Friday, June 15, 2012

Jerusalem of the Aegean

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is how we started our day.  Jealous yet?!

This morning we woke up early (6:30 a.m. -- for those following along) to catch our 8 a.m. hydrofoil to the beautiful island of Patmos.  When we arived on Patmos, we met with our guide Nikolas who told us that Patmos is considered by the Eastern Orthodox church to be the "Jersualem of the Aegean."  After a short introduction, Nikolas escorted the group to the top of the hill on the island.  We had a devotional time with the group, led by Jessica, and then we got to walk through the grotto (or cave) where the Apostle John is said to have received and dictated the book of Revelation.  

After touring the grotto, we continued to the very top of the hill to the Monastery of St. John.  We had the amazing opportunity to tour the monastery and the monastery museum with Nikolas informing us of the history of each and every room and item.  One of the most interesting pieces in the museum was an early manuscript of the Gospel of Mark, written in the 4th century.  

After the monastery, the group walked through the neighborhoods of Patmos to Aloni Restaurant.  As we dined on Greek salads, tzatziki, and pasticcio, the same men who served us our meal entertained us with a few variations of Greek dancing.  Then the students got the chance for a lesson of their own, learning three different styles of traditional Greek dance!

As you can see, we had ana amazing day that was capped off with a return to Samos, dinners in the capital city at the port, and even a bit of shopping!  Vocab time from your students: Fay-Bans -- fake RayBans that can be bought for 7 or 8 euro in shops.  You can utilize this in a myriad of ways -- FayBans, Fucci (Gucci), Fakerarri (Ferrari), FayFarers (a specific type of FayBan), Faviators, etc., etc.

Tonight we rest and get some sleep to prepare for another early start tomorrow to visit Turkey!  Please continue praying that the group continue to be healthy well-rested, as we are now at the halfway point of our journey together.  Also, please pray for the guides and drivers that have served us along the way to this point.  They are an integral part to this being a life-developing experience for your students.

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