I don’t want to see another Clery Release

I am disappointed in Mizzou. I love this school with all my heart, and I’m severely disappointed in it.

In the past 5 days, I have received three Clery Releases from Mizzou’s Police Department about women being assaulted on campus. In one, two girls were sexually assaulted, groped, by a group of around 6 men. Then a second release came out saying another group of women was assaulted by a similar group of men. In the third, a woman was assaulted, pushed against a vehicle and luckily managed to get away from the male perpetrator.

I am absolutely appalled by this. Our students are no longer surprised by these releases–they are used to them.

Also, we only receive Clery Releases when these events are reported. Imagine the sheer number of assaults that aren’t reported because students are unsure of what constitutes consent, or it was an assault by an acquaintance (which is very common), or the victim doesn’t believe any action will be taken (which is a valid concern).

In my opinion, these assaults are a result of not only the culture of violence against women in our society, but also the culture on this campus. We are a very progressive campus in many areas, but we are really not doing enough with regards to fighting rape culture.

We have a lot of good things going–the Green Dot Program and the It’s On Us Campaign, for example. But these programs are highly focused on bystander intervention. It is my belief that though this is wonderful and can be effective, Mizzou should also do more to focus on the root of the problem.

So, what do I think should be done differently?

Mandatory coercion and consent workshops. Every student at Mizzou should know exactly what constitutes consent and how to recognize/avoid coercion. Every single student. I think this should be taught at Summer Welcome and again within dorms, as well as to Greek organizations and other social organizations.

Don’t be afraid of a black eye. Yeah, reporting will increase when we implement new tactics. That may matter to an administration, but students’ lives are more important than our image. Mizzou can be a leader in this fight, showing that we value victims over a temporary black eye on the administration.

We also desperately need reporting to happen, and we need it to make a difference.

Hold people and organizations accountable. We need real consequences for people. How can someone be expelled for cheating on an exam and barely punished for raping another human being? Students should be assured that they won’t be victim-blamed, and we have to hold perpetrators accountable–no matter their standing with the school. Athlete, fraternity member, student leader, I don’t care. This leads me to my next point:

Combat the culture of toxic masculinity. We must make it unacceptable on this campus to view women as accomplishments, prizes, objects, etc. Men must stand up to their male friends and say, hey that’s really not cool to talk about that girl that way. Since women are punished for saying “no” to men, we have to create a culture in which women’s choices and bodily autonomy is respected wholeheartedly.

We need men to stop being afraid and speak up, stand up to their friends when we aren’t around to do it and when we are afraid of the potential consequences. Make sure they know that their male peers aren’t okay with this. Although it’d be great if women crying out, “hey, stop doing this!” worked, the reality is that many times their opinions aren’t listened to or respected, so we need your help. This is closely related to bystander intervention, but it shouldn’t even get to that point–scold your friend for catcalling at a woman. Hold him accountable when he objectifies a woman. Change the way he perceives women so that a Red Dot doesn’t have to happen.

Oh, and stop saying “Not ALL guys are like this!” Instead, recognize the problem in society’s idea of what constitutes masculinity and help us fix this.

To conclude, I think a lot can be done on our campus to prevent assault, and I wholeheartedly believe that what we’re doing isn’t enough. I felt this post was completely necessary for me to get my feelings out there. I welcome constructive criticism or suggestions, or any comments that anyone may have.

My Brief Take on White Feminism™

I’m white and a feminist–and I do not subscribe to White Feminism™. (These are all my thoughts coming from the perspective of a white cis woman, and I welcome any criticism from POC, non-gender conforming people, or really anyone who believes I’m misrepresenting anything!)

White Feminism is the subsection of the feminist movement that is mostly made up of white women who have neglected to make their feminism intersectional. These women participate in the ignorance of the effects of race on women’s oppression and refuse to acknowledge problematic elements of their Feminist Icons (see: Lena Dunham).

But Allie, why call it White Feminism, isn’t that offensive? No, imaginary person! I don’t find it offensive because it recognizes that these stances are taken by largely white women–to ignore race is to misrepresent the problem. As a person of privilege, it doesn’t oppress me to recognize the role race plays in this issue. (And we don’t want to pull a #NotAllMen type of move. We know there are white feminists who aren’t White Feminists™–let’s focus on the real concern!)

White Feminism has been an ongoing problem in the feminist movement. From Sojourner Truth’s “Ain’t I A Woman” to White Feminists’ rejection of the Black Lives Matter movement, there is a schism in feminism. As people with racial privilege, white women don’t have to worry about racial injustice, and therefore can ignore it (just as cis people don’t have to worry about transphobia, and on and on)–women of color cannot, so their cause must strive for not only gender equality but racial equality. They often become ostracized from the mainstream feminist movement.

So, let’s elaborate.

These White Feminists tend to police the behavior of women of other races/cultures. A frequent activity is to preach to Muslim women about how “oppressive” their religion is, how the hijab is oppressing them, etc. This ignores the agency and autonomy of women to decide whether or not to wear the hijab. It is also not the job of a person of privileged person to tell others what is oppressing them and what isn’t. That is not being a white ally.

In addition, White Feminism tends to ignore race as an issue altogether–saying “I don’t see race” is ignoring the real consequences of the social construct of race. White people: the oppression of others does not negate yours, but you also must recognize your privilege as a white person. It’s not the oppression Olympics–admit you have privilege and figure out how to be a better ally. Also, don’t tweet “#AllLivesMatter”. Please don’t.

Another problem with White Feminism is being Trans-Exclusionary (or, a TERF).

Exclusion of trans people from feminist spaces is not only reinforcing their oppression but basically counters everything feminism stands for.

Similar to TERFs, we have SWERFs–Sex Worker Exclusionary Radical Feminists. This group of people tends to ignore the lived experiences of sex workers and define (much like what is done with Muslim women) what is and isn’t oppressive to them. Instead of working to make sure these women have autonomy and helping those who don’t (i.e., sex trafficking victims which aren’t the same, or women who have been abused in the porn industry), SWERFs tend to slut shame sex workers or say they must be “saved”.

So, how do I make sure not to be a White Feminist™?

Well, first things first, listen to people of color, non cis/het people, sex workers, etc. Listen. Listen to their experiences and how they want you to be an ally.

Recognize the privilege you may have, and the oppression that you don’t experience. Don’t try to tell people whether they should or should not feel oppressed–it is their lived experience and they know it best.

Make your feminism intersectional! Intersectionality is a super cool concept–the interaction of multiple oppressions on one another, how different identities cannot be viewed separately but must be viewed altogether. Involve the lenses of race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability, occupation, education level… into your feminist view. Example: the only group that makes $0.77 for every male dollar is white women. Black women make $0.64, Latina women make even less. Disabled people can legally be paid below minimum wage.

And above all, just empower other women! Be supportive of their choices. Be less critical and more helpful.

To end, another amusing tweet:

MU Vagina Monologues 2015! ({})

Well I haven’t posted in a verrrry long time. BUT I have something extremely exciting to talk about!!

I’ll be performing in the MU 2015 Vagina Monologues on February 21 at 2pm and 7pm!!!!

VagMons is a collection of essays written by Eve Ensler based on tons of interviews she’s conducted with women. The monologues discuss the problems women face in relation to their vaginas that otherwise would go unmentioned. The monologues also draw attention to the violence women face every day all around the world.

For that, Ensler created V-Day. V-Day is a global event on Feb. 14 to end violence against women. Our VagMons proceeds will go towards resources in Missouri that help victims of violence–places like True North and The L.E.A.D. Institute.

So let me just take a minute to discuss my experience with VagMons. I heard about it my freshman year of college but didn’t participate because I was too late. This year, I vowed to not make that same mistake.

VagMons provides such an incredible atmosphere and environment. Rehearsals are informative and empowering. Seeing so many passionate women working towards a goal is a feeling unmatched by any other experience. And I still have 2 weeks until showtime. I leave rehearsals feeling both powerful and lighthearted–and most of all, inspired to create change.

So–if you have a vagina or know someone who does, bring your ass to the Vagina Monologues (details here). You will learn, you will laugh, and you will love the performance.

My Take on SCOTUS Decision

So, this is my first blog that is non-Greek. I am doing this entry because a Supreme Court decision this morning ruled that closely held companies can refuse to cover employees’ contraception. This is not going to be an impartial blog.

This decision is an example of government failing to recognize women as human beings equal to men. This is an example of government believing that women are not capable of making their own decisions regarding health care. This is an example of corporations being recognized as people. Corporations are not people.

Another problem with this decision is that the power being handed to employers is overwhelming in male hands. Women are grossly misrepresented in high-power corporate and governmental positions. It is harder for women to move up the ladder of employment, as they are not taken seriously despite many times being more qualified and experienced than the men who pass them up. So, when these companies’ leaders have the power to determine their employees’ health care, that means overwhelmingly, men have the power to determine women’s health care.

These issues infuriate me in a very personal way. This is absolutely personal. It is a governmental affront on all women.

The people championing “religious freedom” in this case are the same who encourage islamaphobia, prayer in schools, and the teaching of intelligent design over evolution. The same people. You cannot have it both ways. These conservatives want “religious freedom” only when it concerns their own religion. Also, the religious freedom aspect can get sticky: what happens when an employer’s religion doesn’t believe in health care, only prayer? Do they not have to pay for any health care? What happens when corporations have religious rights? What happens when an employer doesn’t believe in do-not-resuscitate orders or vaccines? What if an employer identifies with their own made-up religion to get out of paying for things?

I am disgusted by the SCOTUS decision and I have nothing else to say on the matter at this point, other than that it just reinforces that women, including me, must work even harder to be recognized by our government and our employers as human beings.

It’s the Final Countdown

June 23

Free morning this morning. I slept around 4 and a half hours and got up to go walk around the Old Market one last time. After exploring some, I stopped for one last freddo espresso before heading back to the hotel to lay out in the sun and nap. 

After that, we hit the ferry for around 4 and a half hours to Athens. Then, the Smile Cafe for one last time (the third time we’ve been there total). I ate my weight in gyro for the last time (I keep saying “for the last time”, oops) and then headed back to the Herodion (which I typed as “home” because we always come back to it). Now here I am, sitting with some friends and blogging.

It’s apparently over, so I’ve been told. I’m done. Studying abroad has finished. I’m amazed by how fast it has gone. I was so nervous at first and now I’m so sad to go home. Greece has exceeded all of my expectations. The landscape is more beautiful than the pictures and post cards, and the people are friendlier and the food is tastier. I promise you. 

I will update this blog soon enough so it’s conducive to just a personal blog. If you’re interested, feel free to continue to read about my weird thoughts. 

Thanks for reading! And thank you, Barnes, for absolutely everything. You’re the best.

Headbangerz

June 22

FREE DAAAAAAAYYYYY

It was probably one of the best days we’ve had on this entire trip. A big group of us went to the Old Market and walked around a bit, and I finally bought the necklace I’ve been looking for. After a few hours of that, we left for the beach.

We went back to the Plaka beach and met up with some others from our group to play volleyball on a sand court behind our beach chairs. I apparently went too hard and tried to dive backwards for one, ONCE AGAIN hitting my head on the pole of the net. I have a bump now. I am apparently a complete dumbass. Who knew?

We moved on to the water to play volleyball there. A little Greek girl decided to join us in our circle, too. She didn’t say anything but was very excited every time we let her hit the ball.

We ate lunch at the Picasso Mexican restaurant by the beach. It was one of the best Mexican places I’ve ever encountered. I had chicken tacos. ‘Twas delicious.

After another few hours on the beach, we all decided to catch taxis home and take a nap. I slept through my alarm but luckily got up in time to get ready for dinner. We ate at the Egg Man’s gyro place again, and I had my last Greek salad. *sobs*

After wasting some time around Old Town, we stopped at a bar called Bossa’s that played the weirdest music (cue Selena Gomez’s “Who Says” along with James Morrison’s “You Give Me Something”) and watched the World Cup game, USA v. Portugal. I stayed for the whole thing until around 3am, long enough to see us tie in the last 25 seconds of stoppage time. *sigh*

FUN FACT: I have to leave soon.

FUN FACT: I don’t want to leave.

ALL THE FEELZ

I am so tired I can’t think but so happy I got this experience. Today was so relaxed and fun. I love the people on this trip. I love them all. The past few days in Naxos have been some of the best I’ve ever experienced. I will never forget this place and these experiences. I am sad to leave, but excited to share all of this with people at home (more than I’ve done already in this blog) as well as give everyone the gifts I’ve acquired. I hope my luggage isn’t over 50lbs. AIWGOLDNKVC

AJIWKLENBAWGJAFODSK:LF

I DONT WANNA LEAVE

SIGH

I will blog for tomorrow and then I suppose that’s the end of this blog! I will be sorry to end it! I may end up creating a different one just for me. Another thing this trip has taught me about myself–I enjoy blogging! Thanks for that too, Barnes. 🙂 Thanks for everything. Once again. I can’t thank you enough.

Much love to anyone that’s reading. ❤

Up on Mt. Zas to Down in Jungleland

June 21

Today I climbed a mountain. Mt. Zas is the highest point in the Cyclades, at 3300 ft high. From the summit, you can see all the islands of the Cyclades. I was indecisive all yesterday, and then finally decided at 7am to just bite the bullet and do it. After an early breakfast, around 10 of us rode the bus to the beginning of a 5km trail to the summit. The weather was extremely pleasant–warm but breezy, clear, high visibility, not humid. Basically perfect for our task.

The terrain wasn’t bad at first but gradually became steeper and rockier. I didn’t find it quite as hard as the Fortress of Palamidi’s 1000 stairs. After about 1h45m, we reached the summit. On the way, we saw some goats (“MEEEEEEHHH”) and also saw a hawk flying majestically around us. The top had a pillar with a small book in it, in which we wrote our names and the University down. We sat for a while, admiring the view and taking pictures, and had a small snack. Soon we began heading back down, which was more difficult than going up, because we kept slipping on the steep and uneven rocks. At one point I stumbled and stepped on a thornbush and my friend Alicia fell completely down at one point. Once we got back to the hotel, Barnes rewarded us all with traditional Greek sweets and then we headed to lunch at that gyro place with the guy that did party tricks.

After heading back from lunch, we all got in the hot tub and pool of the hotel for a while, then laid outside for a while, and then headed to town to check out the shops. Naxos has awesome shopping. Like, cute shops in Old Town with jewelry and clothes and scarves and such. The inside is like a labyrinth. It’s really cool.

At 8, we headed to a music festival in Halki that Barnes found last year. We ate some kick-ass food there–kontosouvli is the best meat I have ever tasted in my life. Slow roasted on a spit all day. It was so good. I will dream about that food. I swear.

Next, we went to listen to the music. The main act while we were there was a group of Greek rappers who rapped and sang over beats as well as just guitar. It was cool to be in the local element of a town. People were seeing all their friends, hugging, talking. Kids ran around and danced, adults drank and danced when they drank too much, and some 11-year-old girls knew every word to every song the group performed. They were yelling it at the top of their lungs, and at one point one of the performers gave them the mic and they became the rappers.

PAY ATTENTION RIGHT NOW, THOUGH. COOL SHIT IS ABOUT TO BE SAID. I REPEAT, COOL SHIT. BEING SAID. FUN FACTS.

One of the songs the rappers performed started off with the sax solo from the middle-end of JUNGLELAND BY BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN. It sampled the solo for the entire song. I freaked the hell out. I ran and told people because what are the odds that at a small music festival in Halki, Naxos, Greece, a rap group will sample BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN’S SONG FOR THEIR BEAT?! WHAT ARE THE SHEER ODDS?!

Anyway. Sorry. I flipped out. That’s basically my fun fact. We didn’t learn much today. Other than that climbing mountains is something to which you should always say yes.

FEELZ:

I am so deliriously happy on this island. The weather has been superb, the food has been outstanding, the beaches and the town are all so beautiful. I see what Barnes has been talking about this whole time. Naxos is the gem of Greece. I am glad we get so much free time here. I am absolutely not ready to leave. Ever.

Please don’t make me leave.

I am already looking forward to getting together with everyone once we get back. It will be nice to have everyone together, all collectively eating tons of food just like we did here. I also need to rearrange my schedule to take Barnes’s myth class, because I’ve heard how awesome it is and maybe it’ll let me hold on to this trip a little longer.

Anna Barnes, now is the time to worry about me not being able to leave. I am going to cling to the port of Naxos and someone is going to have to drag me onto the boat.

Maybe a bit of hyperbole. But you catch my drift.

This trip has been so incredible. I am so thankful. So incredibly thankful.

The Curse of Ariadne is Real

June 20

Today was packed full of good stuff. Vangelis had family things to attend to, so we got a new guide, Vicki (Americanized name), to show us around Naxos. She arrived late in the morning, around 11:30, so we got a late start and some time to sleep in after staying out until 3am watching the World Cup.

First thing we hit was the Temple of Demetri. It was the place of a secret cult, like the other Temple of Demetri we saw, so it was walled in with marble so no one could see the rituals inside. Vicki told us that these mysteries probably had something to do with people doing drugs and being told what would happen to them after they die (Demetri cults focused on the cycle of life and death). Both Ariadne and Persephone were worshipped here because they both found life after death. This temple, like many we’ve seen, was later converted into a Christian church.

After, we drove to the village of Halki and visited an old olive oil press. Vicki told us about how the press worked and the state of agriculture, especially with cheese and olive oil, in Greece. Then we walked a bit to the workshop of a ceramicist who still uses the oldest methods of creating pottery. He is 4th generation, having made pottery himself in the same way and place as his forefathers for 35 years. He first sculpts, and then leaves it in the sun for 2 days. Next, it goes in the oven for 6-7 hours at 1000 degrees Celsius, and stays in the oven for another 24 hours, and then comes painting and glaze and oven again.

This potter showed us many different traditional Greek pottery, such as the sphoune and a common bird call whistle toy. He also showed us the oldest mechanism of distillery still in use in Greece, for Raki. In addition, we saw a Pythagorus cup, which uses a mechanism that, if you drink more than you’re supposed to, you lose all that you have. I bought a lot of stuff here. It was awesome. Like, way too much stuff…oops.

Next we went to a Kitron distillery in Halki. It uses a lemon-ish fruit’s leaves to create a liquor that is either yellow, clear, or green from strongest to sweetest. I tried the green kind. It was strong but yummy.

After a quick lunch, we drove to see an ancient kouros statue that had been abandoned when it was being worked on and appeared to be broken. It is about 4m long and is unfinished, since the statue would be finished after being brought to its destination. Only major carving took place in the original spot, and anatomical details would be added later. The Germans tried to take this kouros during World War 2 and then found it was too large and left it, breaking the leg in the process. The kouros was absolutely huge and very cool to see. It gives you a glimpse into the process used to create these massive statues we’ve seen in museums throughout Greece.

Next we hit the Plaka beach and saw a cool Mexican restaurant there. As we drove home, Vicki told us about the curse of Ariadne. Ariadne committed suicide when her lover left her, and cursed the island that anyone who comes to it either a) leaves a piece of themselves and must come back someday or b) never leaves. I’ll go with either of those options. Sweet curse, yo.

FUN FACTS! FUN FACTS! FUN FACTS! FUN FACTS! FUN FACTS! FUN FACTS!

1. Good quality marble will glow from sunlight, so even locked inside the Temple of Demetri you can see.

2. When transferring large pieces of marble works, 2 boats would tie the piece under them and drag it along in the water, with weights balancing out the other side. It was too large a job for only one boat.

3. Marble from Paros and Athens is more intricately carve-able because it’s less powdery and pumice-like. It holds a cut a lot better. Naxos marble primarily used for rougher, simpler, but larger works.

4. In Greece there are more than 42 different varieties of olive tree.

5. Acidity is the difference between virgin and extra virgin olive oil. Extra virgin has almost no acidity.

6. The people of Naxos have very long lives, a lot of the time more than 100 years old. 

7. Archaeologists at the National Archaeological Museum hid all their statues by burying them and kept them from the Germans. Barnes, if/when you read this, will you send me the link to that article? It sounds cool. 

8. Back then and still today, when you hit a vein in marble, you put wood in the crack and pour on seawater to make the wood expand.

That’s all I got today. Now, for All The Feelz

Well once again I’m falling asleep writing this but I am absolutely wonderful right now. The island and beaches are beautiful, the people are kind, Gordon’s Space is in my hand, and things are awesome. Every time I think about leaving, I get a slight panicky feeling as well as an overwhelming rush of sadness, like a wave of the sea washing over me with its sticky shitty Missouri-ness. The transition from this to real life will be difficult. I am overwhelmed by my unwillingness to believe I’m leaving. Sigh.

Tomorrow is a hike. The hike is supposed to be very hot and very difficult. I am still on the fence about doing it. I want to, but I also don’t want to get overheated and feel like shit on my last few days in this country. It is a once-in-a-lifetime deal, though. I set an alarm for tomorrow at 7am just in case I get the urge to go. Doubtful, but we’ll see. If I don’t go, I’ll sleep in and sit at a cafe for a few hours. Who knows. The world is my oyster.

❤ ❤ ❤

Gordon’s Space and Happy Place

June 19

Today was a free day, basically. There were no real historical sites, but we did have to get on the ferry slightly early and head from Santorini to Naxos. I met some nice women on the ferry, too.

After arriving, we walked up a hill to our hotel, Hotel Grotta. Trust me, if you EVER come to Greece, go to Naxos and go to this hotel. The rooms and people are so nice. Everything about this island and this hotel is perfect. I promise. We were greeted with homemade cake and juices.

We got situated in the hotel and then headed into town to get oriented and have lunch. We went to a gyro place by the water and a spry, goofy old man showed us some party tricks and served us a delicious lunch. We’re going back there at some point before we leave.

After, a couple other girls and I hailed a taxi and headed to the Agia Anna beach. The water had little golden flecks in it and it was calm and clear. We sat, I drank a Gordon’s Space (which is my new favorite thing in the world, by the way) and we all basically gawked at how incredibly happy we were. Everything was perfect. More than once, each of us said, “This is the best day of my life.”

Honestly, Agia Anna is my happy place. Agia Anna is the place I will imagine when I am sitting at work in a week and lamenting ever leaving Greece. Agia Anna is now the place I will name when asked, “If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?” That’s where. Right in that place and time.

After some complications with taxi rides to the hotel, we finally made it back, quickly showered and headed to the sunset. We stood on the Palatia with the Portara, some ruins of the Temple of Apollo, and watched the sun sink down into the mountain peaks. It was completely breathtaking.

We all ate some delicious dinner and some ice cream and headed to an area to watch Greece play Japan in the FIFA World Cup. The first place was too empty, so we moved to another outdoor restaurant with some 20-something Greek dudes yelling at the TV (reminds me of home *coughJakecough*) and made it until about the 55th minute. I was falling asleep sitting in my chair in the middle of public, so we decided it was time to go back.

Fun Fact of the Day (only one): Japan and Greece tied with 0, and I went to bed at 3am.

All the Feelz: basically happiest I could imagine on that beach today. I wish I could share it with everyone I know. Naxos is perfect. You can think Barnes or whoever is talking it up too much, it won’t be THAT good…Nope. It really is that good. That’s all I got since I’m falling asleep currently.

Peace ❤

I Came, I Saw, I Concussed

June 18

Today was one of the busiest, but also one of the best. We started off the day going to a museum of Akrotiri, the city of Santorini that was destroyed by a volcanic blast in the Middle to Late Bronze Age. Santorini is actually just one big volcano, all of it. It’s one of the few super volcanoes in the world. The ash from the volcano preserved things better than other places we’ve seen. For example, the frescoes on the walls of the city are so intact they’re almost whole. The people of Akrotiri used the fresco technique not only on walls, as we’ve seen, but also on ceilings and floors. Very elaborate. Wow. Amaze.

Santorini was an important hub for trade in that time. Exports and imports to and from the island made the economy there wealthy and prosperous. Things from all over the world–Egypt, Syria, Asian Minor, etc.–made their way to and from Santorini.

Unfortunately (for us), an earthquake before the eruption caused the evacuation of most all of the residents of Akrotiri, who took all their most valuable possessions. Thus, the only gold artifact found at the site is a small golden ibex figurine. It is extremely cool to see.

A fun fact before your other fun facts for today: the volcanic ash that settles on organic material like people or wood will harden, and the organic material will decompose, leaving a hole in the shape of the person/wood/etc. We got to see the plaster casts of a table and chair of Akrotiri in the museum.

My favorite artifact I found wandering around other than the ibex was the fossilized plants in volcanic rock from 60,000 BC. They were olive leaves.

So, I needed to include this whether or not it’s a good idea. It’s important to remember for when I look back on today. AHEM *clears throat*. I was trying to see holes in animal-head-shaped libation vessels, so I leaned towards them. I somehow forgot that there is glass separating me and the vessels, and with a loud THUD I konked my head on the glass. People stared, I laughed so hard I cried and simultaneously wanted to cry from embarrassment.

Seriously, it was so loud and my head sounded hollow according to Barnes.

After the museum, we moved on to the actual site of Akrotiri. In 6 buildings on the site, 10,000 artifacts have been found. Ten thousand. The site is actually inside—a special ceiling allows natural light in, but the site is cool and shady. This is the first site we’ve ever been to that is like this.

We saw the box in which the golden ibex was found, next to an altar of animal bones. It is believed that they were involved in last-minute sacrifice to appease Mother Earth and calm the volcano, but when it didn’t work, the people had to leave.

We saw an amazingly well preserved ancient toilet, one of the oldest known in the world, and its plumbing, belonging to a well-to-do ship captain or seaman. We also saw the plaster casts of beds used by people trying to rebuild after the earthquake who died from the volcano. I liked that pieces of fresco were still on the walls of the place. I also liked that some of the pottery found there was left so you could see what the rooms looked like at the time of excavation as well as when they were in their heyday.

We got to walk at the level of the street of Akrotiri, which I really enjoyed. We saw the basics of what they saw at the level they saw it, walking through stone arches and next to large buildings.

Next we moved on to the beach! We stopped at a black sand beach in Southern Santorini. The sand was blistering hot but the water was warm and it was overall very pleasant. I ate a nice chicken salad, so I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.

We loaded up the bus after a couple hours at the beach and headed to a winery called Gaia (pronounced Yai-yuh) that uses Santorini grapes called Assyrtiko to make wines characteristic of the region. Another interesting fact: grape vines in Santorini are not grown upwards, like other vines. They are weaved into baskets to protect the grapes from the wind and the sun. Every year growers take the strongest new vines and weave them into older vines to create a basket shape low to the ground. All the vines live in volcanic ash, too. Some of the vines have long roots 400-500 years old.

After the vineyard, we had around 20 minutes to freshen up for dinner. We went to a fancier restaurant overlooking the water with a mountain to the right side. We all ended up having deep conversations on my end of the table, which I enjoyed but some people did not. Then, we went to a bar for a few minutes and went to bed.

*~FuN fAcTz~*

1. The island is ~18 miles long, and 30 square miles large.

2. In Minoan times at Akrotiri, boobs were carved out on pottery like ewers to represent Mother Earth.

3. The people on Santorini may have had monkeys as pets. They’re depicted in frescoes as blue and they’re basically all over the place.

4. There’s a legend that some believe that says the volcano burying Akrotiri in ash also destroyed the lost city of Atlantis.

5. At Akrotiri, buildings were built on large pieces of gravel so they’d shift in earthquakes instead of shaking.

6. The winemaker at Gaia was described as “a bit crazy”, and right now, he’s experimenting with a wine fermenting in an area devoid of oxygen. Its first tasting will be soon.

CAAAAAN YOU FEEEEEL THE FEEEELZ TONIIIIGHT

I’m running out of titles for All the Feels. Just so everyone knows if you couldn’t tell by that ^^.

So today was great. We kept very busy but every activity was engaging and interesting. I really liked the discussion at dinner for 2 reasons: a) I got to talk about feminism which always makes me feel happy and fulfilled, and b) I got to hear about other’s opinions on things like life and love, and it really gives you a different perspective. I’m glad I am close enough with these people that we can have these discussions, because I find them important for the development of one’s self.

I am exhausted, but I want to make the most of my trip, so I’m going with the, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead!” mentality, which may or may not be dangerous. I’m doing my best. I fall asleep sitting up a lot.

Yours,

Sleepy in Santorini 🙂