Hey everyone. I'm in Thessoloniki right now enjoying the rich cultural experience of their internet cafes. We arrived by ferry to Igoumenista yesterday and were blessed to catch a ride to Thessaloniki with a Russian Priest-Monk and his ex-convict-turned-Orthodox disciple from Germany. We figured out that we spoke at least 8 languages between the four of us, none of which was Greek (so we still had a hard time getting directions). We made a brief stop at the Meteora Monastaries on the way, which (as one who has a particular affinity for giant rock faces) was a thrilling experience.
Tomorrow we depart for Mount Athos. Please pray for us. I am excited and terrified. I really don't know what to expect, spiritually, emotionally, physically (little sleep, little food, long prayers, long hikes). Pray that my ears will be open and my heart will be discerning.
I am looking forward to coming home at the end of the month. Graham: can Jesse borrow your car to pick me up, since mine is at the bottom of the sea? Also, I may have to move downstairs to Gabe's old room (since he is apparently also at the bottom of the sea with my car). Do you think that Jesse and you can keep the noise down during the day while I'm sleeping? Also, if you happen to brave another mission into my room, I was hoping to read my "Letters of the Desert Fathers" when I return. As I will be in exile from my own home and possessions (in the cruel desert of Gabe's room), this reading may offer some consolation. See if you can grab it from my shelf or recover at least a few pages from the papier mache cacoon. If one of the aliens happens to be reading it, please kindly ask him if he could finish before my return (or at least take some good notes for me).
All my love,