This week has been a difficult one living in Greece. Today as the locals go to the polls for their referendum the sun is shining as always.
For my Sunday photo I could have picked images I’ve used with posts about the situation here there was my own opinion ‘An Expat Political View From Greece‘ with images of closed ATMs and fuel queues and a very moving piece yesterday about how others are coping with austerity on the mainland ‘The Greek Crisis – What Don’t You See?‘.
Then there was my travel posts this week ‘An Afternoon Drive- Plimiri and the Coast‘ with wonderful pictures of coves and fishing, octopus hanging up and little tavernas. Or a picture of harbour in Rhodes for my post about the charity walk happening here in August ‘Mandraki to Prasonisi Challenge Walk‘.
Instead I’ve chosen an image which sums up for me what living here is really all about:
This represents the sense of community we have and the complete random nature of life here. You really don’t know what may happen next.
In the olive grove to the left of the image an older Greek man has been building a small house for his son. He comes by nearly every day and does something to the property or the land. Sometimes he hires other people to do things.
In the traditional way it’s being built piece by piece as they can afford it. Recently it was time to construct a garden wall surrounding the property. Three guys came over the space of about 7 days spread over 3 weeks and built a wonderful stone wall.
Recently finished they hadn’t quite cleared up yet and the pile of sand a bag of cement and small cement mixer were left to be collected at a later date. Nothing happens here in a hurry.
Thursday as usual he came to do some work, we heard the pick-up truck arriving. Some time later we heard a louder noise of a vehicle scraping over something. It turned out that the pile of sand and cement had hardened and his truck was now stuck.
My husband like most men likes his tools. Sometimes I wonder just how much use they are going to get. In the spring they were selling a hammer drill in Lydl. He did the “Oh look at this” I replied with “why don’t you buy it?” and a giggle that means what on earth do you need that for !
The tool has been used once to cut a hole in some concrete and plant a grape vine next to the house. On Thursday it definitely proved worth it’s euros when it hammered the concrete and the pick-up became unstuck.
All of this was done despite the fact that my husbands Greek is very limited and the old man doesn’t speak more than a couple of words in English. They conversed a little in German and there was mention of him bringing round some tomatoes.
One of the things we love about living here the sense of community spirit, helping each other when ever it’s needed. However, now my husband has justified the purchase of the tool how am I ever going to dissuade him from getting more?
The box of vegetables was given to us just minutes later, home grown and smelling wonderful. Many of the locals here have land and most are growing fruit and vegetables, keeping chickens and anything else the family needs. Every home has pots of herbs growing outside, no matter how small the yard or garden.
There is a sense of self sufficiency about island life that gives them a resilience. The elder members of the community have seen many changes in government, a military coup, a German occupation and were once a part of Italy. Above all though they are Rhodian and I get a sense that has never and will never change.
Now I need to go and cook up some vegetables. Any good recipe ideas?
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