How Do You Communicate?

Communication is the basis for exchanging information. Clear communication is important to our understanding of the information. However, people do not all communicate by the same means and there are different ways to communicate. Communication can be verbal and nonverbal. Verbal communication refers to the sharing of information through words. It can vary depending on the pronunciation and stress of syllables, tone of voice, inflection and other mannerisms. Nonverbal communication is the signals we send to others without words, but rather through our body language. The different types of nonverbal signals include: facial expressions, touching, body movements and posture, gestures, eye contact, voice, and space. These different styles can lead to differences in interpretation and are often influenced by culture. The effects of the interpretations can lead to a positive or negative outcome.

While in Greece, I noticed many of the differences in nonverbal communication as compared to the United States. Every conversation was filled with bold hand movements, close spatial zones, touching of the shoulder and hands followed by loud cheerful conversations. In Greece, you will rarely see a conversation that does not have at least one of these characteristics. Due to this type of communication, the Greeks would be considered high context communicators. High context communicators simply means that the individuals within the conversation rely on the context of the conversation rather than just the words themselves. High context communicators tend to build more trust, understanding, and empathy towards one another. Therefore explaining why the Greeks are such loving and hospitable people.

 

 

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Touch and eye contact example

On the contrary, the citizens of the United States tend to be more low context. Low context communicators tend to rely on verbal communication, to them what you say is what you mean. There are some nonverbal expressions that will be used in conversation, but not many. I personally tend to overuse facial expressions, eye contact, tone of voice, and body movements. However, the use of touching is rarely observed in the United States. In fact, before leaving for Greece we demonstrated this type of nonverbal communication in class. During the demonstration, I frantically yelled “NO!” at my classmate, Brooklyne, when she attempted to hug me. This incident would never occur in Greece and if it did it would be viewed as rude. However, if you’re anything like me, an awkward occurrence is bound to happen in Greece due to their fondness of touching. For instance, when saying goodbye to one another, most Greeks prefer to kiss on both cheeks. Of course, being the awkward individual I am, I blurted out to Takis’ sons “I’m a hugger, no kisses here”. Being that they have had many experiences with Americans due to the other groups of Mrs. Myhand’s students, they just slightly laughed then respected my decision to be a hugger.

If you would like to avoid gaffes like the ones I experienced in Greece, follow these helpful tips to get you through your travels:

  • Be respectful
  • Be kind
  • Eat all your food…seriously JUST DO IT!
  • “Efxaristo” (thank you) should be your favorite word!
  • Be a hugger — teach yourself to like it!
  • Be cautious of your facial expressions. Smiles are nice.
  • Put your phone down!!! Enjoy the conversation.
  • Finally, observe the communication between Greeks…its truly amazing.

These tips should provide you a better insight to the way Greeks communicate, thus making your trip more enjoyable!

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The Original Wine Country

When it comes to wine, everyone has his or her own unique preference. Whether it’s a Merlot from France or a Cabernet Sauvignon from California, one of the most debated questions by wine connoisseurs is, “Who makes the best wine?” France, Italy, or California is usually what comes to mind when thinking about places to purchase exquisite wines. While these regions are responsible for generating most of the world’s wine, there are many other places that should not be underestimated when it comes to producing a delicious tasting vino. During our study abroad trip, we discovered that Greece is one of these underappreciated wine countries.

The history of wine in Greece dates back to the 13th and 11th century BCE.  Wine was an ideal export for trade because of the perfect soil and weather conditions which allowed for cultivating an ample amount of grapes. The Mediterranean climate makes for hot summers, a wet autumn, and a rare chance of snowfall. The soil is richly composed of calcium clay, argil clay, and limestone. Both factors allow for a vast production of different types of grapes. Wine is also part of the ancient culture and religion of Greece. Worshipping the god of wine, Dionysus, played a crucial role in bringing joy, relief, and good fortune to the Greeks. Annual celebrations for Dionysus took place at his temple at the Acropolis. A few of the festivities to honor Dionysus included chanting, dancing, making sacrifices, feasting, and, of course, drinking wine.

Wine continues to play a huge role in the culture and daily lives of Greeks. While in Crete, we got a first-hand experience of how important wine is to their lifestyle. Crete is one part of Greece where the historical roots in wine run especially deep. In fact, one of the first wine presses from ancient times was discovered on the island. What made our time in Crete so unique was that we were able to experience the rich history of Grecian wine in a modern way. We visited the Diamantakis winery, a family-operated business that cultivates a variety of grapes for wine-making. For the Diamantakis brothers, wine is part of the family tradition that they have continued to uphold since establishing the business in 2008. The three brothers have backgrounds in viticulture and personally take on the responsibility of tending to the grapes, bottling the wine, and promoting the final products.

There are two buildings on the property where wine production and bottling takes place. The main building houses stainless steel tanks, wine presses, a cooling and bottling system, and oak barrels. The distillery and other equipment are found in the second building. One of the Diamantakis brothers led us on a tour of the main building and explained the process of bottling wine. The machines that he showed us were used to clean the bottles, fill them with wine, cork and seal the top, and label the bottle. Even though it is a small scale production winery, the wines they create are truly exquisite and unique to the island of Crete. Major national awards have even been given to most of their products. Although the delicious wine speaks for itself, there is something about the beautiful acres of mountainous vineyards and the loving family atmosphere of the brothers that makes this winery one of the most unique places in Crete to visit.

References

http://greekwinefederation.gr/en/content/show/&tid=26

http://www.diamantakiswines.gr/dwines/en/History_10.html

 

Diamantakis wines are available in the United States. Visit https://www.sfpensacola.com for more information.

 

 

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Where the bottles are cleaned
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Where the bottles are filled.
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Where the bottles are corked and sealed.
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Where the bottles are labeled.

Traditional or Modern? The Culinary Change in Greece

Whether it’s finishing all the food on our plate or waiting until everyone is served before eating, we are all taught certain table manners our parents impose on us as children. These etiquettes provide insight on what is culturally valued within a society. It is not uncommon in the United States to eat a speedy meal, sometimes even without family members, if it means one can continue on with work. However, in Greece we found longer, droned out meals that emphasize uniting with the people around us. For these Europeans, meals are not just about eating but also about our the relationships and interactions with others.

While visiting Crete, our group made a stop at “the best traditional gastronomic center of Cretan diet”, the Ntoyniae tavern. This family operated taverna values the beliefs of slow foods. Dishes are inspired by family recipes of traditional Cretan foods. Originally, the family used their own wine, olive oils,  honey and for other necessities, such as meat and milk, neighbors provided what was needed. Since then, the popularity of the restaurant increased and the business expanded. Now, friends, families, and neighbors come from all over to enjoy many hours sitting together enjoying not only the food, but the laid back ambiance the taverna provides. Outside, a tire-swing hangs near the patio where people waiting for a table can relax and friendly dogs pass by, hoping some scraps from the outdoor kitchen will fall.  The aroma of the food fills the town. The view, overlooking the mountains, shows cows, chickens, and pork raised by the chef that are used for meals at the restaurant. Great pride is taken in knowing exactly where the food is coming from, what the animals are eating, and that everything is free range and free of pesticides. The chef truly showed how hospitable he was, taking time to talk to a group of students about the production of herbs, fruits and vegetables from his garden, his style of cooking, and the history of the taverna.

In Athens, our group dined at a Gastro Pub, called The 7 Food Sins, famous for their modern twist on traditional Greek foods. Their philosophy rejects the taboo “food sins” that most restaurants and customers avoid.

These food sins include:

* Being gluttonous

* Envy the food of your neighbor

* Eat with  bare hands and lick your fingers

* Feed him/her in the mouth

* To be excited by flavors

* To have a filled mouth while eating

* To relax

 

Many of these “sins” also promote the idea of slow foods and allow people to come together in an easy going setting. Eating at this Gastro Pub was a communal experience where we shared numerous plates and compared the different flavors each unique dish offered while in the privacy of our is secluded room. In this sense, we had a very similar experience with Ntoyniae, where we spent many hours leisurely sitting around the table- a foreign concept to many Americans. Unlike at Ntoyniae, however, other plates offered dietary restricted options, such as vegan or vegetarian dishes.

 

Both restaurants proved to be some of our favorite places to eat. We were able to experience what it meant to enjoy our foods “Greek Style”, meaning good foods in even better company. Each tavern, restaurant, and home we dined in, we received only warm welcoming from chefs and others. While the typical Greek taverna lacked variety in their options, (when a pescatarian in our group explained her dietary needs to the chef he simply said “There are no fish in the mountains” and presented a meat as “mountain fish”), the meal prepared made us feel like we belonged in a community. Even though the food from the 7 Food Sins did not grow from the earth right outside a family owned taverna, this sense of belonging and community never left the spirit of the meal. As society evolves, aspects of food ways will adapt to accommodate the changes that occur over time, but the same idea still remains: in Greece, meals are not just about eating but also include our relationships and interactions with others.

 

While not in the specific restaurants listed above here we sat next to the fire talking and relaxing before preparing our meal. Celebrating New Year’s Eve in Crete with a feast.

 

 

Ntoyniae website: http://www.ntounias.gr/?q=node/3

7 Food Sins website: http://www.7foodsins.com/

Άντε πάλι Wintersession 2017

Welcome to our trip.  We are heading out in 5 or 6 days and we are ready…or getting there. We are practicing our Greek, deciding what to pack, eating Greek food, making Greek coffee in a briki, and learning what we can about Greece before we go. We’ve had some struggles but everything is coming together now. We will arrive in Athens and start our adventure there. Visits to the Acropolis Museum, dining in the shadow of the Acropolis at the Cave of the Acropolis. We will visit Piraeus, the port of Athens and hop on a boat (ferry or Flying Dolphin) to go the Aegina: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZZJu4j5hTU     and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6wfddN-NR0

Our Big Fat Greek Feast

The thought of studying abroad for most students can be quite daunting. Even though we were all extremely excited to be venturing off to this beautiful country, we were also suffering from a mild case of anxiety. We were travelling to an unfamiliar region for two weeks. We were a group of girls who barely knew each other and who had spent very little time together, except in the classroom. This trip was going to be a learning experience like no other, and the true test would come from our ability to keep an open mind and to not only accept, but embrace the unknown.

We decided to put on our big girl hiking boots and set out to enjoy this trip. In order to take advantage of the experience and not feel any more like outsiders than we already were, we made it our goal to immerse ourselves in the culture of Greece as much as possible. So we spoke the Greek language, we danced to Greek music, and laughed. We met some amazing people, some of whom will remain lifelong friends, and most importantly, we ate good food.

For us, each day was spent learning something new as we gathered around nourishing our minds and bodies with great food. We would spend hours sharing memories and laughing as we prepared a meal.  The Greeks taught us that food is an art, a form of expression that translates some of the world’s greatest stories. It provides love, hope and peace as it brings people together. It cannot be rushed to prepare. It must be balanced with time, effort, all your senses, and love.

For many, the idea of spending so much time on preparing a meal is absurd. In Greece, however, the concept of time is not quite the same as in the US. In the US, you are usually on a tight time schedule, making the most of your minutes and bustling about to get to your next destination on time. But in Greece, life is simpler and more laid-back, allowing for time to enjoy what matters. This also translates into their food and eating habits.

Around 2 to 5pm, you will notice that most shops close. There are a few exceptions, mainly the corner stores and some small markets. This is done so that the workers can go and have a long lunch and maybe even nap with their loved ones. The Greeks love to take it easy and put aside time for relaxation and family.

When eating a meal in a Greek home, you will notice that the food is rich, flavorful, bold, and prepared with a special sort of love and thought process. All this helps the food to taste so much better. The Greeks spend a lot of time harvesting ingredients, preparing them, and cooking the foods to make a tasteful, nutritious spread to nourish the soul and body.

Here are a few of the foods that touched our souls and bodies:

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Coffee, pastries, cheese, and assorted fruits… our usual choice of breakfast foods.

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My breakfast one morning, a cheese and ham stuffed fill pastry. Yum! 

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At one of our lunch spots in Athens, we shared appetizers, as well as entrees.  Appetizers include: dolmades, falafel, sliced veggies with taramasalata, spanakopita, bread, dakos, and olives. The entrées  are moussaka (middle left), and pastiche (middle right). There were also lots of potatoes and cheese. 

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We had the pleasure of trying rooster while exploring Stefani. Look at that wing!    

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A close up of toasted bread with olives and feta cheese, one of the side dishes of our meal in Stefani. 

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The “before” of our delicious slow cooked lamb and potato dinner..

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And the “after”! Words can’t describe how delicious and savory this dish was. It was paired with homemade coleslaw, bread and cheese, and wine.  

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Making our homemade coleslaw! It’s mostly cabbage – green and purple – and carrots.  

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The making of spanakopita! This was our first attempt while in Aegina. We started off by wilting the spinach by hand, then made the filo dough, added feta to the spinach, put the spinach mix in the filo, and voila! Our beautiful creation before being baked! Once baked, the crust was a deep golden color, and the taste of the spinach and feta was mouthwatering.  

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Here we have the sweet man who showed us around his pasta kitchen! Paired with pictures of delicious macaroni we ate while in Stefani (we had this with the rooster pictured earlier). 

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The making of vasilopita while in Aegina.

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Breaking news – it’s our beautiful vasilopita at the New Year’s feast! Although it appears to be a decorated bread loaf, it is actually has a delicious citrus cake.  

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Takis showing us how to create a delicious tomato and cheese salad, with peppers and herbs.

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One of our last dinners at Takis’ house – the main event was fried sardines we bought from the market. We had horta, roasted beets and beet greens, a Greek-style salad, bread, skordalia, and potatoes.

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Some of our favorite desserts – Helen’s homemade apple cake, spoon sweets, and yogurt topped with more spoon sweets. Ms. Myhand, we agree!  

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And last but not least… these are traditional Christmas cookies made by just about every household in Greece. Every recipe is slightly different, having been passed down through family. We had the opportunity to sample many different kinds, and were never disappointed!  

We are proud and honored to say that we learned so much and have grown to love and relate to the Greek culture. This is a culture that in some ways is similar to our own. In Greece,  good food, drinks and music bring communities together, but most importantly, it’s a country where prayers and family matter and the only way to succeed is to live as one with nature. Despite our differences and fears, it was the Greek culture that brought us young ladies close together and made our experience worthwhile. Hopefully our journey can inspire more people to be fearless and venture off to the unknown. To be know that life is too short to settle for anything less than what you deserve. Take time to eat, pray, love, learn, laugh, and grow but don’t do it alone. Try to explore this world, change it for the better, step out of your comfort zone, and do not let anyone tell you how it is until you experience it for yourself.

It’s been real, Greece!

Alexis & Mandy

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Southern Hospitality–Scratch That, GREEK Hospitality!

The opportunity to go visit Greece as a Nutrition major is an incredible one. Sitting family style, passing around delicious Greek foods, while learning and discussing how these foods came about with authentic Greek people is truly a blessing. Not to mention, the hospitality from the Greeks made it all the more enjoyable. Even the giggles that came from Greeks when we mispronounced words (plenty of times) were amicable. Throughout all the places we visited, we saw little acts of kindness everywhere.

One of the biggest traditions seen in Greece are the holiday cookies. When visitors come, it is customary to invite them in with cookies and coffee. When arriving in our temporary homes in Aegina, a plate of holiday cookies was waiting for us in our rooms. And when we visited the monastery, the nuns invited us to eat holiday cookies in their home! These acts of kindness were so comforting to us. Since the trip all the way from the US to Greece wasn’t the easiest to make, being welcomed with such hospitality made the transition easier.  However, the biggest example of Greek hospitality that I could give is Helen. This woman could not be anymore kind hearted and attentive to us. She opened up her home, had patience with us while we learned her delicious recipes, and fed us until we were stuffed. I think I enjoyed her company so much because she reminded me of my own grandmother in Honduras. Helen not only made us eat our weight in food, but she made gifts for us before we left Greece!

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Helen made us “good luck rocks” that had handcrafted ceramic flowers on them. Not only did she make this, but a calendar attached to a wooden heart that would hang on our walls back home. She packaged us fresh olive oil, and gifted us spoon sweets to bring back. When I spoke to her (through her son translating), Helen said that cooking and crafting are her passion. She loves it when people enjoy eating her food, and likes to prepare gifts for them too. Helen got her recipes from her mother, like most Greeks do; passing down family recipes is a huge tradition in the Greek culture.

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She met her husband, Takis, at a disco. And together they have three sons. Both Takis and his son, Spiros, showed us around Argolis. Even though we ran into some trouble with the weather, Takis took us to plenty of great sites. My favorite being the castle that was one of the last weaponries built. It took us near to 1000 steps to climb, and Lyell yelling constantly, “Get down from there!! You’re going to fall!!!”, but the view and pictures we took were amazing.

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Takis, acting as our personal tour guide, also took us up plenty more mountains. We were able to go to a family’s restaurant right before we headed to the Natural History Museum. I enjoyed that restaurant, because they were so hospitable. Along the walls were shelves full of things displaying the history of Greece and their family. The kindest woman brought us into her kitchen and showed us what she was cooking. And this was at a restaurant! You would never see this at a restaurant in the US.

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img_2333Along with Takis, we all took a liking to his son. In the end Spiros and all the girls had a book full of inside jokes. He was kind enough to show us around and joke with us as if we were family. This family truly showed us Greek hospitality. Everything from Helen’s “SUPER!” to Max’s playfulness was a thing to remember about our trip. It was a unique experience to be able to share this with my classmates and Ms. Myhand, but honestly what made it better was to be able to be so far away from home, yet still feel welcome in the beautiful places we visited.

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Greece: The Healing Power of an Ancient Time

My trip to Greece was wonderful; friendly hospitality of the people; wonderfully flavorful foods; mountainsides full of dormant olive trees; coastal fruit filled orange groves and the crystal clear blue water of the Aegean Sea.  Wow, what a beautiful country and life giving sight.  With all the sensory riches that this trip offered, thereimg_1636 were two places that stood out for me and “touched my soul”.  This sounds cliché, but the awareness that resulted from the experience changed my thinking in a way I did not expect.  You know what I’m talking about if you have ever participated in the exercise where you are shown a picture of an old woman and then all of a sudden your perception shifts, and the same sketch reveals a beautiful young girl.  In an instant everything you thought you knew got turned upside down and now you see things in a completely different way.  The awareness is there forever, even if you are capable of seeing the old woman again, you will not be able to ignore the existence of the beautiful young girl.  For me, this shift was prompted by a visit to a cave in the southeastern region of Argolis, Greece.  It enriched my perception of time and revealed that the measure of my cultural competence is lower than I would have assigned myself.  More importantly, this new outlook on time was a missing component to increasing peace in my life, a health habit I could benefit from.

I have always viewed myself as being relatively open minded and accepting of people’s cultural differences.  Even though I may not know everything about a culture, I alleged I was open to learning and appreciating their ways.  The Franchthi Cave, an archeological dig site that we visited, revealed to me that this was not entirely true.  The attitudes and judgments I held about the importance and meaning of ‘time’ were not accepting of different cultural views.  Briefly, my attitude could be summarized like this, ”time is mine, so do not waste my time, take my time or ruin my time unless you are prepared to provide something valuable in exchange for my time”.  To me, time is a valuable commodity, one that I can choose to share with others or not.  As well, others’ time must be honored as I would like my time honored.  It is rude to be late, a blatant display of disrespect.  Arriving img_1627too early is just as insolent, it assumes a triviality about the other’s life that they can give you time whenever you present yourself.  The experience that changed my relationship with time was standing just 10 meters above the location of a community that existed “35,000 years BCE”.1,2  It was not just that they existed at that point in time, but they existed from that point perpetually through the Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic time periods up to 3,000 BCE, and only ceased to exist there because the cave collapsed and they were forced to find another location for their community.1,4  A civilization that was established well enough to span tens of thousands of years created a glimpse, for the first time ever, of my life in proper scale.  This new perspective made me realized the narcissistic inclination of the culture I was raised in and the inflated view of self which promoted the feeling that I had ownership of the time surrounding my life.

I was able to, or maybe compelled to put myself on the time continuum of the millennia of generations that used the Franchthi cave because of the advanced nature of their culture; it was apparent they were not so different from me. They cultivated crops and animals for food, and crafted tools in order to work more efficiently.  They traded goods with other people, some as far away as the island of Melos, about 150 kilometers to the southeast.  This showed use of seaworthy vessels and the ability to navigate the sea across long distances.  These were not the grunting cavemen I picture when hearing of Paleolithic man.  They were a civilized culture, demonstrating this in the care of the dead with burial sites that were found near the cave, even cremation burials.4

The evidence of diet consumed by the inhabitants of the cave was slightly different through the lithic time periods, but all have similarities to the Mediterranean diet we know today.  Foods of the Paleolithic (33,000 – 9,000 BCE) time included “steppe ass” and land snail as the predominate meat source.  The plants consumed were wild lentil,img_1619 pistachio and almonds.  During the Mesolithic (8700 – 7500 BCE) time period, the meat eaten was expanded to include red deer, pig and fish, including blue fin tuna, which suggested the ability to fish in the deep sea.3   The consumption of large land animals decreased during this period and evidence of plant remains in the cave increased.4   Analysis done on cutting tools found in the cave showed evidence that oats or barley may have been cultivated and cut.  Neolithic (7200 – 3500 BCE) man’s diet introduced domestic herd animals, sheep and goats, as well as domestic wheat, barley and lentils, proving agriculture was present.  Snails were a staple food source through all lithic periods and are thought to have been a cultivated food source in Upper Mesolithic and Neolithic times as the snail shells in the cave were larger than those of the surrounding area.4

Seeing how long the human race preceded me, changed my perspective and simultaneously shifted the importance I held on time.  It was no longer just about me and the length of my life as much as it was belonging to a part of all time.  The only way I can explain it would be using the example of a child around Christmas.  When you are a child, picture1Christmas is important to you. Your focus is on the excitement and joy that day will bring.  Because your age and the length of a year are so similar, it seems that Christmas is a lifetime away.  As Christmas approaches you may attempt to push time by going to bed earlier so the next day will arrive sooner.  A futile effort, yet attempts are still made to push time forward.   As an adult, the amount of time spent worrying about the arrival of certain day becomes less significant and trying to hurry time is replaced with enjoying the time you are passing through in the moment. My view of time was changed when I saw how small a piece of time I actually occupied as compared to the millennia of generations that had lived in the cave.   This realistic scale of self was created by looking back at a 37,000-year-old culture from the cave and identifying with them as my ancestors.  This heightened my awareness and cultural competence concerning time.  Like the child, my desire had been to control time in my life.  Controlling time was my attempt to moved myself more quickly toward the next moment of importance or connection instead of enjoying my life in the moment and appreciating the significance of my past.

picture2The afternoon of that same day, we toured the Sanctuary of Asklepios or Asklepion of Epidauros.  An Asklepion is a healing temple and the Asklepion of Epidauros is the first place Asklepios, son of Apollo, was worshiped as the God of Medicine.  Apollo, the God of Music, Light and Truth was also credited with being the God of Healing and giving the science of medicine to man.  People would travel long distance to have their ailments miraculously healed by the God of Medicine in Epidauros.1,5   The process of healing was a holistic approach, using exercise, rest, cleansing and nourishment for the physical body, wisdom and understanding for the intellect, laughter and entertainment for the emotions and prayer and worship of the Gods to increase faith and spiritual awareness.  It was believed that practicing these activities would stimulate the body’s healing ability and assist the sick in regaining health.1,5

picture3The sick that came to be healed first went through purification in the baths.  The baths were fed by mineral springs in the area.  This was said to be water from the Gods.  This was for hygiene, as well as the mineral water contributing to the healing taking place at Asklepion of Epidauros.   The sick would then rest in dormitories accompanied by the attendant that came with them.  They were fed a ritual diet that varied depending on their wealth.  It is theorized that the poor who came to seek healing from Asklepios would most likely eat a diet of barley paste and greens.1,6   The greens were probably similar to horta still eaten today.  Horta, translates literally to mean weeds, which include, but are not limited to, wild spinach, fennel leaves, stinging nettles, poppy picture4leaves, dandelion greens, purslane, amaranth, and beetroot leaves.7   The wealthy patients who came for healing needed more formal meals and probably shared with the priests, the sacrificed offerings from the altar.  It was written that the thigh bone, entrails and some fat were all that was put on the altar as an offering and the rest was used for food, as well as the non-blood picture5offerings of bread, milk, honey, fruit, grain and wine.6  Once the afflicted were cleansed, nourished and rested, they were entertained with theatrical and athletic performance or participation. Music, singing, poetry, prayer and meditation were other means of soothing and invigorating the healing properties of the body.  Once ready they would enter the Abaton, the sleeping quarters for the sick only.  They would sleep here until they were visited by the Gods in a dream and healed.

DCIM100GOPROThe purpose for the healing environment created at the Asklepion was reestablishing balance in life.  The healing process focused on; resting the body; nourishing the body; reducing stress by putting the sick at ease; bringing them enjoyment and giving them opportunity for fulfillment and reflection on their circumstances and surrounds.  As I have gone through my life I have learned that complete wellness comes from achieving health physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  It was humbling to see this model practiced so clearly back in that time. This further reinforced the feeling from the Franchthi Cave, that these are my ancestors and I am connected to them still. Then the epiphany, we all are connected to them, which makes everyone my family.

picture6I had been blind to this connection.  The ignorance of which allowed me to disrupt the balance and peace in my own life with the illusion of being able to control time and judging others for not.  This is destructive to health and wellness, the opposite of what I was trying to accomplish with my life.  The incongruence of my actions, thoughts and emotions with my stated desire was revealed in Greece.  Then appropriately, at the Asklepion of Epidauros the healing began.  This experience has opened my mind and heart and created a more culturally competent individual, a little less capable of judgment and a better model for health and wellness.

My thanks to you Asklepios, God of Medicine, for all you have given me.

References:

  1. (Takis, personal communication, January 2 – January 8, 2017)
  2. http://archaeology.about.com/od/archa13/a/franchthi.htm
  3. http://www.ascsa.edu.gr/pdf/uploads/hesperia/147874.pdf
  4. http://what-when-how.com/ancient-europe/franchthi-cave-postglacial-foragers-80004000-b-c-ancient-europe/
  5. http://ancient-greece.org/archaeology/epidauros.html
  6. https://archive.org/stream/39002011213262.med.yale.edu/39002011213262.med.yale.edu_djvu.txt
  7. http://greekvegetarian.blogspot.com/2013/03/horta-steamed-greens-with-fresh-lemon.html
  8. http://www.diazoma.gr/300-Diadromes-Parka/ENHANCEMENT-of-the-Asklepieion-at-Epidauros.pdf