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- Weekly news - It has been a long time since I was able to update this page. I had
the misfortune to crash my computer mid-november and it was only last week that I
found the time and energy to set it all up again. We have missed almost two months
of news: November-December. The time has flown with work and new classes to teach.
Yiota is busy trying to build houses for people. The twins are busy 24 hours a day
talk, talk and talking, whether anyone is there or not. The one major addition to
home during that time are bunk beds for the girls. I put a picture on the home
page of their new beds. They love climbing up and down all day long carrying their
toys up and down. What a mess they can make! We have had a mild and slow winter so
far. Yiota has been looking for a second hand car to replace the old and aging Fiat
Uno she has been driving. Financing is the one big problem we must face. Ahhh!
Drachmas! Drachmas! Wherefore art thou? Or should I say Euros as of 1 January when
Greece joins Euroland. It won't be until 2002 when we actually see the real stuff!
Well I hope to get back to regular news updates. Till next year then ... Happy
- Weekly news - We have slowly recuperated from the fall madness and we are settling
down into the winter rhythm. Colds are starting to appear along with sniffles.
Chrysanthe tripped and hit her head badly on the edge of the pavement leaving a
huge swollen lump on her forehead. We had her examined at the hospital and x-rayed.
Nothing too serious apparently, thankfully. She later had to stay at home with a
cold for two days this week also. Yiota's father almost died this week as well.
He was in the hospital after irregular heart rhythms and at a given moment his pulse
went up to 250 beats per minute for 5 minutes. The doctor did not know how he survived.
They gave him the electro-cardio shock treatment which returned the rate to a little
slower than normal. Needless to say it was a very close call for a man at 72. He
is back home again and resting. Great-grandma is showing signs of senility at 94
which is not unusual for her age but it makes it difficult to provide care for her
when she behaves irrationally and difficult. I saw a statistic yesterday that 1,000,000
people on earth die every week. Actually it is a bit closer to a million and a half.
I suppose being closer to the cycle of birth and death brings it home a bit more.
- Weekly news - Sorry for the long break but we were generally away in Chalkidiki by
the sea with friends from America, Dr Stavrinidis et al. for the annual F.O.T. conference.
We were 120 persons in all and trips were organised to the ancient cities of Phillipi,
Berea, Thessaloniki, Amphipolis, Apollonia, as well as other sites of historic interest
such as Vergina, Dion, and Meteora. I gave one talk that gave an overview of Paul's
life and voyage with particular focus on travels in Greece and the interprison period
traditions (e.g. voyages to Spain and Britain) as well as his martyrdom. The girls
have started their annual fall sniffles but nothing to put them in bed yet. As for
work, the new academic year has begun and were off and running with a new batch of
- Weekly news - Olympic fever is running high around the world and no less so in Greece!
The image of the week was Konstantinos Kenteris winning the 200 metres mens dash for
Gold while with seven beaten black athelete runners were laying on the ground bemoaning
their loss. In a race usually dominated by black runners, it was nice to see a white
runner do well. All in all, this tiny country of 10 million people, Greece came up 17th
in the world ranked by medal value. That is pretty good. She brought home a total of
thirteen medals with four golds (2 in weightlifting, 1 in atheletics, and 1 on tai kon do?)
Per capita it beats the number 1 USA position of 97 medals (39 gold) by a long shot.
Well I must return to the watch the last of the games. Till next week.
- Weekly news - This past weekend, Uncle Alekos died at 70. He was the only near
brother-in-law of Yiota's father. He had been battling cancer for almost the past
two years going into remission and out of remission. I spoke to him a week ago
and he was cheerful enough though complaining about intestinal pains. He died of
a blocked colon that left his body poisoned. Greek funerals are more of a family
affair. The deceased is laid in an open coffin at his home where the family
maintain an all night vigil with visitors calling at all hours to pay their respects.
No funeral homes. The next morning the coffin is closed and transported to the
local church where a service is held before taking the coffin to the cemetary where
a short symbolic lowering of the coffin service takes place. Afterwards, friends
and family gather to drink a toast of liquor, coffee and biscuits together. Close
family members then usually have a meal together in memory of the deceased. Three
years later the bones are removed and put in a box for another year before being
disposed of. The funeral plot is now available for its next guest.
- Weekly news - It is cool autumn weather now. Worse, everyone uses September
to do everything they put off doing in the summer, so that we run around
like overworked and overanxious beavers. Parents are trying to figure out
what to do with their kids for the next school year. In Greece, public school
is just one facet of education while most kids spend many more hours every
day in prep schools trying to prepare for university entrance exams, foreign
language exams, etc. My summer kids are off to the UK while we find ourselves
in the middle of the school enrollment season for the winter courses.
- Weekly news - This past week was the end of the summer and the beginning
of autumn as the weather noticeably dropped 5-6 degrees centigrade in
temperature. We decided to spend the weekend at home and use it to clean
up the mess left over from the summer. It took one whole day almost just to
sort through the girls toys. They almost occupy the whole living room.
I also installed the keyboard in the living room where it can be used.
- Weekly news - I put together a new slideshow today. The girls take you on
a tour of our family summer trip 2000 to the USA where we visit Grandpa,
Grandma, Gramps, Granny, Uncle Francis, cousins Allen, Alyssa, and Janelle.
I hope you enjoy it. It is a trip down memory lane for those of us who were
there. This weekend we spent at home cleaning up several months of
accumulated 'stuff'. We've unfortunately outgrown out apartment. It took
one whole day just to sort through the kids toys! Well till next week... !
- Weekly news - Saturday was my father in law's 71st birthday. I discovered
that when he was a child in Greece, they never celebrated birthdays and
as he had never had a birthday cake in his life, I thought a big one with
seventy one candles would be a nice way to show validation. Getting all
the candles lit at once was a challenge but I think he appreciated it. We
took the family out on Sunday to a nice beach near Mount Athos for a day
at the sea. We invited some friends and enjoyed swimming and dining at a
local tavern. The summer is going by fast it seems.
- Weekly news - This past weekend was a long four day weekend with a Tuesday
national holiday. We took the girls camping for the four days. Sun, sea,
and educational visits to the Ancient site of Dion at the foot of Mt Olympos
where archeological escavations have uncovered a fantastic city from the
Hellenistic and Roman periods. We also visited the city of Berea where we
stood on the traditional steps where Paul preached from the old jewish
synagogue. Another visit included the Royal tombs of Vergina where Phillip II
was buried by Alexander the Great. All in all a busy weekend of fun and
- Weekly news - We spent the past week without hot water following the demise
of our water heater. In the middle of holiday season, finding a repairman
is not easy. We finally found one that could come on the weekend so we spent
the weekend at home to get the hot water fixed. That was okay, since we got
caught up on a few things around the house. It needed it. I started back
teaching summer courses again and although it should be slow time, there is
always too much happening. My main project this week was teaching myself all
I could learn about typing classical Greek on my computer. It is not an easy
problem since keyboards are not designed for all those special accents and
characters. My research led me to some viable solutions and so I decided to
post a historical overview of the problem and my findings in a review page
for others to learn from. You will find it on this site until I get a site
up in Greece dedicated to these new pages on 'Computing in Greek'.
- Weekly news - We went camping in our new six person tent this past weekend
and we found a nice cool spot on the sea with grass and shade for the girls
to run and play. We bought a camping table to go along with our camping
chairs and we felt nicely setup to endure the weekend heat as best as one
can in the summer time. The water was crystal clear and nice to bathe in
to cool off. The girls got their first swim in the sea this year. Lots
of watermelon was enjoyed by all. The only mishap was running out of petrol
while en route. The low fuel indicator failed to come on as expected. We
also found our three year old hot water heater burst upon returning home.
Well the weekend might not have been perfect, but it was enjoyable camping.
- Weekly news - We had Dr Stavrinidis visit us with a deacon from Athens
this past weekend. They were visiting the site for the FOT this year
in the north of Greece. It looks like a nice place. The visit was
unfortunately a little short, but it was nice to visit. He is proposing
a trip to the island of Patmos for a study on the book of Revelations.
No date set yet, but it promises to be interesting. The rest of the week
we have been enduring the heat. No air conditioning in the flat makes a
change from the US where everything is artificially cooled. The girls
are doing fine.
- Weekly news - It has been a long time since an update but we were on
a trip to the USA to visit inlaws for the last three weeks. The trip
was enjoyed by all. The girls started picking up a bit of the English
language. We visited all the relatives in the area. Did some 'window
shopping' and 'garage sale' looking. We splurged on a six person camping
tent for family vacations in Greece. We flew down to enjoy my brothers
new condominium in the Ozarks, in my brothers twin engine plane. We
let the grandparents and great-grandparents visit with the girls. All
in all, if not relaxing, it was time well spent, in spite of the high
price tag of flying a family to the states these days. After a 14 hour
layover for a connecting flight in Zurich we arrived home same and
sound at three in the morning on the 15th of July.
- Weekly news - I have put together a new slide show showing the girls
riding their shiny new red bicycles granddad gave them. They are quite
proud now to be able to ride by themselves without daddy's help. We
also took them to the sea for a swim the first time this year. When we
got there the wind kicked up and the sky grew overcast. Daddy went
snorkling and saw several thousand fish swimming in schools but the
girls had to settle for building sand castles as mom was concerned
about possible colds before our US trip this week. We will be in the
states for three weeks between 23 June and 15 July so you may or may
not get a new update for awhile. Till then ...
- Weekly news - As you saw I added a photo's page to the site. If I am
able I will try to add a photo to the site each week. If an when I get
a scanner, I may add whole series of photos that I could scan. For
the present it will just be webcam shots. We took the girls on a
trip around the Bay of Thessaloniki in a large boat last weekend
for their enjoyment. It was the first time for them and they seemed
to be quite intrigued sitting up on the bow looking at the sea.
Tuesday the girls turned three years old. I gave them a walkman
each that they seemed to really like. Till next week... %-)>
- Weekly news - I have been redesigning my website to be a little
more effective. I also hope I have discovered and solved the
Slideshow problem that was not working as it should on other
computers. I had a bad link in the startup file that looked for
a file on my own hard drive an not on the website. Finding it on
my computer it went ahead and played the slideshows for me when I
tested them but it would not work on any other computer that tried
to play the slideshows. I hope this is a help for you. Sorry for
the trouble. Website birth pangs!
- Weekly news - This was posted a little later than the listed date
so I will leave it here for a week or so before moving it back to
last months postings. We went for a trip on the weekend to Drimos
the village, where we stayed with some cousins who had a wedding
gift for us that had been kept till they saw us next. A fondue set.
Yiota liked that. Now we have to do a fondu. We both like the
calm atmosphere of the village and if we work out a building loan
we may go ahead and build a house in the village and move out.
Yiota wanted to do that earlier but then hesitated as she got cold
feet when thinking about the travel time each time she came into the
city to do some work. It is about 15 miles which isn't bad I think.
One gets used to it in exchange for the quality of the home you
live in. The kids would be able to run around outside.
- Weekly news - I am a little late with this weeks news but that is
probably because we did not do anything much. This last weekend
was a normal weekend in that we spent it at home. No weddings,
no trips, no outings, etc. We did get the pictures back from the
wedding and the girls looked cute in their flower girl dresses.
A cousin lent the dresses as otherwise it would have been an
expensive purchase just for a wedding. The summer seems upon us
as the weather is usually sweltering by midday, though fortunately
the humidity is not very bad which makes it livable. Just one
month now before a trip to the US.
- Weekly news - This last weekend we took a trip to Kastoria (that
translates 'Beaver Town'. It is a beautiful town perched on a
narrow strip of land joining the mainland with a lake island that
sticks up in the middle of a lake that must be two miles across.
Anna, our maid of honor at our civil ceremony, was getting married.
The girls were the flower girls and dad was the video camera man.
The wedding was in an 800 year old small bysantine chapel on the
island surrounded by pheasants running about. Very picturesque!
The wedding was quite nice and afterwards we went to a taverna to
celebrate with food, basooki music, song and dance. I did not get
many pictures myself as I was filming for them but I'll post a few
when I can get them scanned.
- Weekly news - I forgot to share with you last week the news
that PaPousse (that's Greek for Granddad) bought the girls
two shiny red bicycles with training wheels. They were about
$75 dollars each which I though was expensive for little bikes
but that's the value of money these days. Nevertheless the
girls were delighted and love to sit on them in the house.
We have a fenced roof area where they can ride around as well
as take them to the children's playground nearby to ride.
Well, I shouldn't say ride. They just can't seem to get the
hang of making them move under their own power yet. They like
to pedal backwards and not forwards. Forwards seems to require
to much muscle for their liking. They prefer to have daddy
push as they watch other kids pedal around. We'll get the hang
of it eventually I think.
- Weekly news - This past weekend was Paska weekend in Greece.
That is the Greek word for Passover Weekend or Easter for
everyone else. Friday night people went on a funeral
procession through the streets of their cities carrying
the funeral briar of a cruxified Christ (well you don't
see any Christ, just a flower covered bed), then Saturday
night at Midnight their is a candle lit procession through
the streets as a symbol of the resurrection, they eat a
special soup upon returning home marking their doors with
a symbolic cross much as the ancient Isrealites did in
Eygpt when the Death angel passed through to slaughter
the Eygptian firstborn. Sunday is a time of celebration
for the resurrection. Traditionally families roast a whole
lamb on an open spit outside before enjoying a big meal
together. Monday is a national holiday on which families
traditionally go to the countryside an have a family picnic.
We followed the traditions with our Greek family here and
enjoyed the Paska weekend as well as sharing another person's
celebration of these most important events surrounding
Christs cruxification and resurrection.
- Weekly news - This news page is my most recent website
add-on, it means I don't have to send multiple emails
every week with news that you may not be interested in
reading. If you are reading this, I assume the mundane
details of our ordinary lives must hold some interest to
you. This week was a gruesome week before Easter holidays
in Greece from the work point of view. The weather today
is a July-August heatwave. I see Elian is with his
father. The twins and parents spent our usual Sunday
afternoon enjoying the Greek Sunday Family Dinner
tradition while daddy took photos for everybody. Vasilea
broke her bicycle today so we'll have to buy another.
Chrysanthe broke her child's plastic chair that greatly
upset her. She insisted I scotchtaped it back together
again which I did. :-) The car is breathing fire and
fumes. Looks like she's burning oil badly. Till next
update .... Adio! (Greek for goodbye)
- Weekly news - Greetings to my new website for my fun and
yours. I thought that since I am in the mood to
experiment with producing my own streamed production of
the kids, that I could share them with you for your
interest and see the kids growing up if your far from
this corner of the globe - Greece. I hope you like it.
There are some bugs to work out still and I hope that
asking you to get RealPlayer to view the site contents
will not be too burdensome. Happy Passover to you all -
till next week.
Copyright © 2000, 2001, 2002 Michael Wells Family Website This page was last updated: 2 February 2002