I have a little down time this afternoon after class, so I can get some homework done and update you all as to what's been going on here.

 

Yesterday was a free day and I used it to get a little taste of everything--I slept in until 10, walked into town for lunch (had chicken and pasta at "Mermaid's", a taverna), walked back and took a little nap, went for a run and did some abs, went swimming in the sea and laid out on the beach, showered, walked into town for dinner (omlette and yogurt with honey, random I know!), and then walked back and spent the evening working on my paper that is due tomorrow.  It was a pretty nondescript day, as far as days here go, but enjoyable nonetheless.  There doesn't seem to be much to do here, so I think this week will be very relaxing, lots of reading and beach time, compared to some of our busier weeks in the program.  It will be a nice chance to recover before heading back to Athens and then back to the United States.  Only 8 days left now!  It seems unbelievable.

 

Yesterday night there was a pretty heartbreaking discovery by a few of the students in our group.  They were walking along the beach and heard small cries coming from inside a trashcan.  Inside they found two very tiny newborn kittens that had been abandoned by their mother.  They were covered in fleas and garbage, clearly starving and cold.  They brought the kittens back to the hotel and attempted to feed them a little with cows milk.  However, because of the time of night, the remoteness of this location, and the lack of care from locals (stray cats are everywhere in this country, and are not cared after but seen as an annoyance), there wasn't much to be done for those little babies.  Several of the students walked around and tried to find a mother that would accept the kittens, but with so little food to spare, no mothers would take the cats.  They then decided to put the babies out of their misery humanely, so they wouldn't suffer for days of starvation and lack of heat.  It was a kind of reality check, here on this beautiful island, and very devastating.

 

This morning I received some sad news about my own cat, which was a rescue my roommates and I took in last spring semester.  She is a wonderful cat, very young and playful and cuddly, and I have really grown to love her.  I heard from one of my roommates that the people who were looking after the cat for the summer had taken her to the vet because she had a wound on her back that hadn't healed.  The vet identified this wound as a bite, probably from another animal.  Because she was a rescue, she doesn't have up-to-date shots and isn't spayed, and of course the vet is wanting to do that on top of whatever surgery she will need for the bite.  This is all fine and great, but because we are poor students, there is no way we will be able to afford the bills for her treatment.  Our roommate is suggesting we give her up to the ASPCA, which is a very depressing though since I really care for this animal.  I don't know what to do...

 

This morning we had a nice class in the hotel's breakfast area, and also celebrated the birthdays of two of the girls in our program--my roommate Anna, whose birthday was on the first day of the program, and a girl named Amy, who turned 20 today.  Even though it doesn't feel like it, I have come to realize that I am one of the oldest students on this trip, maybe 4th or 5th oldest out of 21.  A lot of the students here will be sophomores or juniors next year.  It is crazy to think that I will be a senior next year...I feel like I just graduated from high school!  But I really am ready to move on from college into the next phase of my life.

 

You can check out pictures from Olympia in the Olympia album

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