August 28: Recap of the next 8 posts

This blog needs some love.

As a quick update, my time in London came to an end on August 21 and now I’m volunteering at a wildlife hospital in Greece until I move into my dorm at HEC Paris on September 7th.  It kind of amazes me that it’s August 28 already and nearly time for fall semester to begin.  Wow.

Where I live and volunteer on the island of Paros is 5k away from the nearest Internet connection, so if you don’t hear from me for a while, blame it on the 10k round trip (foot power is my only mode of transportation unless I hitchhike) in the blazing August sun.  My parents thought I’d fallen off the face of the earth when I hadn’t talked to them or been online for a few days.  While I can’t blame them (whose parents wouldn’t worry when their daughter goes to a remote part of an island in Greece by herself for a few weeks?) falling off the earth wasn’t entirely true.  Just into a secluded Grecian crack.

Backtracking a bit, here’s what’s been going on for the past week of my life.

Today, Saturday August 28: Day 7 on Paros

Wake up at 6.  Clean cages from 7-9:40.  Stick my fingers along with some fish down a bird’s throat.  Clean pigeon cages and giggle when they start huffing at me indignantly.  Scrub my hands to unsuccessfully attempt to rid myself of eau du parfume de dead fish.  Do an abs routine and some yoga.  Shower.  Eat lunch.  Tidy up my room.  Meet Marios.  Start working on blog posts around 1pm.

Finish blog posts around 6pm.  Yes, I love you.  Dash down to Parikia to get online before it got dark.
By starting down to Parikia around 6, I knew that it would take me about an hour to get there, I’d have about 30 mins to respond to emails and update my blog, and then I’d still be walking part of the way back in the dark.  Fortunately, Greek people are very kind.  About 15 minutes into the walk, I heard a honk behind me and then a van stopped 10 feet up the road from me.  The driver asked, “Parikia? Get in!”  and so I did.  Successful hitch hiking experience #1!  He tried to convince me to use his hotel, which for 35€ for 2 beds per night actually is a pretty good deal.  Unfortunately for him, I have housing for the entire time I’m here…and free housing at that :)

With the bonus Parikia time, I ran a few errands and then found a shady spot in the town square from whence I could make good use of the free wifi and respond to emails.  Between my college account and Comcast, I had over 100 emails in 3 days.  This is madness.

I realized that I haven’t yet described the island on which I’m living or the animal hospital in much detail, so here goes:

I’m not really sure what I was expecting to see landscape-wise for Paros (probably something out of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movie), but I was surprised nonetheless.  The island is pretty mountainous and since the sun is so hot, almost everything is brown.  Olive trees, fig trees, and grape vines are pretty common and the houses on the island are essentially one or sometimes two story white boxes.
I couldn’t ask for much more from my abode at the wildlife hospital.  My room, which is around the side of the main building, has a bed, sink, desk, lamp, wardrobe, and a lock.
The bathroom is a few paces down the courtyard from my door and has a curtain-less shower, toilet, and sink.  
Toilets in Greece are a bit different than the ones back in the States.  The pipes are too small for anything but waste to be flushed, so a basket or bin is next to every toilet for used toilet paper and other personal items.  It took a bit of getting used too, but it doesn’t smell nearly as much as you would think.

The kitchen with a stove, cabinets, table, comfy-ish seating area, and the entrance to Sofia’s room is at the front of the building.
A building for birds needing special care is across the courtyard from my room
Searwater with an injured wing
The majority of the birds are in a rectangular complex of enclosures up the hill from the main building and large waterfowl (flamingos, swan, seagulls, storks, etc) have a large area further up the hill to the right of this picture.
Enclosures for pigeons and other small birds are located on the other side of the waterfowl area.
A few chickens, a family of peacocks, and a donkey named Margarita wander throughout the grounds but are separated from the buildings via a fence…although Margarita is the only animal the fence actually contains.  
Finally, a taller fence encloses the entire complex.  I feel pretty secure here, but I wonder if solo women will ever stop having to being constantly mindful about their security.