Back from the land of Ouzo!

Firstly apologies for not updating you all since Thursday. It appears that my phone provider are actually crap so I had no service and very limited access to wifi so was unable to post anything until now!

Well what an incredible 10 days it has been. So many emotions!

On Thursday before heading to Ioannina we had one last performance with the seagulls Wolfy, Yahoo, Beckie and Bridget where we did parachute games which the children loved. We all had a €1 falafel wrap to fuel us for the journey. I also tried a Freddo cappuccino with the full amount of coffee and actually liked it! #CoffeeLoverInTheMaking.

It took us about 6 hours to get to Ioannina and upon our arrival our new Flying Seagull friends had cooked an incredibly yummy buffet dinner consisting of Greek salads and an amazing tzatziki! The view from the Seagull house was absolutely incredible, so tranquil and secluded. We were literally in the middle of no where, it was gorgeous.

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View from the Flying Seagull house in Ioannina.

We were briefed about the following 3 days to come which made us all incredibly excited and we got told we were going to be taken swimming which I couldn’t wait for!

On Friday I woke to the sounds of the puppies (yes, the seagull house had somehow accumulated puppies by accident and they were full of cuteness).

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Some of us also did a 20 minute workout which was ace – I realised how unfit I am..I also had an English cuppa with my breakie and this made me incredibly happy seeing as little miss teapot here hadn’t had one for nearly a week – I was in fact having withdrawal symptoms.

We went to two different camps on Friday, one of which twice. The seagulls had erected a Big Top tent at one so when they went for the sessions, both them and the children had somewhere outside in the shade. To celebrate the new Big Top tent we threw a party in the evening for the children which they all absolutely loved. They took over the sound system within the first 20 minutes and Lauren and Sophie somehow got the kids lining up to do limbo! I had a sudden moment during the party where I felt so overwhelmed with everything that we were doing. The children were so happy from just a simple set up of games and music, something we’re used to. Seeing them having fun and letting off steam was such an awesome thing to witness.

Sadly Liam, Laura, Charley and Maria headed home on Saturday, so Friday evening we were introduced to the Flying Seagull circle of praise. I’m just going to leave that there..

On Saturday we went to a camp that hadn’t had any Flying Seagull interaction since new families had arrived, so there was total excitement when we arrived. We did a shorter session out in the direct sun so it was extremely hot! The second camp we went to had the treat of learning trapeze and stilts. The children’s faces when seeing the trapeze was amazing, I was so excited for them I nearly face planted the floor from my stilts! How I managed to save myself I have no idea (Thank you Aida!).

We finally got to go swimming in a mountain river which was gorgeous! We climbed up to the waterfall plunge pool too which was incredible! The water was fresh mountain water so was slightly chilly but it was so hot you hardly noticed.

We headed to the final camp of the day where we did a juggling workshop with the kids = CHAOS! but they loved it and that’s all that matters. We stopped off at a shop for some food supplies and I ended up buying a packet of Cheetos with the free tattoo in it as you can’t seem to buy them in the UK anymore and I was feeling like a big kid. I also had  a white kinder bueno which felt like such a luxury

We stopped off for a drink at a bar overlooking the lake which was lovely as the sun began to set. Saturday was also the day my stomach decided to go awol..those of you who know me will understand hahaha…

EGG SUNDAY! Our final day in Greece. Yes egg Sunday means eggs for breakiee and they were bloody lush. The first camp of the day was filled with the fun of a bouncy castle – it was full on! Sectioning the children into different age groups to try and keep some form of safety was a challenge, but yet again the kids loved it and it gave us all a workout!

When you think of Greece you think its just sunny 24/7, well…we had a massive storm with thunder and lightening and therefore we did cinema at the second camp and watched Kung Fu Panda 2 in Arabic..that was interesting hahaa. This camp is the one I will remember the most because of some of the children there and because of the amount of time we spent there.

We went to the final camp of the day and the trip and the kids were so interactive and focused with the juggling and other games it was brilliant. Such a good session to end on.

One of the new volunteers Marco had arrived when we got back and he’d been cycling for 5 days from Italy to get to Ioannina! Dedication or what?!

The storm was still going on into the evening, the thunder was soooo loud. Our final dinner was fajitas with halloumi, need I say more?! We once again did the praise circle and so many lovely things were said about each other and I am so grateful I had the opportunity to go on this trip – Thank you to our fearless leader Piotr for actually seeing this trip through, its been incredible.

Sunday’s in the Flying Seagull house is also known as “piss up Sunday” so it got to 3.10am and we ended up jamming in the kitchen and deciding to do acro..after a whole bottle of wine my face says it all..I look like something out of Chicken Run.

Monday was flying home day and we didn’t rise until 1pm, oops! We had a 3 hour drive to the airport from Ioannina and once there I ended up purchasing the crappiest most overpriced sausage roll ever – never again hahaa.

Now I’m back home, back to work and reality. This trip has made me appreciate absolutely everything and I am seriously so thankful to have been a part of this trip and those children’s lives for a week. Thank you to the Flying Seagulls for having us, both in Athens and Ioannina – I’m sure our paths will cross again sometime soon.

All that’s left to say is:

“Love love love love love”

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