What started as simple Greek language classes online with Greek LOL for a student turned into a reunion of dear friends who hadn’t seen each other in decades. It’s amazing how life has its twits and turns. The heartwarming story is provided by our Greek language partners at Greek Lessons Online, an online language school.
Freda Holevas Mindlin has been a Greek Lessons OnLine student for over two years now. She has shared many stories about her life with her teacher, Stella Bompotsiari, not only because she takes a Greek Conversation course, but also because they have become become close friends. Freda has travelled a lot and experienced a lifestyle that many of us would love to have.
When Greek Lessons OnLine announced its summer trip to Greece, Freda was the first to book a spot. She has been to Greece many times, as her parents were Greek, but this time her trip had a different purpose: she wanted to reconnect with old friends and her family.
She wanted to visit Volos, her dad’s birthplace and she also asked Stella if she could help her track a very beloved friend of hers whom she hasn’t talked to or seen for over 20 years.
Stella was aware that Freda worked in theatre and that her husband’s professional and social life included actors, directors and film-producers but would never expect that she would be about to start looking for one of them.
When Stella asked Freda who this beloved friend was, she said, “I don’t know if you know her but her name is Rika Dialina”.
“I couldn’t believe my ears… I have watched so many movies with Rika!” Stella said.
Watching movies of the Greek Cinema Golden Age on the weekends has been a ritual for many greek families over the years. Dialina, Papagiannopoulos, Voutsas, Karezi, Vlachopoulou and so many others, are an integral part of the Greek cinema culture.
Every time Stella had a lesson with Freda, they devoted at least 20 minutes gathering information about Rika’s life. They watched and read Rika’s most recent interviews, went on Facebook, and visited several websites referring to her name.
They were acting like professional sleuths! They wanted to find her email, a telephone number or an address to contact her, but it wasn’t easy.
“Being a failed investigator would not harm my career but would definitely disappoint Freda and this was the last thing I wanted” Stella said.
Thanks to Dimitris Papadopoulos and Mia Kollia, who are both journalists, they managed to find Rika’s number. Freda could not believe it! She called Rika the next day and they were on the phone for over an hour talking about the past and making plans for the summer.
After Greek Lessons OnLine tour, Freda headed to Porto Hydra to meet Rika and her family. They spent 4 days together and Freda told Stella “I felt like the last time I had seen her was just yesterday”. This happens only with very good friends!
“It feels to me like I am dreaming” Rika said. Now we can definitely say that Greek Lessons OnLine is more than a Greek school.