The Cold Doesn’t Bother Me Anyway

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The Cold Doesn’t Bother Me Anyway

Nataile Suh, Design Editor

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It was the second day of camp for senior Yiannos Demetriou, then a seven-year-old. He was up in the mountains where it was lush and green, camping as part of the scouts program in Cyprus—an island country in the Mediterranean Sea. The day was supposed to be filled with exploring the scenic views of the Mediterranean Sea and camp songs, but instead, Demetriou and the rest of the campers had to flee to a nearby school due to a blazing wildfire that broke out. After staying the night in the school, they returned to the campsite knowing the fire had been put out. But the elements persisted. Fierce rains appeared and engulfed the campsite. Then, against all odds, it started hailing in a country where snow is rare.
Demetriou was born in Michigan, then moved to Cyprus with his family when he was one. Growing up, Demetriou enjoyed participating in the scouts program offered to boys and girls. As a young child, he played hide and seek in the mountains at night, but, as he got older, he chose to become a sea scout to go scuba diving and sailing.
Outside of the scouts program, Demetriou found other ways to explore and adventure.
“Me and my friends would climb trees,” Demetriou said. “We used to build mini houses in them. We’d find random pieces of wood everywhere from construction sites and haul it to the tree and get nails and a hammer and nail it on the tree to lay on it.”
Due to the 2013 Cypriot financial crisis, Demetriou’s family chose to leave the island country and come back to the United States when he was 13. There were many changes Demetriou had to cope with, the most obvious one being the weather.
“When I first moved here, I tried wearing regular clothes during the winter, but I didn’t like it,” Demetriou said. “So I started wearing shorts again, but the cold didn’t really bother my legs, so the next year I was like, ‘I’m gonna try not wearing a hoodie because that’s not too comfortable either.’ Then I went to flip flops, and the cold doesn’t bother me anymore.”
Now, Demetriou strolls to class in his flip flops and shorts year-round while others stay zipped up in parkas. However, the transition to a new school was more difficult than adjusting to the climate.
“As a kid, I thought it was going to be an adventure and cool,” Demetriou said. “So when I first moved here in eighth grade, it was fun. I made a lot of connections, but not deep connections. I turned into being introverted which is not natural for me; I’m a very extroverted person.”
Demetriou spent most of his time at home reading and playing the guitar, but the summer going into his freshman year, he had the chance to visit Cyprus to see his friends and go camping again.
“After I went back and I had that awesome time, I said, ‘I’m gonna make my life like that,’ and when I came back here, I became extroverted again in a snap,” Demetriou said.
While he was living in Cyprus, he played classical guitar and did traditional Greek dances. Since then, he has taken up the trumpet and plays in Concert Band.
“I just grew up with music, so I really love it,” Demetriou said. “That’s something that’s better here than in Cyprus cause in music class, there is music theory.”
In band, he has met many of his friends, like senior Tessa Kaminski. They met in Concert Band his sophomore year.
“He has his own personality but him being from Cyprus, he adapts that here,” Kaminski said. “He goes every summer, so he’s very in touch there.”
Senior Peyton Young also met Demetriou through the Concert Band. Since then, they have become close friends with shared hobbies, such as climbing trees.
“I have climbed many trees with him and he is a very good climber,” Young said. “We go to places like Boulan Park, and at band camp there’s this one tree we climbed all the way up. He said his life goal is to live in the jungle, so, I mean, gotta learn now.”
Every summer, Demetriou goes back to Cyprus to participate in the scouts program. He leads kids in the activities that he took part in as a child. This year, he will have the position of “vice-chief”—a title loosely translated from Greek. In that position, Demetriou will prepare various activities and teach lessons to the younger scouts.
“I’d still probably like it more there,” Demetriou said. “But I have good friends here and we have lots of fun.”

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