The kids, especially Benjamin, like playing with my camera. Here's Benny's photo of our living room and Christmas tree.
In Greece, the tradition of gift-giving is associated with St. Basil, who is celebrated on Jan. 1. In our metropolis, the bishop invited all the kids of the clergy and chanters to the metropolis on Jan. 2 for a party in which he gave each and every kid his/her own present. (To give you a rough idea, there are over 200 clergy in our metropolis.) It was really nice. Above is a photo of our chanter, Nikos, with his young daughter.
The kids' had a two-week vacation from their pre-school. So they helped us finally get around to painting the kitchen. As you can see, they were a big help.
Our house (the church's house) was built in stages. The first house, which consisted basically of just a kitchen and bedroom, along with an outhouse, was built around 1950. The ceilings were made of thatch, which you can see in the photo above. Several priests, with large families, lived in that house, which was typical of traditional houses. Today's houses in Greece have grown slightly bigger, with influence from the West.
We woke up to snow for the first time on Jan. 8. Granted, it was only about an inch, but in Greece, that is enough to shut down the schools and bring about a near national emergency. So the kids and I had a snowball fight outside the church.
Fr. Dn. Riginos (from the local saint of nearby Skopelos, feast day Feb. 25), who specializes in such work, came by this week to give us a quote for cleaning and repairing our main church's old polyelaio (chandelier). He told us that our chandelier is one of the oldest in the region, dating to the late 1800s and originating from Rostov, Russia. Of course, it predates electricity, and subsequent local electricians later added electricity. We are now raising money (1200 euros, twice the average month's salary) to have it properly cleaned and repaired where needed.
There were several good ice spots near our house, and the kids loved playing on them. Here they are playing with the ice that formed around the church's fountain.
The front courtyard of the church at sunset.
Paul, as usual, was the first to throw himself headfirst down this ice patch and slide down the incline.
For a few more photos, click here.