Day 3 – Our Dutch volunteers move onwards!
The third day of the Dutch volunteer visit was devoted to the area of Apoikia and Apatourio. The 12 Dutch volunteers and 5 local volunteers worked at 3 points to open up an old, and now impenetrable, path. Their focus on this day was to clear most of the blocked section connecting the branch to Pythara along the ravine through the olive groves of Apoikia. An enormous amount of litter and garbage was collected.
The garbage we found in the ravine had either been thrown recklessly or it had been blown out of the recycling bins stationed at a higher point on the road. It would appear that a combination of the lack of garbage collections earlier in the year, careless disposal and windy weather resulted in an incredible accumulation of rubbish polluting the ravine. The initial plan was to clear the rubbish near the road but eventually a mixture of the enthusiasm of our volunteers and their dismay at the devastation of our beautiful island made it impossible for them to leave without a complete clean up of the ravine below.
The garbage was gathered in numerous bags with the help of Evgenia Bafaloukou and with the enthusiastic aid of the locals who gave us ropes to raise the filled heavy bags from the ravine to the main road above. Vagelis Loukissas, our great assistant and cameraman, loaded all the bags in the back of his pick up truck and took them away for proper disposal.
The work of the individual groups of volunteers was aided by beautiful Apoikia treats made by Xenoula Yavridis and Alex Palyvos.
Our Dutch volunteers also worked with the local Andros Routes volunteers, Dimitris Bothos, Nikos Paraskevopoulos, Myrto Apostolopoulou and Olga Karayiannis. The volunteers meal was provided by the Garyfalos bakery in Mesaria.
In the afternoon the group of volunteers enjoyed a lovely meal at the restored monastery of Agia Irini in Apoikia with the warm hospitality and the cooking of Mrs. Soula, Mrs. Fotini Barou, Anna Tsinaki, Mrs. Kula Raisis, Ms. Thodora Spertou, Mrs. Popi Patiri and Mrs. Maria Raisis.
The volunteers then took a tour of the Monastery’s exhibition grounds and, truly impressed, left for a short rest in Chora. In the afternoon they took a little tour of Chora visiting the neoclassical house of Athena Kyrtata and Sakis Antonopoulos with the impressive frescoes and shortly afterwards the Andros Cinema Club presented a special screening for the volunteers of the film “Little England” with English subtitles.
A warm thanks to all those who contributed to another wonderful day of essential work for Andros and who revealed the human generous nature of the island and its people.