Ready, sail, go!

Our sailing boat started into the summer season after a long winter break and we went on our first excursion. Together with the organization we went to the neighbor island Oinousses and spent one night at the port there. On the way there we got to refresh our sailing knowledge and drove the boat as well as set the sails.

We arrived shortly before sunset in Oinousses and explored the island in a beautiful orange and red coloring. Of course, we took many pictures. Oinousses is actually made up by many small islands and from a higher point of view we could also admire those.

In the evening we went to all of the bars of the small island, well, actually there is just one. Jokes like “We are in the best bar of the island” made our evening.

After an surprisingly relaxing night on the boat we spent the next morning at the beach. It was a nice trip which we will remember for a long time.

Summer is here!

Around ten days ago the school year officially ended in Greece. To celebrate the beginning of summer they presented songs and theatres in front of parents and students. Especially the first and last class of the school thought of something special for the event. Also we had to say goodbye to the teachers and students whom we’ve spent a lot of time with. It was an amazing and educative time.

Many will probably ask themselves now: School is over, what is she still doing in Greece then? Well, in the summer our main focus is on the computer work (video cutting, website design and our radio). Additionally, we organize a kids summer program from Monday to Friday for two hours a day. So we still have enough work.

Doing the summer activities for children was a new experience for us but just after one week we can tell that this summer will be great!

Father’s Day without my dad

Dear Dad,
while I am spending my weekend in the south of the island on a beach, you have a lot of things going on at home. From your birthday, a concert, 125 years of our orchestra to Father’s Day – a quick “Happy birthday” on the phone was all we could squeeze in. By the way, last week a new volunteer arrived, a Polish guy. Oh, and yesterday I got up at 5am to see the sunrise. Later I slept again, I’m just not used to getting up that early like you are.

Well, and around noon the organization took us to Komi, a beautiful sandy beach. If I told you that you can find lounger after lounger here and next to them sunshades you wouldn’t want to come visit me for sure. It took me by surprise as well that although many people came here the atmosphere was still quiet and relaxed. Yesterday I finally did it, I went inside the ocean from the beach for the first time in Greece. I think part of why I had the courage to was that the water was crystal clear and I couldn’t spot any fish. Of course, I took many photos and finally put my underwater camera to use.

In the late afternoon we walked from Komi to Emporios. Not even 45 minutes from Komi you can find yourself entering an entirely different world. Emporios is a small village in a bay and has many charming taverns. Of course Greek food still doesn’t stand a chance against Schnitzel, Schweinsbraten and Co.

Well, and on Sunday, Father’s Day, we enjoyed the last sunrays at the black volcano beach before clouds moved in front of the sun. With a taxi we then went back to Komi where we spent the rest of the day.

It might be a little mean but greetings and kisses from the beach, dad! I hope you have an amazing Father’s Day. A great dad needs to be thanked from time to time, so THANK YOU, dad! I love you.

Yours, Babs

Summer celebration in the kindergarten

Last week the kindergarten already celebrated the end of the school year because the Greek summer holidays are very near. From Thursday 15 June no school will be open anymore.

Our Italian volunteers in the kindergarten were a big part of this celebration of course, they learnt songs and choreographies with the children and did many handicrafts. They really made it a special evening.

 

The songs they sang were from “Λάχανα και χάχανα” (Lachana ke chachana), a collection of funny children’s songs which they performed with dance moves. The costumes ranged from butterflies and sea urchins to old men. The whole performance was so cute and funny that my smile wouldn’t leave my face.

 

An afternoon in Mesta

On Saturday the organization offered us a great opportunity. They would visit Mesta with us, one of the most popular villages on the island. What makes this village so special is the construction that throws you back into medieval times straight away. The whole village is built as a castle, the houses out of stones side by side and through it some narrow streets. It’s amazing to think what the people there did to keep Mesta so well-preserved.

Because many people know our project manager from when he was a teacher we got held up by people for some small talk many times and they greeted us in a very friendly way. For about an hour we went through Mesta on our own and found many charming small shops with very nice locals explaining us the production of their products.

Before we left Mesta again we got the chance to go inside one of the houses. Outside the village we then found beautiful flowers that we kept as souvenirs of our trip to Mesta.

Big school excursion

Every year before the summer holidays most schools go on a „big excursion“. Why “big”? Because the excursion unlike others during the school year lasts the whole day. What really surprised me was that every child was accompanied by a family member, so per child it was at least a mum, a dad, a grandmother or another relative. There was just one child without an adult which was why I was declared mum for a day and given 10€ to buy food for the girl.

It was interesting and new to be responsible for a child almost on my own but also reminded me of home and my responsibility for my siblings. With three busses and a few cars we went on our journey which turned out to be quite the nostalgic trip for me if you can call it that yet. The first stop was Daskalopetra, a beach in Vrontados, which I had visited a lot of times in October already when I was still living there. They have a big, colourful playground there where the kids can spend an amazing time.

Our second stop was the Monastery Panagia Myrsiniotissa where I often went on walks to in autumn. For the first time I also got the chance to walk inside this amazingly beautiful building.

Our last stop was Lagada where we enjoyed seafood next to the ocean. We spent quite a lot of time there – some children tried to catch fish, others fed the ducks.

It was a great day and time seemed to fly by.

Escaping the rain

Our girls weekend was planned very spontaneously on Friday evening because the organization didn’t know if the weather would allow sailing on the weekend.

On Saturday in the morning we set off with our backpacks, prepared for a long walk. On the way we stopped a few times: at a monastery, for ice cream and when the view was just too breathtaking. All the time rain clouds followed us and we watched them with worry. The pro: we had comfortably cool temperatures during our walk through the Mastic region. Mastic is the resin of a tree which it produces only on Chios and can be found in many local products.

After around three hours of walking we arrived in Kalamoti, a small village with charming alleys. On the main square we managed to escape the first downpour of the day in a café. We played UNO until the rain subsided.

The we went on to the sandy beach of Komi and luckily got inside again before the rain poured down. Finally, we made it to “Emporios Bay Hotel” late afternoon where we jumped inside the pool before the rain surprised us again.

In the evening we ate at a charming tavern with decoration from old garden utensils, plants and ceramic vegetables. It was beautiful to look at but also a lure for all kinds of insects. Later we enjoyed cocktails in the hotel, thought back over the day and enjoyed the kindness of the family-run accomodation.

At breakfast we couldn’t get enough of all the selfmade pies, jams and more. The weather was wonderful and we went to the beach. Μαύρα Βόλια (Mavra Volia) is known for its unique black volcano stones. Since the stones were not really comfortable in the long run we decided to go back to Komi to spend the rest of the afternoon there.

From there we hiked for the last time to Pyrgi. After exploring the village we took the taxi back. What a weekend!