February 24, 2010
By Derek Devine BRONZE, Houston, Texas
Derek Devine BRONZE, Houston, Texas
4 articles 0 photos 0 comments

The wavy blue field below me began to grow bigger and bigger as we started our decent to land. It was spring break of 8th grade and I was landing in my dream destination. It took eighteen hours on a plane to get here but it was worth it. My grandparents take all of the grandchildren on a journey to a place that they want to go after their eight-grade year. My choices where Machu Picchu or Greece, this wasn’t any easy decision. Machu Picchu is going to be closed, but Greece is a historical walk every inch.

The airport wasn’t as big as other airports but it was a pretty good size. Customs wasn’t that tough and not a lot of people spoke that good of English. When I stepped out side and smelt a gust of smoke it was a wake up moment that I was really in Greece. It was crazy everyone running around like little ants hailing taxis. Drivers hauling their passengers bag in the trunk. We shut the doors and we are off. Not like the books the Athens is modern and graffiti everywhere since there has been a lot of rioting because of a students death. My hotel, the Olympian, is across the street from the Temple of Zeus. The first day was the hardest day and night because I was awake for thirty-eight hours. I met my tour guide, who is the head master of a school and knows the history of Greece. This will be a trip of a lifetime.
The first day after I arrived we wanted to visit the Parthenon and Acropolis. These structures are the backbone of Athens and built with tremendous thought and ability. The columns where built in a Corinthian style architecture. The columns are made out of marble and are slanted inward, resembling a pyramid if they kept on going into the sky. The locals that live there want to preserve their past so they are reinforcing the columns to they wont fall. One thing that changed me personally was when I visited a school in Greece. This wasn’t a regular school these kids go there because they are good at sports. Their school revolves around sports.

Visiting the school was a little nerve racking, new school new faces not in my comfort zone. The lady that owned the school was my tour guide for the past two days. She toured me around and showed my some of the classes and kids. This school wasn’t that great. The buildings were small and graffiti everywhere, but the kids enjoyed every day, with so little. What’s interesting about Greece is they don’t have grades like the U.S. but another way of saying what grade they are in. Even though most of the kids there are great at their sport they probably wont go to a high level so they have to succeed in school. Greece doesn’t have any colleges and most of the kids’ parents are in the lower class so they have to try to get into a college in the U.S. They inspired me from how little they had but they still tried to succeed in academics and their sport.

When I arrived at the school everyone herd that an American student is going to come and visit so they where expecting me. When I walked into the room of a class their eyes just lit up with excitement. When the bell rang so many kids ran to the classroom that I was in and wanted to tour me around and hang with me for about four hours. Four

students toured me around, one could speak English very fluently. The others had a hard time, but I still could understand them. They where very friendly and they asked a bunch of questions about academics and just a regular life of an American. I was asked if I rode a horse to school, which cracked me up.

After that trip it made me realize that in America we have so much and we take it for granted but when I went to Greece it opened my eyes to a different perspective of peoples everyday life. These kids really don’t have much, but they make use of what they have, and they strive for huge goals. I remember one kid wanted to go to Yale for college instead of working for his family. I was amazed of how they lived their life but had li

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