30/08/2011

A round of applause

I think that peopleʼs mentality is slowly changing in a positive way. You have a chance to see this when you get away from your daily routine. Itʼs like when, being together with your child every day, you donʼt realize how theyʼve grown – someone else has to point it out in order for you to see it.

I remember the era of the 70s and 80s, when we first descended on the turtle beaches, wishing we had eyes in the back of our heads because we were followed and threatened by the presumable “aggrieved” ones.

In mid-August 2011, Dimitris and I had come to Koroni beach, which has been under the care of ARCHELON for 6-7 years, on our vacation. During my afternoon swim, I saw four young people walking along the back end of the beach and one swimmer get up to offer them a beach mat. Immediately interested, I looked and saw that they were wearing ARCHELON Volunteer T-shirts.

They headed for a marked nest and started to excavate it with a noticeable professionalism. Gradually, people on the beach approached them. Fortunately, one of the ʽturtle peopleʼ was able to give the right answers to the onlookersʼ legitimate questions because an excavation is something impressive but not altogether pleasant for the uninitiated.

When they had finished collecting data relating to the nest, which had been made in mid-June, they counted empty eggshells from turtles which had hatched and left, dead embryos, unfertilized eggs, etc., photographed the contents, and then put everything back into the nest and covered it with sand.

And then the fantastic happened: One of the onlookers said in a loud voice, ʽNow we should thank all these people who work without being paid so that we – here in our country – can have beautiful beaches and a clean environment,ʼ and everyone there applauded.

The same night, an old friend from Koroni was a member of our company. Dimitris, noting the classical musical concert taking place at the castle, commented that there was a high ʽspiritualʼ level at Koroni. And the Koroni local replied, ʽBut of course – we have ARCHELON here.ʼ

The purely Mediterranean ARCHELON team in Koroni (Italians, Spaniards and Greeks) under the direction of Viki Doulou, gave me the impression that they work seriously, and have a good relationship – both within the team and with the public, as we saw from the incident just mentioned.

I feel that these groups of ʽturtle peopleʼ scattered throughout Greece are like stars in the sky. They emit light and collect energy from all parts of the world, and I hope they long continue. They are our hope for a better future. We owe them a great deal of thanks.

Anna K-M 24/8/11

Translation by Joanne Stournara

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