Magical Molyvos

DSCN0090The Greek word “philoxenia” is literally translated as “friend of strangers” but its essential meaning is “generosity of spirit.” I have experienced this Greek value every day in Molyvos for the past two months. In addition to having flowering pastures,  dramatic hillsides, sheep bells clanging through the valleys, amazing food and beautiful beaches, Molyvos is home to some of the most friendly, caring people I have ever met.

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Kites and Hope on Lesvos

DSCN0022Hope is a word you hear a lot on Lesvos. Many here talk about how lucky they have been to have met so many people who have lost everything but still have hope. This week I was inspired again to have welcomed a boat to shore. After hearing that a lot of boats would be landing south of Mytilene, Jo from England and I drove over the mountain to Mytilene.  We arrived at about 6:30am at “Campfire,” where the NGOs stand watch all night, and met Cedric, a photojournalist from Paris.  Several boats had arrived before dawn, escorted in by Frontex or the Coast Guard.

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The Gifts of Giving on Lesvos


Outside the gate at Moria refugee camp.

During my first few days back in Molyvos, I have been settling in and trying to find my Greek center.  I am staying in a small traditional cottage just outside of Molyvos next to a grove of olive trees with sheep — the two staples of the Lesvos landscape.  It is quiet and comfortable and adorable.

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It’s Still A Greek Island



Molyvos from the harbor

I took a break yesterday after seven days.  Most of the volunteers do not seem to take days off. The refugee work here is relentless and addictive.  It should have been a slow day because the winds did not permit crossings. But at Lighthouse, I found a dozen people repairing damage to the store rooms caused by a storm the night before. Four more were restocking the clothes bins.

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