READi Lab’s own John Hershberger just returned from an adventure through Greece, his maternal homeland.
“My mother, Alexandra, was born in Athens, and she and her mother moved to the United States when my mother was seven years old.”
Over three weeks, John explored several Greek islands and the Greek capitol of Athens, visiting every ancient site, museum, and beach he could. He traveled from Athens to the islands of Rhodes, Crete, Naxos, and, finally, Chios, the birthplace of his yaya (grandmother), Irini. Along the way, he took some day trips to locations such as the ancient site of Delphi and the ruined city on the island of Delos.
“One of my favorite moments of the trip was visiting the small village of Kardamyla on Chios, where my yaya was born in 1909! On the waterfront of the village, I found a statue dedicated to ‘all the women of Kardamyla.’ It was an emotional experience when I realized that included my grandmother.”
John learned to speak Greek as a small child from his grandmother, and he was thrilled that the language came back to him. “I have not spoken much Greek in years, but I am so grateful that I learned the language at an early enough developmental state that it was easy to pick up again quickly!”