What I’ve learned during this refugee crisis

by Kayra Martinez

I’ve learned to count to ten in Arabic.
I’ve learned that listening is the key to success.
I’ve learned that a genuine heart along with dedication gets more done than a title with money. 
I’ve learned that children are the true meaning of love.
I’ve learned that action really does speak louder than words.
I’ve learned that I have an affinity for food from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
I’ve learned that collaborating between two like minded people/groups can move mountains.
I’ve learned that technology is truly the wave of the future.
I’ve learned that bubbles and balloons can solve big problems.
I’ve learned that art can heal all wounds.
I’ve learned that a smile can open new doors and hearts. 
I’ve learned that it’s ok to cry.
I’ve learned that you can’t say no to second servings from a Syrian cook, or thirds…
I’ve learned that I can’t drink three chai’s and two coffee’s in one day, no matter if it’s impolite or not. 
I’ve learned who my true friends are.
I’ve learned the generous spirit of the Greek people.
I’ve learned how to pack seven suitcases in two days. 
I’ve learned that citizens of the world can save the world.
I’ve learned that for the rest of my life I will always be shopping for men’s shoes 40–44.
I’ve learned how to write a blog.
I’ve learned that being that ‘Drop in the Ocean’ is good enough for me.
I’ve learned we need to put egos aside in order to grow, work side by side and succeed. 
I’ve learned that studying German has proven to be a great decision.
I’ve learned that traveling light isn’t in my vocabulary.
I’ve learned that I will never go back to the life I once led.

Kayra Martinez is a flight attendant for a major airline who volunteers full time in northern Greece. She helps in the refugee camps as well as an offsite community, teaching languages, working on children’s art, and organizing donations and jewelry classes for the refugees so they can be creative and use their own skills. You can read more of her work on her blog.