Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Observing but unknowing

We are part of several culture here. We live in the world of a Greeks (shockingly I have not heard a single "om-pa!") with vast amounts of history and current struggles and fascinating people.

But we only reside here. We purchase, we dine, we sleep. No one learns very much of the language.

Our work sites have populations that are Kurdish, Syrian, and Afghani. We provide services to and for them from handing out milk and water to doing laundry to working with children, but we do not ask stories of their past or make any attempt to invade already prove and complicated lives. We armrespectful and polite, but only have a few words.

And there is a third culture we interact with: the vast number and complicated interactions of the international volunteers. There is an alphabet of services with different specialities and goals and regulations. There are divisions and borders and guidelines. The volunteers are Polish or French or German or Swiss or American. They all speak English, but they are all focused on the special service they came to provide.

And a fourth level is the other volunteers. Most now are from the US - various stages and locations and life situations. Each week the faces change. We eat, sleep, meet, but barely touch.

So there is a lot of observation, a lot of questions that might have started a conversation.  And very little time.

Maybe this will all sort out in Week 2!

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