Goodie In Greece

gone greek

Leaving on a Jet Plane

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So grateful to have had the opportunity to live and teach in this beautiful country… and for all the help I received along the way. Greece, I’ll miss you. A lot. Leaving on a jet plane tonight! Next up: Philadelphia (by way of Russia)!

Love 2One last fun fact: Philly’s nickname, the City of Brotherly Love, comes from the literal meaning of Philadelphia in Greek (philos/φίλος meaning “loving” and adelphos/ἀδελφός meaning “brother”). Perhaps the father in My Big Fat Greek Wedding was on to something: “Give me a word, any word, and I show you that the root of that word is Greek.”

And lastly, 49 Reasons to Love Greece: http://www.buzzfeed.com/alexbesant/49-reasons-to-love-greece-jugk  I’d have to agree with them all. ❤
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Last Day of School!

The last day of school was a whirlwind of hugs, goodbyes, thoughtful gifts, and sentimental cards and emails from students, parents, and colleagues. There was also a student talent show and a huge staff lunch at a nearby restaurant beneath a canopy of mulberry trees. (The wine was flowing, so I decided to show my British colleagues how American teachers celebrate on the last day of school…) It was a really lovely day — a great end to a great school year. And thanks to the very generous gift card I received from my students’ parents, I was able to purchase a new suitcase for my trip to Russia! (The wheel fell off my old suitcase, and I was planning on just lugging it around on the rim. This is way better!)

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The talent show featured a lot of singing and dancing, although my personal favorites were the World Cup-inspired performances and the Cups song (a throwback to my farewell party in DC last year… before the cops arrived to quiet us down). 🙂

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To close out the school year, I had my students write letters to their future selves, full of good advice from their 8-year-old selves. I received this email from one of my awesome little students this afternoon…

I WILL MISSS YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am extremely sad that you’re leaving. Here’s some advice for YOU so listen up:

  • Always meet new people
  • Call me to your wedding
  • Keep up the adventure
  • Stay calm and PARTY ON!
  • Go to new places
  • KEEP LEARNING!!!!!!!
  • Have fun
  • Make new friends

That’s all!!!!! You’ve been the best teacher EVER!!!!!!

❤ and 🙂
Love, Kleo

 

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When in Greece…

…sip champagne at an 8-year-old’s birthday party!

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One of my students recently invited me to her birthday pool party. It was so sweet of her to include me, and I’m not one to turn down a party! Upon walking in the front gate, a butler handed me a glass of champagne and told me to drink up. 🙂

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Aγάπη

Saying goodbye is hard.

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Good food and wine make it a little easier.

IMG_6749Ever since Rob departed Greece to begin his grad program two months ago, Rich, Natalie, and Anita have been like family — weekend vacations, hotel sleepovers, a half marathon, countless meals, laughs, tears, even an EpiPen injection and a trip to the hospital yesterday after I inadvertently ate some pecans. I will forever be so incredibly grateful to Rich and Natalie for adopting me for two months. They are truly amazing people. I still remember when they found out Rob was leaving post early. While sitting at the dinner table, without even consulting with each other, both of them immediately offered their spare bedroom. No hesitation or questions asked. On top of being phenomenally good people, they’re both great chefs… so I’ve been eating like a queen. I will miss them. A lot. They might even miss me a little. 😉 On the plus side, with Rich and Natalie headed to Miami and Anita returning to DC, I’m looking forward to reunions on the other side of the Atlantic. ❤

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Summer Term at Saint C’s

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Summer term has been too much fun! Saint Catherine’s is all about thematic, experiential learning, and we’ve done a lot of it in the past few weeks. Among other things, we… celebrated International Day (with a lot of food and a visit from a friend who works at the U.S. Embassy), participated in the Swimming Gala and Sports Day, made clay artwork, built a river, made chocolate rocks, created moving monsters, “flew” to Paris, created Globe Theatres, choreographed a dance to the witches scene in Macbeth, hosted a Fun Day fundraiser for Nine Lives, and shared our hard work with parents! I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to teach at Saint Catherine’s. It is truly a wonderful place that lives up to its recently adopted motto: “Excellence and Happiness.” Only three school days left with my little nuggets… 🙂

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Nemea: Greece’s Napa Valley

IMG_6673After meeting a few ACS teachers on a ferry to Aegina a few months back, I’ve hung out with the group several times and recently got invited to their end-of-school-year winery tour in Nemea. (Drinking with American teachers never disappoints!) We stopped at four different wineries, all of which were really lovely, before Natalie and I continued on separately to Anita’s village farther south in the Peloponnese. Anita was born and raised in Rhode Island, but her parents grew up in two neighboring small towns in Greece. It was really wonderful to get a glimpse of her family’s roots and see where Anita spent her rowdy summers as a child and teenager. 🙂


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Lefkada Half Marathon

photo5It was the perfect half marathon route — totally flat and absolutely gorgeous! It took Team USA anywhere from 1:40 to 3 hours to complete the course… but we all finished! Since I did a bit more training for this race, I definitely improved on my performance from the fall. No puking or blacking out this time, which I think is a huge victory in and of itself. It also happened to be Rich and Natalie’s two-year anniversary, so it was wonderful to help my amazing adopted family celebrate. 🙂

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Mykonos

Thanks to Greek elections, I ended up with back-to-back four-day weekends. I decided to take advantage of the extra vacation time by booking a flight to Mykonos to help my friend Anita celebrate her birthday. Democracy for the win!

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Miscellaneous Athens

IMG_6483Miscellaneous highlights from the past few weeks include…

– Spending the day showing Andy and Kahlie around Athens! Thanks to Greek elections, I ended up with four extra vacation days, one of which happened to be the day they were in town. So wonderful to catch up with DC friends on this side of the Atlantic!

– Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (a 1990s movie turned live theatre production) about a group of drag queens traversing the Australian desert and performing their unique style of cabaret. Song lyrics were in English, and spoken dialogue was in Greek. Luckily, the plot wasn’t too hard to follow. 🙂

– Apple nachos: apple slices smothered in caramel, peanut butter, chocolate, coconut chips, bacon and sea salt! Really, all of Natalie’s cooking is a highlight. I’m a lucky girl to be adopted by such a wonderful person and chef!

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Goods in Greece!

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monastery in the sky IMG_6101 cheers B-)

Mom-Mom got her first passport, and my parents took a hiatus from work for 10 days of adventure in Greece! Highlights included a road trip to Delphi and Meteora, Easter weekend in Athens, and five days in paradise (aka Santorini). Photo highlights in fancy video form below, catchy tune and all!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bxugi_TDakB8Y2p6YWQxMDV1bW8/edit?usp=sharing

5 o'clock somewhereThat’s us on the balcony! 🙂

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