Homeward Bound

We are spending our last day in Greece with a trip to Delphi. I’m writing this post on our bus ride. The students probably have a better plan, all our sleeping as we make the 3 hr ride to the mountains.

The last day of the trip is always difficult as we try and enjoy what is before us without worrying about all the things ahead. Particularly as a professor with classes starting on Tuesday, the future seems to loom.

It is also a great time to reflect about what we accomplished on this trip. As several of the blog posts noted we saw amazing sites, ate more than our share of good food, and made lasting friendships. The work of the class was not neglected and I think our goal of understanding more about the responsibility these students will face as business professionals combined well with the lessons about leadership and taking action. The community was our class room and though the students referenced and the book we read acknowledged in this quote “One can not be responsive to the world without being occasionally deeply saddened.” Eric Fromm. We saw many things we can not hope to cure by ourselves. Hopefully knowing that for the 110 families served by the Aegina Volunteers we helped them make a difference. Is it enough? Hardly! Is it a start certainly! Do I hope this continues? Yes. I’ve already begun thinking how connections with this group might be something The students at Drury can continue. Stay tuned.

Philia (Greek for Brotherly Love)

Image

This blog post is going to be split up a little bit between today’s events and what this trip has taught me.

I was not happy to wake up at 8 am this morning. We had a two hour bus ride in front of us that did very little to improve my mood. Good thing I have an innate ability to hide my feelings;  I am usually one of the easiest people to read. We stopped at the Corinthian Canal, Agamemnon’s (supposed) Tomb, and the Acropolis of Mycenae. Each were interesting and had unique features, but it wasn’t until the ride back to Athens that my mood turned around. Listening to music (My Epic, Gungor, and some Propaganda) and looking at the characteristics of the Greek landscape was amazing to witness. On the one side mountains that were covered with vegetation and buildings that also intertwined with the seas that surround the country. Then to look at the other side of the road to see islands engulfed in a fog. It causes one to be in awe of it all. How small am I? Comparing myself to one of the small mountain of the countryside, I felt pretty small. Then thinking about the ancient civilizations of Greece, I can’t compare to their history and stories.

Image

Two things that I’ve learned from Greece so far is: I might be small in comparison to certain things but I am not alone and there’s a legacy for me to leave which might rival that of Greece itself. Whatever my legacy will be, I pray that I intentionally and meticulously focus on how the small things fit in with the “big” picture. I’m close to 6,000 miles away from home but I don’t feel alone. The psuedo-friendships and acquaintances I had are now close relationships, but I have realized that I am still different than most of the people here. I am grateful and excited I’ve been able to spend time with each of them. It’s funny how open people will get to each other after 15 days.

Image

In case anyone didn’t know,I’m kind of a sentimentalist. So here’s are some quick notes about each person and hopefully it is encouraging for you and your family/friends: Basically treat this like a yearbook with all of the signatures in it.

Dr, Sronce & Dr. Waters – Thank you for worrying about our safety. I’m not sure that we really know how much both of you put into all of this. Thank you for taking us out to dinner and cooking for us in Aegina.

Brad – You might be the most personable individual I have ever met. I know I don’t have to encourage you to do this but keep making friends. Thanks for checking on me during the hike up Mt. Oros (sorry Kristi). Also don’t forget to pursue your Crest Toothpaste career.

Chris – I know the beginning was rough for you, but you’ve taken it like a champ. You are a driven individual, keep pushing on. I can’t even image what you’ve been apart of but here’s a quick thank you for serving us.

Connor – We Conquered the Dreaded Tax-Monster! Man, who would have thought we would have great conversations while working on homework for tax. I’m excited to see what life has in-store for you.Thank you for continuing to be supportive throughout our trip.

Jessica – For being an “independent” woman you still let some of us help you out. I’m sorry that your trip started off badly, but you’ve been a trooper. Well Princess, we’re almost home.

“Worth, value, and beauty is not determined by some innate quality But by the length for which the owner would go to possess them”

Kristi – You have an amazing and cheerful personality. You are a very thoughtful young lady! Thanks for being a sweetheart (sorry I forgot to type this part)

Matt – I had no clue what I was getting with you, but you have pleasantly surprised me. Thank you very for being open for anything. It has been great to get to know you during this.

Mike – Hopefully you were able to watch some futbol while we were on Aegina. Thank you for being a thoughtful individual. This trip would not have been the same without you.

Nick – Nature Nick, thanks for getting us out of some sticky situations on the mountain. Congrats on graduating (dependent on this course).

Olivia – Thank you for being a second mom to us. You have amazing wisdom and insight. Also you are one of the sweetest young women I have ever met! We are going to be the greatest Intern Team ever!

PS I am so sorry that I have not finished your blog post yet. From what I’ve read it has been great!

Will – You have grown is so many ways. I’m glad you’ve been able to open up to everyone. I hope you take away important aspects from this trip. Thanks for being my roommate and putting up with me in Aegina.

If any of you need anything, let me know. Thanks for sharing these memories with me. Also I apologize if this blog is horrible, I’m finishing it up at 3 am while my roommates are sleeping and I have never been known as a poet.

- Phil

Night All!

1 Corinthians 13:11-13

Philippians 3:8

Goodbye Aegina, Hello Athens

This morning we departed from Aegina. The 10 days that we spent on the island was more than amazing. From our social media project, swimming in the Mediterranean, visiting the Archeology site and the Sanctuary of Aphaia, planting a garden, bike riding, hiking up Mount Oros , and spending nights at the International House, it is safe to say that the Drury students left our mark in Aegina. We were all fortunate to have been graced with the presence of Eleni and Aliki, who helped us make the most out of our trip, the women of the fascinating Aegina Ethelontis organization who have inspired us all, and last but not least, Vacili, the owner of the International House who provided us all with laughs. Goodbyes are never easy, but we will always remember these great friends who have truly made our time in Aegina special.

Image

Image

Image

 

We took a ferry back to Athens, where we will spend our last few days in Greece before our departure home. We were greeted by “Momma” Fae and our driver Dimitri, who took us to the biggest lunch I have ever eaten. We sampled many different foods for about an hour straight, only to somehow make room for some Greek dessert. We have been to a variety of restaurants in Greece, but none of them compare to the one we went to today. Next, we took a scenic route to the Temple of Poseidon, which was beautiful in itself, not to mention the wonderful overlooking view from the top of Temple where we watched the sunset. The bus ride back to our hotel was much quieter this time around, as our big lunch and long trip started to settle in forcing some of us to fall asleep for a portion of the ride. It is an exciting change to be back in Athens, and I am looking forward to making a few more last memories in Greece with an amazing group of people that I am lucky to be with.  

Image

Image

ImageImage

 

- Mike Yuede

The Day Before The Day That We Left Aegina

299

Today we got to present our Facebook project to the Aegina Volunteers, here you see us trying to pay attention as they talk and putting on an entirely acceptable expressions of interest.Image

As you can see Phil was extremely tired from this ordeal and encompassed the whole and entire of his face in a jacket.

309

Here you see, we have all gone out to eat at this absolutely fabulous restaurant.  Due to my abominable photography skills Phil and Jessica were cut out of the photo.  I was fine with Jessica being cut out, her not so much.

310

In order to satisfy Jessica I took this follow up picture.  She was less than satisfied by it, but I  was okay with that as well.311

As everyone received their food all pretense of civility and human kindess washed away down their esophagus.  The only ones deigning to pose were those forced to as curiously sat next to me.313

With the food consumed and the instinct of civilization returning to them they realized what inconsiderate monsters they had once been.  Ashamed, despairing, self loathing they turned away from the camera.  Again only those forced to pose were those able to.

Fin

We started from the bottom, now we’re here! (Selfie Sunday!)

I feel like I am writing this rather early in the day. It is only 6pm right now; however, I feel like we have done so much just this morning already. This morning started off, of course, with my Special K Berries. Then everyone was off to the Drury Center where we packed and lathered up the good ole sunscreen. I realize why Greek people have such nice tans and we Americans just seem to burn. Anyways, we took a taxi about 5 miles to Mt. Oros. This is the highest point on the entire island with an elevation of 25,000 feet… Or just 2000 feet. Guess everyone back home will never know the truth.

The climb started at a slower pace because no one really seemed to know where the trail we needed was at. After about 20 min of searching, trying to get cell phone signal, and Will making the “Hills Have Eyes” references, we finally found the path we needed.  After only everyone slipping a mere 3 or 4 times, we took that trail all the way to the top where there was a church. My only concern was for the people that had to carry the materials up Mt. Oros in order to make the 500AD church that sits on the very top.

The view from the top was astounding. You literally could see for miles. Athens was in the far distance but mainly we could finally see the entire island, and be able to finally put together a sense of how the island was laid out. We managed to take a ton of pictures, Brad did multiple idiotic things, and no one was hurt in the process.

Now the climb down was a bit of a different story.  We decided to take a different trail and lets just say it was a bit rougher. Much more difficult terrain, the rocks on that side of the mountain were much more wet with dew, and lots and lots of spikey bushes that my legs do not thank me for now. We even heard a fun fact from Will Turner as we were near the bottom of the mountain. I will just leave it at this, all eagles are Amerian eagles once they get a taste of freedom! Ask your traveler about that story when they get home. Its one that none of us will forget! However, we did make it down and no one was seriously injured.

All of the guys then proceeded to have the taxis take us straight to lunch because of course we were hungry. We made it to this amazing seafront restaurant, and engorged in every type of meat that Greece had to offer. Then I am not sure what everyone else did, but I rushed back to make sure I got my afternoon nap in before it was too late. Three hours later, I am now here writing this blog post and waiting for the amazing dinner that Dr. Sronce and Dr. Waters are currently making us.

Hope that all of you guys are enjoying the quiet time that you have without us college kids at home because we will be home in 5 days. Enjoy it while it lasts.  However, know that we are all having a blast 9,500 miles away, and no one has killed a fellow classmate…. Yet! Now enjoy some beautiful selfies of fellow Greek travelers for selfie Sunday!ImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImageImage

ImageThanks for reading,

Connor O’Mealy

Past the Midway point!

Kalimera!  Good morning!  We are quite fluent with the morning greeting as we make the rounds at the bakery and coffee shop to start our day on the island of Aegina.  The students are doing such a great job with the blog posts that they leave little for me to write.

This morning they are off to climb to the top of the mountain.  Eleni Dellagrammaticas with husband and daughter are leading the group on this expedition.   Those of you that have followed past trips know it is best for me not to attempt mountain tops when days of walking are still in front of us.

As the students described we are meeting amazing people that are living out some of the things that we are reading and talking about in our classes.  These people are seeing what needs to be done and responding.  Our students are doing the same.  We are very proud of the willingness the students are demonstrating to learn about the place they find themselves and how they are helping each other.

We are so fortunate to be able to interact with the members of this community.  Learning more about what they are doing here.  As a professor it is a privilege for me get to know more about these students.  They too are amazing people with unlimited potential.  To their parents, Thank You for sharing them with us.

Dr. Sronce

Ready for Action
Ready for Action

The Adventures of the Drury Biker Gang

Image

Today, the gang rented some bikes and set out to see the island of Aegina. We stopped several times along the coast line to take in the beautiful scenery. We rode our bikes for 3 hours which was close to 10 miles. For the most part it was an easy ride but Chris, Mike, and Kristi had troubles with their bikes. Chris was doing some wheelys and popped his tire, Mike’s chain fell off, and Kristi’s bike was just a mess. On our way back the gang stopped by a small cafe on the waterfront to eat a late lunch. Overall the bike ride was a blast and it was a great way to see the island and the beauty it holds.

ImageImageImageImageImage

Inspired to Lead

Greece Study Abroad - Breech School of Business

Travelogue of Greece study abroad trip January 2013

jkester317

Jason's Organizational Behavior blog

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.