Monday, November 06, 2006

Olive Picking and Greek Dancing

My weekend was really nice and I did a few cool things for the first time too. The weekend ended up being the coldest so far and there was even snow visible on the highest mountain on Sunday morning.

On Saturday I helped out at Linda’s school for a bit and on the way home it started hailing and it was so cold! My face felt like it was being stung by needles and my fingers wouldn’t move for a while after the ride home. Once I got home though, I hibernated in my fleecy blanket and made tea. Later in the day, I went upstairs and had some homemade fish soup (so good!) and Linda and I made huge cookies that we ate while we watched a movie. It was so cozy up there; they had the fire going and it was nice to sit next to it, eat cookies, drink tea, and watch a movie.

It was beautiful on Sunday. The sun came out and warmed things up a little but it was still crisp and the air was so clear; you could see further than usual. In the late morning, Markos and I headed to an olive orchard up the road and started “picking” olives. I say “picking” because you don’t really have to pick with your hands much. Instead, he has a hand held machine which has little teeth at the end of a pole which vibrate in different directions (pictured below). All you have to do it run that machine through the tree branches and it whips the olives off the branches. We had to lay big mesh tarps under the trees to catch all the olives. We did about 15 trees and had to move the tarps from tree to tree. I left at about 4:30 and went home to have some lunch.

Linda decided to try a Greek dance class and asked if I wanted to try it out, so we planned to go that evening. It is Crete dancing as apposed to Paros dancing; each island and region of Greece has a different way of dancing and the Paros dance class was at an inconvenient time. Most of the class had been doing the lessons for 3 weeks already so we were a little behind. I’ll just say that I’m horrible at it! I couldn’t figure out some of the steps, but I think one reason is because the teacher spoke in Greek and would say a region in Crete and we’d have to dance the steps for that region (and I had no clue what he was saying, so that didn’t help). Oh well, I tried! I think Linda picked it up quite well and she’ll probably continue, I’m not sure I will though, we’ll see.

I talked to Tony on the phone and he had some good news. For the past week he’s been camping, guarding, doing exercises, and training in the middle of nowhere on Samos. He has been freezing his butt off and has had only a 1 hour break in 6 days, no shower, and he’s lucky to get 4 hours sleep at night. In other words it sounds miserable! BUT, on Sunday he found out that he was 1 of 16 people chosen to be in a parade for the President of Greece is a few days. This means that today, he gets to go back to the base and doesn’t have to go back to the camp which he should’ve been at till Friday! So he is happy! He’ll get to have a shower and sleep in a real bed without water seeping through his sleeping bag. He also found out the other missions he’ll have to do that make this camping trip look like a piece of cake! So he’s in for some more rough times but at least for now he got a bit of a break.


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