Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It Rained

Today it rained on the mountain, and drove my trench members and I into hiding under a tarp that was covering a pile of rocks. I looked and Lyle and Arthur crouching there in the mud beside me, shivering, and we giggled. We pulled the edge of the tarp all the way to the ground so that we were completely invisible to sight and waited silently for Our Fearless Leader`s yell of annoyance. Which isn`t quite fair, since Tristan is the best trench leader I could ask for. But we have never had rain before, and it makes the dirt quite impossible to work with.
This is what I`ve learned so far: everything is screwed up. Rocks are more important than people, and I can now read very much into very little. I can wash pottery, and spend an entire day sweeping dirt off of dirt. It is like the book Holes, where you spend the day digging in the hot sun without really knowing why, and when you find something unusual you are rewarded with a treat, like a cold beer.
But I love it. I love it`s backwardness, the dirtiness, the thought of finding something cool.

Saturday night is our night off. We started at 4 in the afternoon with sangria on the steps of the school in the sun, laughing and singing to ABBA, and waving to the farmers driving by in their tractors. And flagging down the shepherds and giving them a glass of wine with fruit. After dinner I really wanted a moped ride, so Arthur talked one of the village boys into driving me around in the dark, and I laughed at the wind in my hair and the wild dogs chasing after us. Then we all went to the soccer field and we played a wild, Dioynicitc game of chase and soccer and dancing all in one. And we lay in a heap and star-gazed, and Our Fearless Leader was there too and that`s why he is the best.

I love swimming. Us girls swam for hours and lay on the rocks, and the Albanian boys thought we were AUstralian, haha. The water is almost too warm, and the rocks burnt the soles of our bare feet, and our tan lines are hilarious. We picked garbage out of the Aegean Sea and closed our eyes and pretended to be dead, and the salt dried in waves on our backs and legs and then we were mermaids with seaweed and a wild look in our eyes.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Ahhh the first time I get internet and I hungrily devour all connection with my past life. Here, I'll run you through a quick schedule of my days:
5:00 a.m. wake up and crawl out from underneath the mosquito net and sleepily pull on my long pants and boots, and sunscreen up.

5:20 we load into the vans, and drive for 15 minutes as far as we can out of the village and up this mountain. Then we hike in the semi-darkness for 30 minutes up the rest of the mountain- when we reach the top we have a quick breakfast of coffee and spinach pastries- and down the other side, to where the site is.

6:00 a.m. we start digging. my first day i uncovered a nail, some big bones, lots of pottery and roof-tile, an astragalis (knuckle bone used for games), some melted lead and such. My trench leader, Tristan, was impressed with my haul because normally its nothing so exciting. I was thrilled all day long. Every day after that has been less and less stuff I've found, and today my coolest thing was a bit of moulded outerware which had some dolphins and leaves on it: i wanted to pocket it but thought maybe that wasnt so cool.

8: break, reapplication of sunscreen

8: 10 back to the trenches

11 another break

11:10 back to the trenches

1 we clean up, and haul everything back up and down the mountain.
then lunch when we get back to the village.

5:30 we meet with our trench teams and discuss what we found, etc.

8 dinner

10 we are mostly asleep.
thats all i have time for. the people are nice, and the food is excellent. i am well, not too burnt, but its very hot and sunny every day. we are filthy by the time we descend since the dust and dirt we are digging blows and sticks to the sweat and sunscreen.
oh, and the young boys in this interent gaming spot are trying to get justine and mine's attention by shouting every random english word they know in our direction. a little distracting!

Friday, June 4, 2010


I like this place as much as it likes me. Still adjusting to the heat, but it is glorious to sweat again. Wandering around with new ami Cain, and it is nice to have a boy because I get bothered less. Lay in a park today from 2-4, and actually slept and it was like a dream...green, hushed, damp, warm. When it was a bit cooler (or so we thought) we climbed to the top of Lykavittos hill: we were too cheap to take the funicular, so we climbed the many stone steps.
It was hot, very hot still, and I had a lovely cherry red complexion by the time we got to the top.
Cain: "You look a bit, I don't know, sweaty. And red." (He is Mexican)
Me: "Yeah, I know."
Cain, a little concerned: "Want some water? Here, have my seat. You should sit down. And you should drink some water."
Me: "I'm fine! Seriously, honestly, I'm good..."
"Are you sure? You are very red."
"Yes, I'm sure. Ok fine, I'll drink some water."
But the views were beautiful of the city and the Acropolis, and there was a cool breeze.
Tommorow we are going to the Sounis, close to the ocean, and seeing the Temple of Poseidon. And the next day I take my train out to Thessaly.
Eating much Greek food, and drinking lots of retsina. When I am enthusiastic about things, they give them to me for free. It's nice.