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Learning Greek and Chasing Sun

Skyros is magnificent. The houses are all white and have flowers, grape vines, and fruit trees shading them. Everything here is also quite old- looking at buildings you can nearly feel their history. Kitchens are full of homemade olive oils and wine; yards are full of chickens and bright wildflowers; olive, lemon, pomegranate, lime, fig, and orange trees fill the air with a mixture of sweet fruit and bitter pollen (I’ve eaten at least one lemon every day since I’ve been here OMG).

The farm has nearly 80 chickens- not even an exaggeration. There are roosters, hens, and chicks pecking away everywhere and the hens even grab flies off the legs of the ponies. The eggs are harder to come by as the hens lay wherever the want to but the eggs are DELICIOUS. Happy chickens lay delicious eggs.

There are also a bunch of cats- those who have been rescued from some sort of hell, a few who were born here, and many who have either been found wandering or who have elected to live here.

The two dogs on the farm are both rescues- one was a beach dog who is probably the happiest dog I’ve ever met, the other is slightly mental but her story is too sad to even post.

And then there are the ponies. All 40 of them. They are ADORABLE. And phenomenally intelligent. I want to ship them home with me. It’s interesting, too, learning about what makes a Skyrian pony the “ideal”- white markings are frowned upon HIGHLY and ponies with brown or bay coloration are the most likely to be bred. They have a lovely, floaty movement, and wild, thick flowing manes and tails. They are lovely.

The schedule here is pretty set but the days vary heavily based upon any additional projects that need to be completed and whether there are children here for riding lessons.

730am- first muck out of paddocks, water and feed ponies, put those ponies out on pasture who ought to be out. 12noon- second muck out, water and feed ponies. 630pm- final muck out, bring pasture ponies in, water and feed.

In between those hours we work on readying the farm for the festival next month, train ponies, or head to the beach. After final muck out, Ill go for a run. Every run here is a trail run. I’m slow and my legs are on fire by the time I get back.

Breakfast is at 7 and again after first chores. Lunch is around 130 or 2. Dinner is after final muck out. The food is simple but delicious. Toast/muesli, coffee for breakfast. The biggest meal is eaten at lunch and dinner is often bread and lunch leftovers or toast. And sometimes wine. Locally made wine is sold in plastic water bottles. Which is hilarious to me.

I’ve eaten more bread since I’ve been here than I’ve probably eaten in the past several months. Bread is eaten at every meal. And it’s delicious. And olive oil. Olive oil makes its way into or into everything here. And I love it.

I’ve also eaten locally made feta. Oh my god. It was amazing. I’m glad I elected to eat goat cheeses while I was here. Since they are sooooo good.

Not having a working phone has been weird. I write these posts in NOTES on my phone and taken photos as often as I can on either my phone or my camera. I will be able to make calls and have “outside world” contact on my days off since I will have time to go into the village to use wifi. I have a feeling that although being isolated is strange now, by the time I leave the island, I will struggle adjusting to having my “electronic leash” reattached.

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