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Greece Day 0: My Pre-Emptive Apollo-gies for These Titles

By Meghana Veldhuis

· Greece 2023

Day 0: March 17th, 2023

Hello everybody and welcome to the first installment in BCA’s first Global Studies trip in an awfully long while! My name is Meghana Veldhuis, I am a senior in AAST, and I will be your author for the upcoming week.

For those of you who are not familiar with the relevantbackground information, this trip is taking 24 BCA Seniors (class of 2023), spanning academies, to Greece, to learn about, “The birthplace of Western philosophy and democracy,” quote the Global Studies website. This trip is notable for being BCA’s firstglobal program based in humanities and not restricting applicants by academy.

Being as this trip is literally titled, “Greece: Birthplaceof Democracy,” I figured it would be fitting to start this blog series with Day 0: Birthplace of our Journey. While it was being organized for months (thank you Mr. Kaser and Mr. Tronicke!), the students’ journeys began at 1:30 pm EST on Friday, March 17th, in Mr. Madden’s room. There, we were given basics like power adaptors and converters and matching luggage tags so that we could identify our bags quickly.

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Fun at the pre-trip meeting (Day 0!)

By 2:30 pm EST, we were in a school bus en route to JFKairport in New York. There were 27 of usin total—the 24 students, Mr. Madden, who’s heading the trip, and Ms. Kaba and Ms. Sousa, who are chaperones. We got to JFK at 4:00 pm and had a thankfully quick passage through security, and then
got to entertain ourselves until boarding at 6:30 pm.

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A fun bus ride to JFK

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Our large group at JFK (title image)

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Enjoying the airport food

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Your lovely author watching five different people's bags

Though we originally had a direct flight from Newark to Athens, we ended up switching to a connection starting at JFK going to Munich, Germany, and then Munich to Athens. This did not end up drastically changing the total duration of our travel time and did allow us to ride in one of the most exciting airplanes I think I’ve ever seen—it had two levels! In the middle ofthe plane were legitimate stairs to a basement level where all the bathrooms were.

The flight was overnight, from 7:00 pm EST to about 2:30 am EST (about 7:30 am Central European Time, which is the time zone in Munich). We were able to see the sun set in New York and then rise again in Munich! The intention was for us to sleep during the plane ride; that was accomplished with various degrees of success depending on the person in question. Still, our enthusiasm for the next portion of the journey was even greater than before!