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Flowers of Greece
<ul><li>Flowers of Greece…and their personifications </li></ul><ul><li>Athens, Rhodes, Crete, Santorini, Peloponnese, Kefalonia, Corfu, Ioannina, & Kalambaka </li></ul>
<ul><li>As soon as we arrived in Greece, I was captivated by the gorgeous vegetation that could brighten even the most run-down sections of Athens. As we traveled, each city was more beautiful than the last and the flowers of Greece were always there to highlight that beauty. When I began compiling my photo journal and thinking about each of the incredible pictures, I realized that every one of them reminded me of one of the amazing people who had contributed to making Greece such a special experience. Thus, I have personified the flowers through our group members, tour guides, and maybe even our professor. I thought deeply about each flower and the person I felt it represented. This journal is the perfect culmination of the beauty of Greece coupled with the beauty of those with whom I shared this journey. </li></ul>
These bright marigolds were fairly common in Greece and remind me of Meredith. They have a special glow to them the way she did; her smile could light up a room and often did throughout our trip.
The bougainvillea is a flower found most everywhere in Greece. It often encompasses windows and buildings with flower after flower of beauty. It reminds me of Ryan because it is always everywhere you look, almost in a comforting sense that it is there watching over you. No matter where we went or what time of day it was, Ryan was always in the shadows making sure everyone was taken care of and safe.
<ul><li>These remind me of Giorgos, because there are just enough of them on the branches that they do not overwhelm you. You do not get sick of looking at them because there are just the right amount. Giorgos gave us just the right amount of information to captivate our attention without making us bored or engendering a loss of interest. </li></ul>
<ul><li>The citrus tree, found on a walk to Vernava, was one of the only trees of this kind in Athens. It also wouldn’t exactly be classified as a flower, but has similar features. It reminds me of Ron because it is something you do not see every day and it is so refreshing. He was different from everyone, but he added character and life to our group and was not just another flower. </li></ul>
The hibiscus is one of the most common flowers in Greece. Any city we went to, we could count on seeing it. It reminds me of George because he was always there when you needed him. He was happy to translate for any of us or just to lend an ear when someone needed to talk.
This flower shop in Crete had some of the most gorgeous flowers; however, there were so many it was almost overwhelming. These remind me of Adonis because he had so much knowledge to offer us, but it was often too many dates and specific details. Yet still through all the dates, he was a wonderful guide who taught us so much about Crete.
These flowers were a distinct type, ones that I found on a nature walk in Rhodes. They are multi-colored and shaped very differently than most flowers. They have a certain spunk to them, just like Caroline. She is shaped differently than most (being that she is only 4 feet, 11 inches!), but more importantly, she has an edgy creative side to her and says and does things many do not have the courage to.
These flowers have so much to them that they must be comparable to Paul: he has so many qualities that cluster together to form his amazing personality. He is smart, polite, sweet, and handsome. He is certainly a unique guy, as these flowers from Corfu are definitely unique.
This widow’s lace was found deep in nature in Rhodes. There is something very beautiful about it that lies beneath the surface. It reminds me of Jamie because there was something going on in her head that others could not grasp simply by looking at her. However, if you took the time to get to know her, you would find that she just needed a little attention, just as these flowers just need a little sunlight and water.
These found in New Town, Rhodes, stood apart from other flowers. They were tall and proud, like Nina. They were also a little loud like her, but seemed to suggest strength, pride and independence.
These flowers, found in Rhodes, remind me of Nikki because they are so bright and cheery and full of life. You couldn’t miss them if you tried and once you see them you can’t help but smile and admire their beauty and vibrancy.
Petunias are said to represent healing which is why it is no surprise that they represent Helena. One look at her hiking the Samaria Gorge or climbing to the top of a volcano was enough to make any of us realize that whatever slight complaint we had was nothing compared to her struggle. She was an inspiration to all of us in the way she never gave up and never allowed her disability to hinder her experience for one moment of the trip.
This blue morning glory from Cephalonia was distinct and stood out, as Rachel did. She allowed herself to be a little different, like this flower, and was not afraid to do so. She was daring and brave enough to do her one-woman show in front of a group of peers when no one else would volunteer. She was on a quest to find herself and would not let anyone interfere with her journey.
This one from Santorini reminds me of Juliana, as you instantly notice its beauty but also its intricacy. This flower can be looked at from so many angles; it is not simple. Juliana, consequently, never took the easy route along the trip. She would stand in front of objects and landscapes, taking photos from angles none of us would have imagined doing. She never accepted things as is, but always questioned them whether it be with taking photos or asking challenging questions at lectures or at museums.
These are the signature “girly” flower of Greece. They remind me of Lindsey because she was always dressed so nicely, with her blonde hair flowing and her lip gloss glistening in the sun. This beautiful bunch of pink flowers is as bright and cheery as her green eyes and smile.
These remind me of Jon because they look tough and a little harsh at first glance, but when you take a closer look, they have a softness to them. Jon acted very macho, but actually has a very good heart and is a very intelligent, pensive person deep down.
This flower from Nafplio is full and circular shaped, which usually suggests continuity and repetition. It reminds me of Kat because she never stops until she succeeds. She was always reliable and just as this flower seems full of everything you might need in life, Kat is too; she is intelligent, perseverant, kind, and beautiful.
<ul><li>These white flowers, found on a walk to Syntagma Square, are very simple and plain, which remind me of Dimitra. However, they grow in abundance, so though they are simple there is much to them. Dimitra seemed plain on the surface but there was so much going on inside her head, which she showcased through all the wisdom she imparted on us in our daily tours. </li></ul>
These dahlias from Corfu seem to have harsh edges, but when you take the time to examine them, you finally see their beauty. They remind me of Carolyn because she has such a good heart, but she doesn’t let it show as much as she should. She seems rough, but it is a defense for a kindness she possesses deep within.
These red poppies from Nafplio are so pretty, yet have an interesting center. Caitlin is certainly a beautiful girl, but her real beauty stems from her personality. She was able to view everything from a fair perspective and often reminded others about the other side to every argument. As a psychology major, she was very perceptive and could offer a keen analysis of individuals and issues within and outside of our group.
These flowers from Rhodes are white and seemingly subtle and simple, yet they pop suddenly at the center. They represent Meghan because she is mostly quiet, but so randomly would burst out with a funny joke or a weird saying.
This peony from Corfu reminds me of Alyssa because it looks so sweet. Alyssa was kind at all times to every person on the trip, no matter how frustrating that person could be.
This sunflower from Cephalonia represents Lexy. You could look at her at any moment of the day, no matter how scorching the sun was, or how long we had been standing up, and she would always have a bright smile on her face. Her cheeriness was contagious, and I often noticed the people around her couldn’t help but adopt her smile.
This wildflower, found on a nature walk to the Old City of Rhodes, reminds me of Artemis. It is pure and beautiful in a very simple way. It is very unique and unlike most other flowers. It looks very warm and welcoming, like our beloved Artemis, who was always so kind, gentle, patient and caring.
These vinca impatients from Corfu represent Lisa because they have a subtle sweetness about them. Lisa was not the most outgoing person, but that does not mean she was not kind. When you spent time with her individually, she was full of warmth and very interested to learn about your life more than talking about her own.
<ul><li>These flowers, outside the Hellenic American Union in Athens, were very unique. I did not see any like these for the remainder of the trip. They remind me of Charlotte because they are flowers that are very different and thus can easily go unnoticed or even be shrugged off as less important. However, when you look close, they are absolutely beautiful in their own way. They do not instantly shout beauty; it is only seen when you take the time to notice them and it is then that you see they are almost the most beautiful flower of all. </li></ul>
These daisies from Nafplio remind me of Alexis. They are bursting with life. Alexis brought a lot of laughter to even the most daunting situations. When everyone had enough for the day, Alexis could brighten the moment with some funny anecdote or quotation. These daisies are as beautiful as they are bright, just like this wonderful girl who I now consider one of my best friends.
This yellow hibiscus from Corfu represents Lou because it is impossible to look at this flower without smiling. Lou was never in a bad mood or had a frown on his face the entire 4.5 weeks we were in Greece. His optimism was admirable and many flocked to him because of his upbeat, positive attitude and constant smile.
This flower lives in Arkadi. I stumbled upon it before boarding the bus and was speechless. It is the most unique, breath-taking, rarity in all of Greece. Thus, it reminds me of Katula because he is a one-of-a-kind person, professor, and friend. He is so dedicated, hard-working, intelligent, kind, thoughtful, and inspiring—you rarely find this blend of qualities in a single person. His efficiency and devotion made this trip not only possible, but one that changed each of our lives forever.
These roses from Rhodes represent me. The rose is the one flower that everyone can indentify and relate to in some way. It also symbolizes love and happiness. I think I held together our group in a special way. From the very second day of our trip, I earned the nickname “Mom,” and it stuck the entire 4.5 weeks. Almost every member of our group came to me individually when they needed to confide in someone or simply vent. I offered them my sincerest advice and lots of care and love. Everyone knew they could trust me and I feel I formed a special bond with every single member of our group. I hope that I taught them as much as they taught me.
Unfortunately, this photo journal, like all other good things, must come to an end here. Throughout the course of this trip, I photographed many beautiful, exotic flowers for the purpose of this journal. However, the most important part of this project has been this in-depth analysis of each person I was blessed enough to encounter. I learned how to live in a foreign place and only successfully did so with the help of these intelligent, kind new friends I met. Greece’s beauty was accentuated because of the inner and outer beauty of those I was surrounded by. Beyond the group and tour guides, the people of Greece all possess this glowing inner beauty; they were always so warm, welcoming, and friendly. They all wanted to know about your life more they wanted to talk about their own. This dynamic is one I have never experienced because this never occurs in America. The Greek people taught me to take time to appreciate things like long dinners, extensive conversations and they reminded me to take time to smell the flowers. This trip, all the people I encountered, and everything that has happened in the past five weeks has impacted my life in a way that I can never and will never forget.