Toni Lynn Harr

Juniata College, Social Studies/Secondary Education
2013-14 and 2014-15, English Teaching Fellow – Hellenic American Educational Foundation

“...I have put off writing this reflection for so long because I have been trying to avoid the inevitable. Every time I begin writing, I always end up in tears. I don't want to believe that I have a one-way plane ticket back to the US in August. I don't want to face the reality of parting with many people who have become staples in my life. I'm terrible at 'goodbyes' and in essence that is what this task is—my final thoughts and reflections of my Fulbright experience.

One of my favorite places to sit and think is at the Acropolis Museum cafe. I can see an accurate portrayal of my many experiences in the faces of others—the eager excitement and weariness of the tourists after a long day of adventuring, the relaxed demeanor of locals spending time with family and friends, the blissfully carefree spirit of the children chasing pigeons, and the hard-working but sometimes linguistically confused staff (who finally communicate with me in only Greek after much insistence on my part). The beauty of Greece is not only in her history and geography, but also in her people...”

“... People are the reason for this program, and the location enhances the experience. Each person mentioned above has touched me in some way, altered my perspectives in life, challenged my way of thinking, and/or cared for me. Greece will always be a part of me, and I feel like my heart is breaking right now. I do know, however, that this is not “goodbye” but rather an extended “I’ll see you again someday.” I am certain I’ll find my way back to Greece, one of the most beautiful places in the world, in some capacity. Even now, in a time of utter chaos, the people and this country still muster strength to carry on with daily life (and I am certain it would not be the same in the United States if a similar situation occurred). A Fulbright grant should come with a full disclosure and a warning label—no one told me I would fall in love...”

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