Pure happiness and joy on the people finishing. Five people from my school ran it. One guy named Mike, ran it super fast, really impressive. Laura, my roommate came in a little over 5 hours in. We got SO excited when we saw her enter the stadium, such a great feeling. She lit up when she saw us, it was so sweet. I couldn't be more proud of her. After we found Laura and gave her tons of hugs, we all went back to the apartment to rest. Later that night I met up with Duke friends to head to the new olympic stadium for the BEYONCE concert. She was incredible. She has one of the most amazing voices ever. She played all of her top songs (she has so many of them), and even did a Sarah Mclachlen and Alanis Morissete cover. She did a beautiful version of Ave Maria as well. She did an "At Last" tribute to Obama (the song she sang at his inaugural ball), and sung "Halo" in honor of Michael Jackson. Also, at the very end she struck the pose of the famous discus thrower statue, the crowd went wild. It was one of the best concerts. We then took a taxi back and passed out.

Monday: Today I sadly had class for most of the day, but after class I met up with Michael, Jackie, and Grace for dinner in Kolonaki. As a treat they paid for my dinner, which I thought was beyond thoughtful of them. It was so great having Duke friends come to visit. I'm so excited for Meredith, Austin and Kathryn to come in two weeks. Unfortunately, today I found out that my Greek cooking class is canceled for the rest of the semester. I'm really bummed. My cooking instructor canceled for personal reasons, so no idea what happened. Oh well :(

This weekend I'm going to Paris! Another adventurous weekend. Hope everyone is doing well. I miss you!
Love always,

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