Here I am back in Orange City, trying to get into the swing of things once again. Classes are in session and they are going quite well so far, but I find myself reminiscing a lot about the summer. I had the opportunity to travel to Greece for three weeks in May and June with nine other Northwestern students and Professor Vonder Bruegge.
Northwestern has a summer study abroad program that allows students to travel to different countries. This trip was associated with the Honors Program, in which we studied and learned about Greece by traveling there. Each student in the class came from different majors. The reason we went to Greece was because it was home to the start of so many different disciplines, and most all of us could find and apply our major to a certain site in Greece.
We traveled all over the country and saw a lot—and I mean a lot—of old stuff. I don't think I truly realized the concept of old until I visited Greece. We saw pottery that was dated around 3,000 years ago, which is pretty dang old. Professor Vonder Bruegge was telling us about a column that fell, recently, that once stood tall to support the Temple of Zeus. When he said recently, he meant 300 years ago. That blew my mind! However, when we are talking about ancient Greek history, 300 years is a bat of an eye.
We each studied a site in preparation for the trip, and when we got there, we were the “tour guide” for the day. When we got to my site, which was in Delphi, I have never nerded out academically more in my entire life than I did in that moment. When you see an ancient site in person that you researched in depth, it is one of the most fulfilling moments ever. It was so incredible showing people around a site that I felt like I knew in detail, even though I had never actually been there before.
I have been saving a very important detail about my trip until now. Of course, it is the food. When talking about Greek food, the gyro is the go to. I thought I had had some pretty good gyros here in America, but boy, did Greece take it to the next level! For those who are not aware, a gyro is a pita with either pork or chicken, tomato, tzatziki, onions and french fries all wrapped up in all of its goodness. Over the course of three weeks, I no doubt had at least 50 of them.
On the spiritual side, we visited an evangelical church, and what an experience that was. It was, of course, in Greek, but there were headphones that translated it into English. This experience was life changing because I was always told that there is a global church, which I knew was absolutely true, but once I traveled thousands of miles and experienced it firsthand, it made it so much more meaningful.
This trip was a trip of a lifetime and has so much more meat in it that I simply can’t unpack in one blog. To put it simply, it was one that challenged me in many ways and made me step outside my comfort zone and try new things.