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Athens Greece

greece || spring break 2016

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greece || spring break 2016

If you're down for the longest blog post of all time, HEY-O, I gotcha covered, pal. (but we're talking photos of unbelievably gorgeous sites, so it's a good thang.)

A year ago this month, Ryan and I went to Greece with a group of our classmates and two of our professors from Logsdon, and it was seriously the most amazing experience for both of us. Neither of us did much traveling growing up, so our honeymoon to Mexico back in 2015 was a milestone for both of us in a lot of ways. But we spent 99% of our time there eating massive amounts of fresh chips and salsa and laying on the beach, so Greece was much more of a hey-let's-be-world-travelers kind of milestone We both dream of seeing the world together, and this trip to Greece showed us that traveling the world was indeed everything we'd hoped and then some. Not only did we go with a rad group of friends (shout to my girl Brittany, for her endless willingness to catch shots of Ryan and I throughout this once in a lifetime experience), and get to see and experience (and eat lol) SO MUCH, but we had the wonderful experience of seeing the ministry of PORTA, a ministry for Albanian refugees in Athens, in action and meet the wonderful community that has blossomed there. We got to dialogue with poli-sci grad students about the refugee crisis and global citizenship and our responsibility to each other. We got to listen and learn. 

I know everyone says this, and it's pinned on every wanderlust Pinterest board, but friends, it's just true. Going to new places and meeting new people changes everything. Seeing all the unique, different-than-you-and-your-corner-of-the-world places and people out there makes you feel small. But not in a depleting sort of way. It's more like a feeling of inclusion and awe that you get to be a part of something so much bigger than yourself. It's a feeling I just can't get enough of.

Here's just a little bit of the beautiful land of Greece through my eyes, from my heart.

xoxo

The Acropolis, Athens

Mars Hill, Athens

Koukaki District, Athens

Hadrian's Arch & Zeus' Temple, Athens

Plaka District, Athens

Panathenaic Stadium, Athens

Syntagma Square, Athens

Poseidon's Temple, Cape Sounion

Corinth

Island of Hydra

Island of Petros

Island of Aegina

Next up:

OREGON (Portland, Cannon Beach, Bend, Crater Lake National Park) May 15-19

LONDON, England June 19-26

COME EXPLORE WITH US.

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porta: albanian families || athens, greece

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porta: albanian families || athens, greece

It's hard to believe its been its already been 3 weeks since we got home from Greece. Man, was that an amazing experience! Eventually, once I finally get all of my photos from that adventure edited, I'm going to try to pull all my thoughts and feels together and blog about it all.

But for now, I'm going to tell you a little bit about Porta.

Before I went to Greece, I really had very little knowledge of the plight of Albanians living there. Not only have these people fled their homes in Albania (due to economic crisis after the fall of communism in the late 80's), but have faced harsh discrimination and inequality living in Greece. Although there are approximately 700,000 Albanians living in Greece, these people are not treated with the dignity of contributing members of society.

Our first full day in Greece, as our group sat in Porta (a ministry established specifically to empower and provide a place for Albanians to come together and comfortably be Albanian) listening to Bob and Janice Newell (the founders of Porta) talk about the mission and work of this ministry, we were eating an UHMAZING breakfast, served by these kind, incredibly hospitable people.

And my heart was captured.

I love these people, and their outgoing, joyful, generous ways. All I can really put into words about getting to photograph some of their beautiful families is that it was an honor and a joy.

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