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40 days

On Friday morning I spend the first part remembering a deceased older Greek lady. I met her a while ago, she loved reading. The day I met her she was reading Anne Franks diary. She died about 40 days ago and she was remembered in church today. Quite a bit of people turned up and sat through the two hour sermon.

I have posted these words before but they explain very well the mood and behavior that an christian orthodox family go through the first 40 days after a bereavement. I know there are more religions that have the 40 day ceremony too.

The forty days of the soul begin on the morning after death. That first night, before its forty days begin, the soul lies still against sweated-on pillows and watches the living fold the hands and close the eyes, choke the room with smoke and silence to keep the new soul from the doors and the windows and the cracks in the floor so that it does not run out of the house like a river. The living know that, at daybreak, the soul will leave them and make its way to the places of its past — the schools and dormitories of its youth, army barracks and tenements, houses razed to the ground and rebuilt, places that recall love and guilt, difficulties and unbridled happiness, optimism and ecstasy, memories of grace meaningless to anyone else — and sometimes this journey will carry it so far for so long that it will forget to come back. For this reason, the living bring their own rituals to a standstill: to welcome the newly loosed spirit, the living will not clean, will not wash or tidy, will not remove the soul’s belongings for forty days, hoping that sentiment and longing will bring it home again, encourage it to return with a message, with a sign, or with forgiveness.

If it is properly enticed, the soul will return as the days go by, to rummage through drawers, peer inside cupboards, seek the tactile comfort of its living identity by reassessing the dish rack and the doorbell and the telephone, reminding itself of functionality, all the time touching things that produce sound and make its presence known to the inhabitants of the house.
Source: The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht

After the ceremony we received our bag with “goodies” and went off to work or home. Is is Easter Saturday in many places around the world except Greece. For tomorrow, happy Easter everybody!

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The scouts have decorated candles for Easter. On Saturday morning at 11 they will be waiting for you to support them. They will have a table opposite the harbor entrance near the bakery. With the money the kids can go on educational trips on the mainland. Please support them.

Milos square

Work is finally continuing on Milos square. All residents in this area are kindly requested to park their cars on the ring road.

Love

The love of the Greeks for their cultural heritage is something I admire enormously. Especially the songs they know from their childhood, from ancient times, their national anthem.

O Erotokritos and Aretousa are the key players in a 10.000 long poem written by Vitsentzos Kornaros. Erotokritos falls in love with Aretousa, daughter of the King of Athens. It takes a long time, 10.000 verses before they can be together. In this wondetful video father and daughter sing a small part of the song. Look at how he sings and looks at his daughter! “Ach So many years without you and all I talked about was love” is what is repeated many times. When they have finished the song the daughter says:” Papa we forgot a word” and he answers:” We will keep that a secret” Have a great day everybody!

Seacab

We all know that the boat connections between Skiathos and Skopelos are not always favorable for visitors coming to Skopelos. Watertaxi’s have done business between the islands but maybe this regular on the hour Seacab will make a difference. The boat is brand new, fuel efficient, fast and comfortable, 8 seater.

For more info look here Seacab


(photo Vories Sporades blog)

Last week an illegal dumping of building waste/rubble on Skopelos was discovered and posted on Facebook. The truck that dumped the waste and the origin of the waste was known but this is where the story would end normally. The ”crime” was done and was excepted. This phenomenon has been going on for many years, on Skopelos, now.

Because social media play a big role in discovering facts like the illegal dumping of waste, this time a group of people named Skopelos Green & Clean (old name is the do good group of Skopelos) thought they could continue and try to find out why the dumping of waste next to the road, in riverbeds and gorges is a act that is considered normal on Skopelos although it is illegal. Skopelos Green & Clean group

The first thing they did was send a press release to condemn the act and this press release was send to the local media. The second thing was to organize a meeting with the mayor and the vice mayor responsible for waste management. At this meeting we did not receive clear answers to our questions. The press release below was issued after that meeting. What Skopelos Green & Clean wants to know is: why is there no municipal space on the island where waste/rubble can be disposed of. The recycling plant can take a lot of waste/rubble but there must be a place where the rest can go and eventually get recycled/up-cycled.

Press Release
The recent disposal of rubble/building materials in a forest area on Skopelos island by people without a conscience has raised a storm of protest. Members of the environmental volunteers group “Skopelos Green & Clean have had a meeting with the mayor and vice mayor who is responsible for waste management on Tuesday the 9th of April.
One of the statements from the mayor was that the municipality has no area to dispose this waste.

The conclusion after this meeting is that there are no existing rules for the management and disposal of rubble/building materials and the protection of nature in the municipality. There is chaos. We conclude that the arguments of the mayor are naive.

This is a matter that needs to be looked at by the authorities and organizations. Surely, we’ll urge them to act.
Our environmental volunteers group with an extra 90 members, in the last week, will move forward and take any necessary actions to find out which responsibility lies where and demand that laws will be upheld and worked with.

We would like to invite the aspirant mayors , Mr. S. Perissis, Mr. D. Eustatiou and Mr. G. Anagnostou to comment on this enormous issue and tell everybody what their plans are for the management of recycling, waste, rubble and heavy materials. We invite them to start a conversation in the local media about the protection of this unique place that belongs to everybody on earth.
The nature of Skopelos is the biggest source of income for this island and many have an income via tourism. We also invite the aspirant mayors to tell us their plans for tourism on Skopelos in future years to come.

Skopelos, 10 April 2019

The waste/rubble has all been removed removed waste/rubble photos and not only the recently dumped material but also other older material. A lot of the waste has been transported to the recycling plant and the rest to the waste tip. The Skopelos Green & Clean group will continue to pressure the authorities to find solutions for the problem and implement solutions/rules as soon as possible so Skopelos stays green and clean for those who live on the island and for those who visit it.

After two days of rain we finally have a clear day on Skopelos. This clarity is also showing in many people’s actions about matters that are close to their heart. When you really believe in something you want to fight for it and get to the bottom to make it work. This inspired mood I feel on Skopelos and it makes me happy.

In the past days a lot has happened around an environmental issue concerning Skopelos and many places in Greece; illegal dumping of garbage/rubble. I am happy that finally a group of people and some individuals have taken the decision and say, it is enough now, we have to change this because it concerns this beautiful island, the community and our future and that of our children. I will write more about it in a couple of days. I saw this quote this morning and it shows exactly what I mean.

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.” (Martin Luther King Jr.)