And so, here we go again… Another project, another place, another adventure.
Next Monday, March 9th, I travel to the town of Ioannina in the north-west of Greece, not far from the Albanian border. There, I will be working with Second Tree, a small NGO which runs schools and education projects in two nearby refugee camps. I found them via Indigo Volunteers, a sort of employment agency specifically for people looking to volunteer with humanitarian or refugee projects. I had met Holly, the Englishwoman who had set it up, on Lesvos last year, when she was visiting with the rest of her management team, and we all walked half-way up a mountain (but that’s another story.)
With a week to go, how do I feel about it all? I am a little nervous, but in the first instance that is the problem of finding my way to Ioannina, or more specifically going from the airport in Thessaloniki to the bus station and then onto the right bus. As for the work, that seems to be pretty much business as normal. In other words, we shall have to see. My understanding is that I will be teaching eight different groups across the two camps, and that the aim is for each group to put on some sort of performance. I will need to assess them first, which means us getting to know one another, before choosing a play or story, and starting to rehearse. I have four months in total, which does mean enough time overall, but how well the chaos of performance fits with an orderly school day is yet to be seen.
Other elements of the project are less easy to predict. The town of Ioannina, my own accommodation, how well I get on with my fellow workers… But none of this is strange; it is part of normal, everyday life. Que sera, as they say (though in Italy, not Greece) sera. Not knowing exactly what is coming is all part of the fun.