First Day of Work

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Flag of Greece  , Ionian Islands,
Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Today was my first day of work. The riding school is currently on vacation so there were no lessons today, which meant more menial chores.  We began early, at 8:30, with two hours of mucking stalls/fields.  SO.  MUCH.  POOP.  Why do those horses bother eating if it's going to come out so fast anyway?  The poop doesn’t smell that bad, but the pee-soaked hay is nauseating.

After mucking, we raked the track that the horses made in the arena so that it was even again.  I was sweating like I was in a sauna.  Then, we washed the helmets and some slimy, grimy food buckets.
 
The animals down at the stables are amazing.  There’s something like 10 regular horses and 20 Skyrians.  They’re actually ponies who come from Skyros.  They have a very long history but are now severely endangered.  The Silva Project breeds them and uses them for lessons, since they’re a good size for kids.  For more info about Skyrian horses, see: http://thesilvaproject.org/HorseHistory.shtml

Today, a gray cat with astonishing lime green eyes quickly became my favorite.  She has three legs (like the car on three wheels from Mr. Bean!) and her name is Tinkerbelle.  I love her because she let me pick her up and settle her against my shoulder, her head tickling my neck, purring all the while.
 
 
 
By the end of the today, we were so gross and sweaty that we had to hit the beach.  Our beach is on the edge of the property and is shared with the Corfu Holiday Palace next door.  A long, sloping, zig-zagging path led down to a terrace on top of a boathouse.  Emerging from the boathouse, the views were impressive.  To the left were distant hills, to the right, the much-photographed duo of Mouse Island and the Vlacherna convent.  We settled onto lounge chairs on the sandy pier sticking out into the water, napping and swimming for the rest of the day.


 
                        




 
 





 Back at the house, I saw the most gorgeous orange, purple and red sunset out of my window.  Then, we went to an art show at the Old Fort in Corfu Town.  The paintings were well-executed, but the colorful depictions of landscapes and faces seemed conventional in comparison to the Collection de l’Art Brut in Lausanne.

 
  
 
 Dinner was a 9:30, as it is most nights.  It’s such a challenge not to eat a lot when I get back from work at 2:30.  I’m starving but dinner isn’t for another seven hours!  Also, given that we start so early, I pretty much have to go to bed an hour or so after finishing dinner, which has given me some pretty exciting dreams.  I could probably solve this by eating lighter dinners, but with food like tonight’s zucchini stuffed with rice, that’s not a sacrifice I’m willing to make.

 
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