Lesbos, Mytilini, Greece - 1/24 I arrived in Athens late last night, took a bus into the city, and checked into my hostel. My night was spent tossing and turning, falling in and out of sleep, and coughing fits. It seems the cold I contracted immediately before flying out is determined to run it's full course.
On the bright side, I was able to spend most of the day today hiking around Athens, revisiting several of the locations I saw during my first trip to the city in October 2014. When I first visited Greece a year and a half ago, I stayed in Athens for three days. I met several lovely people while there, both foreigners and Athens residents. I knew then that I was determined to come back to the country at some point in the future. I actually told myself: "The next time I go to Greece, I'm visiting an island." -- I just had no idea it would be in this context.
I actually briefly met two young, Syrian men who were staying at the same hostel I was during my first visit to Athens. I chatted with them in Arabic for a moment after listening in on their conversation with another hostel resident. I knew people were leaving Syria back then, but I had no idea the situation would escalate to this, and that I would come back to try to help.
After hiking around the city for about three hours today, (and after having a cry in the winding streets that lead to the Acropolis) I returned to my hostel, packed things up, and headed back to Syntagma Square to catch the bus to the airport. I was done feeling nervous at that point, I was too exhausted.
During all of this I had been spending time on Facebook whenever I could connect to wifi in order to coordinate a ride from the airport to the apartment I've rented. Luckily, I found several women who are also volunteering and we shared a ride from the airport to the city center, and eventually found our way to our respective residences on the island.
I don't feel I've had any remarkable experiences yet. I haven't even seen the island in the light of day. But I am quite impressed by the volunteers I've met so far. They've come from all over- London, Berlin, Spain and Stanford -and they've been nothing but kind and helpful.. which I suppose is to be expected.