I can’t believe 3 weeks have gone by already!! I have done so many things in just a short amount of time and I will be sad to leave Crete next week.
Because I have done so many things, I won’t be able to write it all down, but here is a quick recap from this past week:
This morning we had classes where we learned some more Greek words as well as talk about cooperative banking and the Greek banking system. We also did a quick recap of the last few days to remember all that we had done, including a trip to Santorini which was beautiful!!
After classes I worked on my research where I focused on formulating questions to ask over an email interview with Papadakis (the author of a book about Venizelos), along with more questions to ask a military general who I will be seeing next week. I also did some work on making a structured abstract of my research paper which I needed for my ANTH-380 class and looking at more books to take notes on.
Today we hiked up a hill/mountain until we reached a place called Psychro Cave or “Diktaion Antron.” This was an underground cave with lots of stalactites and stalagmites and it was amazing to see all the rock formations. This cave is actually a very important part of Greek history as it is supposedly the birth place of the Greek god Zeus. Hira, Zeus’ mother, placed him there to be protected from his father Kronos who was trying to eat his children.
We then went to Elouda, a very ritzy part of Crete, to quickly see all the nice restaurants, resorts and beautiful beaches it had. After the beach, we went to another village called St. Nicolas. This town was right along the water with a few ports, beach front restaurants and lots of shopping. It was a nice change from Heraklion and it was cool to see a new place. St. Nicolas also had this really pretty lake in the middle of it which was nice to see.
Lastly, to end off the culture filled day, we went to a small village to see a festival in honor of Santa Marina and of anyone with the name of Marina. We first went to a small church to do the religious part of the festivities where we listened to services all in Greek, and then headed down to the town square for dinner and dancing. We got served all different sorts of traditional Greek food, of which everything was delicious, and then even got challenged to dance in front of everyone to traditional Greek music. I’m sure we embarrassed ourselves a lot but it was tons of fun to do!
Today in class, we learned about different Cretan rituals such as music and dance as well as look at different powerpoint presentations. We also had a dance workshop where we had a professional doctor/dancer come to teach us about 5 different dances and all the moves that went along with them. Most of the dances weren’t too hard to follow along to, but there were some that had many different steps and that we all kept on getting confused about once the music started up.
After this, I worked on my research. Today I focused on how religion can affect international relations. I was looking at different articles and journals and took down some notes to put in my paper.
This morning we went to a farmers market in Herakleion to walk around for a bit and to see all the many things they sell in the stands. It was fun to look at all the different types of fruits and vegetables they were selling as well as all the different types of clothes, etc. After the market, we took a quick stop back at the Deputy Governor’s office to meet with her one last time and to receive a few presents she had prepared for us all.
We then went to a little farm high up in the mountains in the cutest little village called Vonni-Agia Marina. We got to feed their baby goats, chicks and sheep as well as even try some fresh goat milk (which I wasn’t much of a fan of). After that, they took us on a tractor ride to another part of their farm to see some of their horses.
After the farm, we went to another village for a cooking workshop. We learned how to make different types of pastas, cheese pies and soups and then got fed a delicious meal using some of the things we had made. This was probably one of the highlights of the trip so far as I love to cook and learn about different cuisines.
Lastly, we finished the day off at the only aquarium on the island of Crete. It was actually pretty big and there were tons of different sea animals there ranging from jelly fish up to different kinds of sharks. I hadn’t been to an aquarium in quite some time so I was really happy we got to go see it.
Today we had classes in the morning. We learned some Greek words about food and other things related to our fieldtrip yesterday as well as more things on Greek culture and music. After this, we got to watch another Greek movie called “First time Godfather.” It wasn’t my favorite movie but it was interesting to watch. This movie basically depicted a boy sent over to Crete by his politician father where he faced many challenges (such as having to eat snails) and also learned a lot, not only about himself, but also about corruption and being true to yourself and to those close to you.
After class, I got lunch with everyone at the hotel and then worked on my research for the rest of the day. I focused on trying to finish up some notes on the subsections of the cultural history part such as on how religion affects international relations, the role of Greece and Cyprus in the Mediterranean and Israel in the middle east, along with researching some things on the CNN effect.