Friday, September 17, 2010

Day 5: First Encounters

Day two in Kythnos, still no sign of the Professor despite the proximity (the owner of the room informed us that we were staying right beside his room), we decide to take a walk around the port. We meet Marios, a marine biologist assigned in Kythnos, who shares with us some of his experience with the local fishermen. There beside the fish and the old women sitting and waiting for the next fresh catch, we hope to learn some more about this difficult job. After an hour with the locals sitting, smoking, sipping on cups of coffee, Mario finally explains that they are camera-shy and only "the most beautiful" president of the fishermen's association of Kythnos could agree to do an interview. After a few exchanges in english-hellenic, Marios as our middle-man, they agreed to meet us again the following day, early in the morning to experience the first catch.

Sometime around 6pm in the afternoon at a cafe near the port, we finally meet the Professor. After a brief exchage of introductions we head off to Chora, a nearby town, where the makeshift office/workshop is the old municipal hall, soon to be transformed into the first museum of island. I get to experience first-hand the work of an archeologist - brushing debris off an ancient piece of pottery! It was thrilling and it was even more interesting to be hearing stories of the challenges involved in archeological work. After hearing from the Professor himself, we grew to appreciate this profession as something beyond Indiana Jones or The Mummy, archeology is also hard and determined work. Despite that, the only grafitti on the workshop wall says, "I love my school". and I think that says it all.

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