Wednesday, February 10, 2016

From Germany, with love -- and back at her!

For those of you who might be getting tired of my stories about "Girls School" (GS) graduates, buckle up!

In few days I will depart for Greece to continue my mission to connect all 205 GS graduates from 1966-1978 -- from the year the American Farm School took over the GS from the founding Quakers, until they closed it forever in 1978. To refresh your memories, I was at the School 1968 -78, which is why I have such a close relationship with those students and their families. During that period I visited the village home of every Girls School student at least once.

I visited Rosa Detsika (nee Kitti '69) in Koupa, Eidhomeni, a mountainous area very near the border w/"Macedonia" town now bearing so many refugee problems. To do so, you had to leave the asphalted main road. I was a master at navigating those one-lane cart/cow tracks, but on one occasion had a bit of a mishap. It had rained a lot, and the "road" was muddy and becoming rather treacherous. There wasn't really room to turn around either. Onward we went until my trusty VW slipped, leaving us suspended more than a little over the edge of a ravine. My colleague Carolina was close to hysterical, while I got out (carefully) and waved/shouted "Rosa" at the top of my lungs -- attracting the attention of the whole village across the way. Her father came post haste with his tractor to pull my car out of harm's way...and I was most grateful!

Photo op w/rabbit!
On another occasion -- this was a favorite village of mine! -- I went with my aunt Libby for a very pleasant visit. As we were leaving, Rosa's family presented us with a live hare (rabbit) squirming in a burlap sack. Fortunately for me (but perhaps not the rabbit), I convinced them that I was not going directly back to the School and simply could not take the rabbit. They kept it...

Last fall, I wrote to Rosa via her family in Axioupolis and received an answer some weeks later from Altena, Germany -- where I knew she had gone to work in 1970 like many Greeks. Unknown to me, she had stayed all this time. She has two children, a daughter (who now also lives in Germany, but not close by) and a son (who is a policeman in Athens.) There are now also 3 grandchildren in the mix. She was especially thrilled to get a contact list of her classmates, with whom she had lost touch!

Rosa's son became a godfather, too! (2014)
Rosa is looking forward to retiring in 2 years and returning to Greece...but will she under the present hellish economic circumstances? Time will tell, but meanwhile I have her German phone numbers and will talking with her very soon...from Greece, with love!

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