Trip Start Jun 01, 2008
23Trip End Jun 30, 2008
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Where I stayed
I will say that, if you're planning a trip of this caliber, you can maintain sanity better if you have the tools of Landmark Education (http://www.landmarkeducation.com/) at hand. In fact, I wouldn't even have had the chance to do this trip--especially with my daughter and friend--without Landmark Education and, especially, the Wisdom Course. Thanks to everyone there for helping me create the possibility!
I've just ordered the prints of my photos and have lots of thank-you letters to send out yet. Lying on the floor of my bedroom is one small bag still containing most of the purchases from the trip, other than the gifts I bought. I will inventory it completely on a rainy day. Most of the purchases are books. Lots of books. I thought I'd bought all the available books during my 2006 trip to Greece, but I found lots more! I also have two new statues, one of Artemis hunting and a bust of Apollo, the latter purchased with my friend Harita Meenee's help (http://www.hmeenee.com/). These join Athena on my special table. I also have a few pieces of jewellry and the required komboloi on my dresser.
Most of what I brought back, though, are memories, only some of them captured in photos. The trips I took with my daughters to visit special places will be peak memories but it was also wonderful lying on the beach and doing nothing except being with them. How often do I get to do that anymore? And the days of exploration with Karen--some of them in intense heat--are also treasures. I managed to break through some upsets and fears to get to "all is well" while driving through towns and countryside I'd never seen before, on less than ideal roads among people who have an entirely different set of driving expectations than I'd ever encountered before
And I developed some comfort with the Greek language, including getting over the fact that, even after four years of studying the (modern) language, the words I needed were not necessarily the ones I had learned! But I encountered at least a few people who encouraged me to converse with them, even with my halting Greek, and were grateful that I even tried. But everyone's kindness and warmth are also wonderful gifts to bring back. I will especially remember the delightful ladies at the Varosi in Edessa. The funniest language situation I encountered was trying to explain what it was that Karen was putting into the gas tank before the gas was added (finally getting it down to a laconic "With this in the gas, the car goes further;" it seems to have done the trick). Each time I dared to speak, the "chore" was a bit easier (and I'd learn another word or two, including, finally, "additive"--prosmixi) and eventually became a treat. The surprised smiles were reward enough, even though the initial response came at me like the speed of light and I had to get them to slow down to sub-warp drive.
As for my research goals, I was not confirmed in all my expectations for the site of Osios Loukas, but it might be that I just need to do more background reading
For sure, my next trip, even if the purpose is scholarly, will include more time on the beach. I think I'm finally to understand the value of mixing work and play. (Thanks, Wisdomites!)
And before I close, I want to say thank you to my husband Marv. Once enrolled in the idea, he was THE reason that I and my daughters got to go. Hon, there's no way in the world to ever thank you enough for this opportunity. You are kind and loving and empowering and open to new possibilities. What more could anyone want? I'm the luckiest girl on the planet!
And now, you can all join Marv and me on our trip to Hawaii! Check out my other travelblog starting August 2, 2008.