Laurette Bennhold-Samaan “Going HOME” From Samos

Going “HOME”

Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit it. — H. Jackson Browne

“If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.” — Dalai Lama

In Closing

This was my first blog and I hope that I was able to capture my ideas, impressions, and stories to create imagery and intrigue. I hope you have learned a bit more about what one person’s experience has been with refugees and I hope it has brought questions to your head and moved your heart in some way.

Tomorrow at the crack of dawn I fly back. Over my career, I have worked with others on their re-entry and how difficult it is and oftentimes more difficult than the outbound adjustment. I have no doubt that this experience will stay with me forever. It has impacted and affected every bone in my body, every breath that I take and every thought that I have. One can never “go back” from such an intense experience without being changed in some way. I will need to figure out how and which parts to incorporate into my life.

Do I want to go home? No, not yet….but then I pause… I am so fortunate to have a “home” and to be able to go back. Refugees do not.

What have I really done here? I sometimes think the refugees did more for me than I could ever do for them. I am so glad I came. I strongly believe that simultaneously you can be well while doing good. As Booker T. Washington said, “I learned long ago that those who are the happiest are those who do the most for others.” You don’t need to traipse off to Greece to do good. There is so much need everywhere- just down the street from you, in your community. Decide where your heart is and what you would like to do to make the world a better place. It needs it now more than ever. You are more powerful than you think you are and have more to give than you could ever imagine. Meaningful work is far better than busy work. Don’t let fear or procrastination stop you. Follow your heart. Follow your intuition. There’s never a better time and that time is now!

I’ll close with one of my favorite quotes by John Wesley.

Do all the good you can

by all the means you can

in all the ways you can

in all the places you can

at all the times you can

to all the people you can

as long as you ever can.

This experience has certainly given me a different perspective.

Thanks for accompanying me on my journey to Samos Greece.


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  • Posts by Laurette Bennhold-Samaan captured my heart. For my generation (I have reached 80) the songs of South Pacific serve as a testament. 15 members of the Music Makers (100 of us sing together Wednesday mornings at the Golden Gate Park Senior Center on 37th Ave and Fulton St in San Francisco, CA) on Saturday afternoon sang these songs. I thought then YES, this is what our age group (60 through even 100) believes. Laurette Bennhold-Samaan speaks across years to our values.

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