Pre-Departure Guide

Cycling between reading Love Does, watching the Olympics, and snacking before dinner has me alone and unconcerned about life beyond my living room. My visa is purchased and my travel plans for Greece are set in stone, but I do not feel as much nervousness/anxiety as I had been told to expect. Maybe this is because I don’t know what to expect; maybe I can’t even begin to comprehend the change I am about to endure. But I do know that this couch is comfy and the sound of cool A/C swirling in hidden air ducts above my head is pretty soothing. It’s funny how quiet life can be sometimes.

I have never been one to follow a crowd. Today I met a girl named Julie in the Greek Consulate Office on the 16th floor of Tower 100 across from Lenox Mall. [Quick side-note: the elevator had no buttons… So for all those people telling the riddle about a dwarf businessman who can only get to the 16th floor on rainy days (courtesy of his umbrella), your riddle is forever flawed.] Julie was quiet and organized, I was a little frazzled and scattered. Julie brought a single, thin manila folder probably containing every piece of information needed; I had a thick two-pocket folder along with various documents still contained in their original FedEx package (so I wouldn’t lose them). Julie goes to Wake Forest; I go to a school she had never heard of. Go Squirrels.

As I left the Consulate, I realized that Julie was the only person I would recognize when I landed in Greece. Thus is life. In fact, this describes a lot of my life so far. My college decision, my major choice, my summer job, my study abroad program can all be described in one word: unorthodox. Not many people decide to do what I do. Maybe that’s because I am unorthodox myself, but I kind of like it that way. I like not knowing anybody but Julie before going to Greece, I like not knowing ‘what I will do’ with my religion degree, and I liked not knowing anyone before attending Haverford. Sometimes I even like that people don’t know what/where Haverford is. I hope this is not me haphazardly consoling myself for all the big decisions I have made in my life after glimpsing at Greece on the horizon. Instead, I consider it a symbolic opening of my hands. Greece is big, Greece is foreign, Greece is unknown, but God is bigger than Greece. Haverford was foreign, distant, and a lot of misconceptions were preached to me before arriving; I had little and I knew little. But God uses little to make much. He faithfully fertilizes poorly scattered seeds on the regular.

So I am glad that I don’t know anyone yet, I am glad I have never been to Greece, and I am glad that I have no idea where I am going to train for lacrosse because where I am weak He is strong. What I do know is that I am going to Greece, that I will make friends, and that I will find a way to stay in shape. Also, I know that God will use me there. So until Greece, I will be researching your typical Greek topics like climate, the best Islands, authentic foods, and proper social etiquette, but I will also be trusting and expecting. Trusting God will use me, expecting Him do immeasurably more than I could ever think or imagine. To Greece.




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