Thursday, June 30, 2011

The playground

Not far from where my guide lives is the playground for the village. People here do not have playground equipment in their own backyards like many people have in the US. If you have one I would love to see it! Send me a link to a YouTube video or a still digital picture and I will post it here!

In Ancient Corinth (if you just say Corinth it means New Corinth or the modern part of town.) there is a festival at this time every year. You will see my guide playing on some boats and pictures of bumper cars and maybe other rides. These are not here all year, but are special for the festival.

I asked my guide if she would show me the public library. She said that they do not have one. If you want books you have to buy them. I can't imagine not having a public library to borrow books from. Do you have one that you go to?

I am really glad for the questions from my friends in Wisconsin. I am going to take a video this Friday of the festival that they have every year in Corinth called Panagiri and tell you more about it.  Right now I am in Olympia where the Olympic games took place. I will be here for a few more days and then go back to Corinth.  On Sunday, July 3rd we are traveling on to London, England. that should be really different. How much longer are you in Summer School?

Monday, June 27, 2011

Dancing in Greece

Last night I had the pleasure of attending the ballet recital of my guide. You can see her in the video right dancing in the front and center. The show was not really all ballet. There were all different ages and types of dancing. I saw classical ballet, jazz, modern and traditional.

My guide takes three kinds of lessons after school. She does piano lessons, dancing lessons and swimming lessons. She is busy. I think that is pretty much like what I hear about American kids. I hope that I will be able to show you some of a swimming lesson later... But I may run out of time. On Wednesday I am going to Olympia where the Olympic games were held.

I am also posting a picture and video sent to me from my BFF! One of the things that she does almost every day is take pictures. The picture is of some food she really liked and the video is a parasailer landing nearLake Tahoe. I amlookingforward to posting pictures and embedding video of things you do or see every day. According to the ClusterMap there are people all over the world looking at this. It could be a really fun way to learn about each other.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Modern Greek Questions

I am sitting in the library at the Archaeological house called Hill House and listening to the Orthodox liturgy which is being chanted and broadcast by speakers over the village. I am also listening to the sound of the wind. It is windy and cooler today. I promised you that I would answer the questions about modern Greece next, so here are the answers:

What do people wear now?

I had a talk with my guide about the modern clothing. She said that they dress about the same as in the United States. Some kids wear skinny jeans and shirts with glittery things if their Mothers let them. They also wear new jeans with holes in the knee. The funniest thing is that they like to wear shirts with sayings on them in English even though they don't know what it means. Sometimes my guide will tell her friends what their shirts mean and they are surprised!

What do people eat now?

Kids like to eat many of the same things that ancient Greeks ate. They eat lots of olives and seafood (including octopus and squid). People also use lots of olive oil in cooking and on salads. At almost every meal they have salad made with big chunks of tomatoes, cucumber and feta cheese. She said that kids really like hamburgers from McDonalds and another place called Goodys. This is sort of new food for Greeks so the kids especially like it. They also like "toast". After our guide described what she meant by toast I realized it is what we call a sandwich. So, don't order toast in Greece if you want a piece of bread!

I was also told that some of the Greek restaurants in the United States are really good and authentic.

Here are some foods I have eaten here and like!

 Tzatziki-you dip bread in it. It is yummy.

 Horiatiki-Greek Salad

Ancient Greece Questions

The students at Whitefish Bay in Wisconsin sent me some good questions. Today I will answer the questions that the archaeologists helped me with and tomorrow I will write out the information from my guide.
Thanks for your questions!! I love how it helps me to talk to specialists here and they really liked the questions.

First-the age of the Acropolis. Acropolis actually means city on a hill. What you want to know about I think is the building on top called the Parthenon. They said that it is about 2458 years old. That means it is more than 2000 years older than the United States! Do you know the poem about Columbus sailing the ocean blue in 1492? Well that means that even when Columbus discovered America it was OLD already! Can you figure out how old?

The Archaeologists here thought your question about what ancient means was really good. They did not all agree on what it means and we all realized that it can mean different things in different situations. Like someone can say, "My couch is ancient" and mean 20 years old. And a paleontologist might find a bone and call it ancient and mean millions of years old.

The first thing that they said is that it was before the Middle Ages, so I asked them what that meant. They said you needed to figure that out! You can write me back and tell me what you think and I can find out what they say.

I also asked about ancient clothes and they said that they wore tunics. A tunic is a big piece of cloth that they draped around themselves. They know this because of statues and painted pots that they have found. They did not sew, but sometimes used buttons and pins. I am putting in some pictures so that you can see what clues Archaeologists can get from pots and statues. They also said that they never wore pants and they were not sure about underwear or sox.

Ancient Greeks ate a lot of the same foods that we do. They had LOTS of olives, olive oil and wine. They also ate bread, lentils, chickpeas, honey, fruit, cheese, and lots of seafood. They probably only ate meat (beef, pork, chicken, goat) on special occasions. They did NOT have tomatoes, squash, or coffee because those thing were brought from other countries later. The picture is a wine jug that was used to mix water with the wine so it was not too strong. It also has pictures of people and animals. The Archaeologists can learn a lot from this

In the next post I will answer the modern questions with the help of my guide.

Thanks to Eustaquio Santimago for the image of the Parthenon-from Flickr.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Foods Kids Like

Today I interviewed our guide and she told me all about foods in Greece. We picked out a few things that you might want to know about. I hope you find it interesting. Please ask questions and send me your videos and pictures of foods you like!

Shopping for groceries

You have already seen what shopping for groceries is like in Austin, Texas. Now you can see what shopping is like in Corinth, Greece. People here really like fresh food, so instead of going to the grocery store for meat, they go to the butcher who cuts the meat fresh every day. They also eat a lot of bread and want it fresh, so they go to the small grocery stores nearby to get fresh bread delivered from a bakery. Most people buy their eggs from neighbors who have chickens.

There are larger stores that they can drive to also.

There are no parking lots because people can walk to the stores. The video shows two small stores and the butcher. Everything looks empty because it is the middle of the afternoon. Many shops close and people go home for a nap.

At the end of the video you see my helper and our guide when she was little. She is older now. She just finished first grade and I think you will enjoy learning about everyday life here from her.

Hi to my friends in Wisconsin!! I hope you will send me some videos or pictures of what everyday life is like for you. What is different in Wisconsin? I have all of your questions and I will try to answer them tomorrow or the next day.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Train Travel

Today I traveled from Athens to Old Corinth. It was an ordeal, but I learned several things about everyday life in Greece. I do not have a video for you because the taxi driver I talked to was too shy and felt like her English wasn't good enough and the video that I tried to take in the train was terrible. What I have in this post soon is the sound file. You will like it.

I started out with a taxi drive in Athens to the train station. The taxi driver was a woman. She has two children, ages 4 and 2. She drives taxi every day from 6 am to 5 pm. She said that in Athens there are are lots of taxis because most plaeople do not want to drive a car in the city. Gas is expensive and so is parking. It costs less and is easier to take a taxi. Most people who have cars use them for out of town travel. She also said that life is hard in Greece. She has to work really hard just to keep her kids fed, but she tries not to let them know there are problems. Instead she plays and laughs with them after work.

Then I was at the train station and I could not read the signs. I got into the line that I thought I was supposed to be in and waited only to find out that I needed to go to a different window to purchase my ticket. Did I tell you that I was pulling my suitcase with me? After I got the ticket I had to roll my suitcase down and up stairs that took me from one train line to another. About half way through the train ride, we met up with another train that
was broken down and so even though we were FULL we took on A whole new trainload of people and their baggage. That is what the recording is of. I hope you like it!

It is harder than I thought to put audio on here! This link will take you to Google Docs where you can download and listen. In order to put the sound right on here I have to upload it to my webspace and I do not know the password.... It is at home and I am in Greece.
Sounds from the train.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Is Athens Safe?

We have been here for two days now. What amazes me is that it all seems so quiet and normal. The day we left there was a violent looking picture on the front page of the newspaper. The evening we arrived we went out to eat at an amazing spot next to the Acropolis. The next day we went on one of those two story tours around the city. We ran into a protest and a little later we went to Syntagma Square where there was a tent city of people protesting about the economic situation here. Look at the video to see the contrast!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Travel Day

I made a short video on the plane last night... At least I think it was night. There is an 8 hour time difference between Athens and Austin, so I am a litle confused about time now. I thought that most people that airports are experiencing travel, not everyday life. I did find a few people at the airport that go there everyday. Let me know what you think.

I will post the actual video later.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Leaving for Athens today

We are just finishing the last bits of packing and then heading to the airport. We should be in Athens at about 10:30 AM Athens on Friday, Athens time. Here is a place to check the time zone you are in to see what time it is for you then.

It may not be the best time to travel to Athens. Here is today's news:

We will be staying away from Syntagma Square. It should be interesting.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Leaving tomorrow!!!

Today is packing day. Our plane takes off around 11 tomorrow morning.

Yesterday I was riding in a car in a neighborhood near mine and saw these deer. There were two fawns that had no sense and would run right out in a front of a car! They were so cute. I am sorry the video was shot at a far distance. You can see them better close up. Maybe you can find them anyway.

I am hoping my friends in Palestine from last summer will bse able to make a short. Video for me to share. Greece is not near Bethlehem and I am sorry I will not be seeing them.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Life in Alaska

This short video shows pictures of life in Igiugig, Alaska:
The graduating class of one student.
What kids wear in May.
Ice melting in May. Chunks of ice going down river Kvichak.
The river after the natural ice dam gives way.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Five Days

When it is time for the Republic of Texas Motorcycle Rally I know that the trip is coming close. The video shows you only a little snippet of the thousands of bikes in the parade. My favorite was a guy who had an inflatable doll as a riding partner!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Six Days

Thanks to Students and Parents from Barton Creek Elementary School I just got back from a nice massage. School is really done and now is time to concentrate on the trip. This morning I downloaded Angry Birds to my iPad so that I will have something to do.

Today's video is of a school. Students in Texas are required to attend 180 days of school. This school is out for summer, so it is really quiet!

In practicing making the videos for the trip I have learned something. Using only my iPad I can create a blog post, take a video and upload the video to YouTube. The one step that I cannot do is to post the video to the blog using an embed code. In order to get an embed code I need to use a computer. I think this has something to do with iPad's and Flash. Getting the embed code must involve some flash and so the ipad cannot do that. Too bad.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

7 Days before take off

Today's video shows my public library. I went there today to look at books and also to vote. Public Libraries ARE amazing! It is really wonderful to be able to go and borrow books and videos for FREE!!

My voting station is at the Public Library that is walking distance from my house. Do you have a voting station nearby? We have a run off election because there was not a majority in our last city council election. In Texas there is early voting a week or so before the election. Our run off election falls right when I will be traveling, so I am glad that I can go and vote early.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Countdown begins

This year the countdown really snuck up on me. It is ONLY 10 days until we leave the USA! In fact, I should have started the countdown YESTERDAY.

Here is a video showing the farm where I get vegetables. I am a member of a CSA. That stands for Community Supported Agriculture. We pay an annual amount for the chance to have fresh vegetables every week! We can also just visit the farm and volunteer there. It is a great place.

I think it is also interesting to see a farm in Texas. Notice the Cactus! If you have any farm pictures or video to show you can upload them to YouTube and send me the link OR send me a picture file and I will post it. Be sure to tell me where the farm is and how you are involved with it.

Hey Shrey!! It is so cool to have a follower!