Greece – The Aqueduct Adventure

Originally posted – March 20, 2017

This was a great day. Most of my posts so far have been about the camp and the people that have been a part of my journey and how they affected me. Along the way, in amongst all the hard work and relationships being built I have also had a few fantastic opportunities to be a part of some incredible experiences. As most of you are aware I am an avowed lover of random adventure, I tend to not know what I am doing until I am doing it haha. This day would prove to be no exception…

Our adventure begins the day before as I picked up the rest of the Panagiouda Crew from working the night shift an experience I not so unfortunately missed out on during my time in Moria. (not sure who to thank, Marianna for her scheduling I guess, but anyways I am definitely grateful haha — David is too old for all nighters) During our drive home it was discussed that we all had the following day off and as such an adventure was in order.

The next day I followed up with them to see what was up and within 30 minutes we had a hike planned. Steph and Dusting had driven by random sign along the highway on their previous days adventures that looked like it was a map of hiking trails so they pinned it and we had just been recruited to see where it lead. LOVE IT.

Loaded in the van shortly after we were on our way. Armed only with google maps and an appetite for adventure we toured our way down the winding Lesvos highway towards the pin. As we got closer we noticed a sign that read something about an aqueduct… INTRIGUING but we carried on towards where they had set the pin and finally found the sign they had previously passed.

The sign itself outlined several trails which undoubtedly were beautiful adventures of their own. This entire island is full of the most beautiful landscapes, hilly and filled with lush olive groves, it is truly a sight to be seen. But our eyes all gravitated to one path in particular… the Roman Aqueduct.

Now if I am honest, I had ZERO idea what a Roman Aqueduct looked like or would be but I had a suspicion that it was old, stone, big and most likely VERY COOL, making it easy to sell me on the idea. We circled back to where we had seen the original sign and began our trek into the unknown.

Like everything else in this country, hike towards the Aqueduct was stunning, winding around a small river valley the journey itself was amazing to behold. The quiet of nature, the crispness in the the air and, of course, fantastic company holding great conversation. Though not without any trials, it was super muddy and Sam ended up doing the hike barefoot (2 hours through mud sans shoes thats more than I could have done) but I am sure glad he did because I would have hated for him to miss what we came upon.

As we  travelled further down the path we would get our first glimpses of this marvellous site. Standing for legitimately hundreds of years this astonishing feat of ancient architecture was completely awe inspiring.

As we got closer I felt a little like we were characters in the Lord of the Rings or something, heroes in the midst of an ancient epic quest.

I also learned, for the record, the Romans used aqueducts to move water from the island’s hills into the city’s below. Often they would have to cross a valley to do so and in that these epic aqueducts were built to span the gorge.

I don’t actually know what else to say about this experience. It was humbling and strangely satisfying to be that close to such an enduring piece of history. I was visiting with friends last night discussing our various travels and they were talking about visiting the Coliseum in Rome and the feelings they felt walking in such historically rich setting and I feel like thats a good explanation of how I felt here. I think as humans we have a deeply entrenched desire for legacy that we can too often overlook in our concerns for the here and now and so when we experience this level of physical endurement we cannot help but be somewhat awed by it.

Lol anyways consider that David’s deep thought for the day.

I am also still trying to get some of the footage that Dustin took with his drone. I have a feeling that it would give an even deeper understanding of how incredible this structure is, that photos cant even accurately capture. I’ll post it up, if and when I do.

Until Next time

D

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Greece – The Panagiouda Crew

I had to do this post if only to give some honour to the people who made my time in Greece an incredible adventure. I met a tonne of new friends while I was there but this crew and I seemed to have a unique bond, it was like having an instant family. You guys were a blast and totally have a special place in my heart!

From Left to Right: Brit, Steph, Me, Dustin, Sam, Chad

The Wise’s

Dustin Wise – The tall, blonde, surfer dude with a heart of gold. The guy just loves on people, you watch him interact with people you know that he just loves them. Caring, genuine and comfortable he’s one of those guys that you meet for 5 minutes and feel like you have always known. He’s also super talented and creative so if you need a wedding videographer in Cali, look buddy up!

Steph Wise – Dustin’s lovely wife, Steph has a curiosity for adventure. She knows the right questions to ask and is always asking locals and researching what to see and where to eat. She’s responsible for and receives photo cred for the incredible shot of me on the roman aqueduct below. Like myself, she’s an ideas person blessed with vision to use her skills and abilities to help others and has the mind/spirit to make those visions a reality. God has already done some pretty cool things through her and I can not wait to hear what world changing adventure she goes on next.

The Roman Aqueduct we visited, seriously worth the hike!

The Mennonites

Sam, Brittany, and Chad – This trio would be an incomplete package if any one of them were missing. The comic genius that spouts from their mouths, playing off each other, cracking one liners at every opportunity guaranteed a smile on my face every time they were around. I also learned more about Mennonite culture than I ever even knew existed. Three absolute gems.

Sam – Potentially one of the funniest guys I have ever met. Loves God, music, Freeda espressos (did I say that right) and people and probably in that order. He has a strength of character that is impressive for a guy so young. His eye for adventure and willingness to serve are going take him to amazing places. He also loves to tell a good story, which he will have a good one when he tells his fgriends back home about walking miles in bare foot to see a roman aqueduct and not wanting to muddy his shoes. ūüôā

Brittany – My favourite line from Brittany “Sam, I just repeat what you say” and being that she does so at the most opportune moments made her hilarious. Sam’s randomness¬†+ Brit’s timing = PURE GOLD I’ll just leave it like that. She also totally has a servant heart and was quick to volunteer on camp no matter what the task at hand was.

Chad – Sam’s best friend and proverbial straight man, (also Brittany’s brother)¬†¬†Sam would be far less funny without Chad, these two are a package deal. Far more subdued than Sam, Chad is more about impact than volume but his value to this crew as a whole was unmistakable.

And more!

Hack – Probably the most laid back guy I have ever met. His sense of peace makes even me look high strung, I didn’t think that was possible Ha! A hard worker and a born leader he accepted responsibility to take leadership with humility and attentive care. While I saw other Compound Supervisors spend a lot of time at the office, on his shifts Hack stayed out with the crew making sure everyone was covered and even the smallest of hiccups attended to. Truly it was an honour to serve alongside this man of God.

Vahid – Dude, you were only there for part of it but I love your heart, man! Keep letting Jesus take you on adventures.

Hallah – Unfortunately Hallah ended up on the opposite shift of the rest of us when the most exciting stuff was happening. Which is sad because she’s this amazing woman who always made it clear she was there with us in spirit even though not often in person.

I could go on and on. The people at EuroRelief were awesome, the girls at the Mytilene Apartment made my mornings so bright as I had the honour of picking up their joyful smiley faces each morning. ¬†The EuroRelief staff are such a solid group too. (Elton I honour you for the hours you put in that go above and beyond your job description. You may not think people notice it but they definitely do, you’re doing great things man). The shift leaders – SO IMPRESSED! Young women and men getting things done in some intense situations. WOW. I don’t think you understand how rare you are. All the YWAMers and i58 crew, brief moments crossing paths but great conversations all over the place.

The Translators – These guys are refugees who are giving their time to help EuroRelief do our job. They get limited perks and put up with a lot of flack, but really its my interactions with these dudes that complete changed the word “refugee” in my heart and mind. It was an honour to work along side of them.

I probably missed someone important. I usually do, so if you are like hey what about me, know it was awesome to meet you, and thank you all for being part of my journey.

David

 

 

Greece – Touring Panagiouda

Hey, thanks so much for checking out my blog! 2017 has already been amazing for me, I spent a month in Greece and another month traveling my way back to Canada. I blogged my way through it but they were on my other site, in an effort to keep everything in one spot, I have moved all my posts here! Hope you enjoy!

Oh wow, now where did I leave off…

To start, I actually tried to write this post yesterday on my day off but inadvertently deleted all of my photos off my camera from this trip so far and from my VanLife adventure last summer and spent the next few hours figuring out how to recover the pictures, which I did manage to do with the exception of 3 or 4 which corrupted along the way. If there are any tech savvy people out there that know how to fix a corrupted photo you would be my hero if you can show me how to get those ones back too.

The first photos are from my nice long relaxing walk along the seawall my first day off. I needed groceries so went for a bit of a journey on foot and really got to take in some of this beautiful town. Panagiouda is about the size of Choiceland but its also something like 600 years old and everything is made of beautiful stone. Even the side walks are stone, lol and potentially 600 years old judging by their condition in some spots but it was still a great walk. The latter 2 shots are the larger town of Mytilene a hopping little tourist/university town with FABULOUS gelato (#DaveLife on Instagram for proof).

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It’s been a looooong week. I cannot believe its actually only been a week that I have been here as I write this. But it has also been incredible. The people we interact with have been through so much it is an honour to serve and try and make their time here a bit more comfortable. Most of the migrants and refugees who are here expected to only be here a couple days, many of those have been here 6 months or more, waiting to move on.

My time on camp these past couple days has been spent in an area called the Olive Grove. Technically outside of the camp it houses many of the refugees from African countries. It makes me miss my crew back at Matthew House as many are from the same countries Burundi/Congo etc. It also gives me the chance to work on my French though they speak way to fast and with way to thick of an accent for me to really catch what they are saying. Ha!

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One of my roles has also been as driver, which has been an adventure of its own. The Greeks they drive aggressive thats for sure and the streets don’t exactly line up in straight lines like back in good ole SK haha, combine that with a serious lack of street signs and a phone whose GPS is outta whack and oh boi! It’s been a bit of a gong show at points. Now at least I have a local SIM though and getting more and more used to the streets by the day.

I also had a day off but it was rainy and my chest cold told me to be lazy so it didn’t hold much adventure unfortunately. I do feel a heck of a lot better though. Oh and we had a little bible study thing last night too for the EuroRelief staff. ¬†Was great to spend some time with people outside of the camp setting where there is a lot more ability to relax and honestly converse. It’s a really good crew that they have going here. PLUG MOMENT: If you or someone you know wants to get deeper involved with whats happening here check them out by clicking here.¬†

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Anyways I finally have my hot water fixed so I am about to check out for the night.
Ciao till next time
D