My dear Friends:
What an adventure!!! I have met so many great people from all over the world! This morning, I met a man born in Bangladesh who lives in Athens and is President of the HELLENIC COMMUNITY OF FOREIGN PEOPLE & IMMIGRANTS. Farid A. He invited me and my friends to have coffee and tiropeta. The K. family is staying at my hotel. He says that the only way to have peace in the world is to vote for John Kerry! "With that peace will come....."
I will try to find a t-shirt with ITS ALL GREEK TO ME written on it but most of the t-shirts have the greek flag on them and/or "Athena 2004, OLympics".
Last night I attended a performance at the Herod Attica Theatre at the base of the Acropolis. Being a volunteer I was told that I could get free tickets. 4 tickets were available for each person. I asked if I could get 4 more and I got them under Thea Maria's(hereafter referred to as TM) name.
I asked the Athanassiadis to come but they had already invited someone to dinner. I asked Dr. Nikos T. and his girlfriend, Maro, to come but Nikos was seeing patients last night. Therefore I invited TM who was so excited to come, my first cousin, Litsa M., Lena M., who is married to Litsa's son, Theophanis, and Lena's oldest daughter, Sofia, 8 yr old.
I also invited Sofia and Genti P. I met them at a coffee house. Sofia is completing her studies as a Maritime Transport Economist. Her husband, Genti, is a violinist in the Athens Orchestra and has a BA degree in music. They gave me a CD with several classical compositions on it. Genti is Greek/Roumanian. They are both wonderful beautifull people. So kind and sweet.
Now, let's get back to the games
Last night the Olympic Torch was returned to the Acropolis inAthens!!! Carl Lewis was carrying it. It was given to the mayor of Athens, Dora Bacogiannis, and Ioanna Daskalakis Angelopoulou, the chairman of the Athens Olympic Games at the GREAT ANCIENT HEROD ATTICUS THEATRE. (It appears that women are responsible for the success that Greece has had in bringing the Olympic Games to Athens.) Formal ceremonies were held with other previous Olympic Medal winners present. We were able to see all of these festivities projected on a large screen in the Herold Atticus Theatre. King Constantine and his wife were also there. Even though he has no power, the Greek people still love honor and respect him.
Then the Philharmonic Orchestra of Patras played (mostly string players with a trumpet solo) 4 compositions. Then Markopulos, classic pianist, performed with the orchestra on a large grand piano. TM and I were able to sit with the Special Needs people because TM cannot walk without my holding her arm.
We had GREAT SEATS. I have it all on my camcorder so you can see it when I return. Tonight, Dr. Nikos Tsopelas has invited me and other friends to his home in EKALI (1 hr. away) to watch the Opening Ceremonies on his large screen. I will remain there overnight.
I begin my duty on Saturday, from 6 pm to 1 am. My job will be to welcome people and help them fiknd their way arround and answer questions. My venue is SPECTATOR SERVICES and I have been assigned to the Central Gate. We are called the FACE OF THE GAMES. We are told to be very polite and helpful to everyone. If they are upset and anxious, we should do our best to calm them down .
I can hardly wait for my shift to begin. I will be working every day 7-8 hours/day but different hours every day. I have 1 day off every 5 days. On Sunday, August 14 I will work from 11:30 am to 5:30 pm.
My friends from USA, Jeannine R. (retired attorney) and husband, Jim, teaches Sociology at FCC have arrived and live in a flat in a suburb, N. I.. Gudo H., nutritionist and husband Ken clinical psychologist, who teaches at FCC will arrive tonight at 11 pm.
More later, Me polli agapi, Eleni
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