Solidarity Symi - Mid-Week Update




The many hundreds of Syrian refugees who passed through Symi last week are now on their way, having found places on ferries on Monday.  After a brief lull with only 28 people on the island yesterday, 100 new arrivals are being brought round to the police station now for processing.  If anyone reading this is on the island and can spare an hour or two to help out at the relief centre in the old post office, please call Wendy on +30 6945 822 896.

On a more immediate note, funds collected in our collection boxes on the island are used to provide daily necessities such as food, water and medicines.  We work on a budget of 2.50 euros per person per day for food and water which is quite a tight budget but if you think about it, that means that for today's arrivals we will be spending 250 euros per day for their sustenance until they are able to leave.  If you can donate even 10 euros you are providing food and water for 4 people for a day so any donation, no matter how modest, helps.

If you use Facebook and follow our page, we post our daily requirements as needed so that people on the island know what is needed such as Pampers (baby's nappies), men's shorts and so on.   The more people can donate these kinds of items, the further the cash donations go.

The on line collection http://www.everyclick.com/solidaritysymi/info reached its initial goal within a week and a new target has been set. Funds raised this way will be used to improve reception facilities and infrastructure such as toilets, showers, sleeping mats and shade.  As we move into winter additional shelter and bedding will also be needed.

Thank you very much for your support and generosity. We cannot solve the problems of the world or bring peace to the Middle East but we can all do our part to alleviate distress as much as it is within our capabilities to do so.

Adriana on behalf of
Wendy Wilcox and Andrew Davies
Solidarity Symi


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Bright and Breezy - Symi in August

Luscious Greek nectarines. No fancy individual packaging here - straight from the tree to the crate to the market.

Those who are not fortunate enough to have their own grape vine have to buy them.

You can't beat Greek tomatoes either,  The puddle of juice that forms at the bottom of a Greek salad bowl from tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, green peppers, olives, feta and rigani with olive oil, all mingling flavours, just shouts out for a chunk of crusty Greek bread to soak it up.

The old ice factory at the back of the harbour is now an interesting boutique featuring items handmade locally from yarn.  In the days before continuous electricity and reliable refrigeration, people depended on the ice factory for big blocks of ice to keep things cool.  The ice factory was still functioning when I first came here in 1993 and the beach tavernas were major customers, coming round with their boats each morning to collect their ice for the day.  Rather macabrely it also served as the island's morgue. Now that we no longer have an ice factory, we no longer have a morgue but as the Greek practice, as is common in a hot climate, is to conduct funerals the same day this is not usually a problem.

There are lots of colourful boutiques in the back lanes and clustered around the base of the Kali Strata, with items to suit all budgets and tastes.

All set for a little boy's christening party.  A cafe in the lanes near the Symi Visitor Accommodation office.

One of several traditional tavernas in Yialos, ready to serve lunch.

The view from the Symi Visitor Accommodation  balcony.  Yes, that is the bridge of the water boat just visible by the clock tower on the left.  At this time of the year Symi's water requirements are at their highest and with no natural water supply on the island, the water ship from Rhodes is essential.  

Temperatures have dropped a bit and there was a fresh breeze this morning.  This balcony didn't lose any washing but I did pass stray objects blown from others.  Laundry dries very quickly in this climate and sunshine is free so no tumble driers!

A cheerful and drought-hardy vinca on the Kali Strata.

I wonder where that cable was supposed to go and why it is bundled up in that window...  In the Sixties and Seventies the island's power station was a small building at the back of Yialos, where the Mylopetra restaurant is, and each house only had power for a few hours each evening to supply a few light bulbs.  Earlier than that, in the Thirties, there were private generators in the harbour, to provide the new and wonderful electricity to wealthy merchants. When the big power station was built in Pedi, the electrification of the island seriously took off .  There are, however, odd remnants of old wiring arrangements from previous systems.  

A bright and breezy morning.  It was the big festival dedicated to the Virgin at the monastery at Nimos last night - that is the white building just catching the sun over on the far shore.

Pedi bay early this morning. That blinding gleam is the morning sun shining off the solar water heaters on the roof of the Pedi Beach Hotel.  Solar water heaters are very popular here.  One just has to remember that if everyone showers in the evening and uses up all the hot water, there is no hot water first thing in the morning, until the sun has been shining on the panels for a while.  

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About this Blog

I sailed into Panormitis Bay, Symi, by chance one windy July day in 1993 and have been here ever since. The locals tell me that this is one of the miracles of St Michael of Panormitis. A BA graduate with majors in English, Philosophy and Classical Civilisation, the idea of living in what is to all intents and purposes an archaeological site appeals to me. Not as small as Kastellorizo, not as touristy as Rhodes, Symi is just the right size. I live on a small holding which my husband and I have reclaimed from a ruin of over-grazing and neglect and turned into a small oasis over the course of the past 22 years. I also work part-time for Symi Visitor Accommodation, helping independent travellers discover and enjoy Symi's simple pleasures for themselves.

This page is kindly sponsored by Wendy Wilcox, Symi Visitor Accommodation.


Adriana Shum

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