Tuesday, January 16, 2007

My love of Greece

It has been a while since I have posted on my blog.  I was religious about keeping track of the things that I had done when I was in Italy, but when I got to Greece,everything was so familiar to me that I was able to settle down into theroutine that had become so familiar to me from previous semesters.  I’m sorry that I didn’t stop to share these experiences with you at that time.

All I can tell you is that my love of Greece is so profound. Every time I return, there are many things that I directly miss and anticipate making a part of my life. These things include

  • Eating a bougatsa (cream pie) from the bakery. These were a wonderful treat that I discovered (and became obsessed with) during my first semester, and I have continued to be a devout follower since.
  • Eating a souvlaki from Zorbas. A souvlaki consists of cubes of chicken on a stick, which is then put in a fried pita with yogurt sauce, tomatoes and french fries.
  • Picking Thyme, Oregano, Sage and Rosemary off the hillsides to cook for dinner.
  • The donkeys that some farmers still own to help out with the farm work.
  • The kalamari that can be found at any self-respecting Greek restaurant.
  • The bakery bread that tastes great and only costs 60 cents.
  • The greetings that inevitably come from the staff of the Aegean Center.

However, there are many things in addition to those listed above which are part of the experience of returning to Greece. All of them are not anticipated, but they become much appreciated, and they drive home the reality that I am in fact 12,000 miles away from home in a country where things are done much differently. These things include

· The sound of the bells that come from the Hundred Doors Church every day (even if they are a recording).

· The smell of the Mediterranean Sea as it calmly laps day in and day out.

· The fresh air that blows from the north during a cold storm.

· The torrential rain storms that have the streets flooding up to your knees.

· The song that the ferries play as they lower the doors to let passengers on and off.

· The magical intensity of the light that is in fact different than any other place on earth.

· The fragrances of the herbs on the hillsides that make every walk seem like a meal.

· The smells that come out of every house at lunch that make you want to go in and sit down with a family you have never met.

· The long afternoon siestas everyone takes, which leave the town looking dead.

· The warm, southern winds that carry dust up from the Sahara Desert.

· The painted lines around the stones on the streets.

· The thousands of churches that sit at every turn and in every nook, each serving a different purpose.

· The smell of wax used for candles in the churches.

That all said. I do miss Greece a lot now that I am home. It is a part of my life that I will never forget. Going to Greece the three times that I went has had an indelible imprint on my life that I carry with me every day. I was looking at some of my photographic work from before I went to Greece, and I realized that the quality of it was much lower than the quality of the work that I do now. It was an educational experience that I take with me every second of the day because I now am always thinking photographically. I grew up from being a little girl that likes photography to being the woman who can really produce good images. Thank you to everyone that has made this possible.

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