Saturday, December 16, 2017

Lisa Campbell: the grandmother who took 2,000 refugees under her wing in Oinofyta

When Lisa Campbell arrived in Greece in November 2015 to help care for the flood of refugees she planned on staying for just a few weeks. She ended up running a refugee camp - until it was suddenly closed last month. What made an American Mormon grandmother of six leave behind her family and her job to deal with the chaos of Greece's refugee crisis?

Like most people in the US, I hadn't been aware of the scale of the refugee disaster until the pictures of three-year-old Alan Kurdi washed up on a beach started being shown on US news in 2015.

But it wasn't until I actually got here and saw for myself the piles of life jackets and the boats stacked on the beach that the magnitude of it really hit me.

I had taken a leave of absence from my job and planned to be in Greece for 45 days. My assumption was that I would find people who were housed, fed, and had basic services available.

That first morning on the island of Lesbos, I went out on my balcony and I could see nine boats coming across from Turkey already. You hear people say that the boats are overloaded, but to see 50 people get off of a boat that would be full with 10 is overwhelming. I can't tell you how many times people would get off the boat and literally kiss the ground. That grabs you.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Greece's Leonidis bids farewell to friend and rival Naim Süleymanoğlu at funeral

Valerios Leonidis, Greek weightlifting champion who was a friend and rival of deceased Turkish Olympic weightlifting champion Naim Süleymanoğlu, showed the true nature of sportsmanship once again when he attended the funeral of the "Pocket Hercules" on Sunday.

Among the dozens of fellow athletes and dignitaries at Süleymanoğlu's funeral, Leonidis stood out as he quietly approached the late weightlifter's coffin draped with a Turkish flag and kissed it. He was probably the only Greek national to attend the funeral and few recognized this 51-year-old former weightlifter from Greece.

Yet, it was Leonidis who inadvertently cemented Süleymanoğlu's fame as a record-breaker. In the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, he and Süleymanoğlu were in the spotlight as two tough rivals expected to bring home more than a few titles.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

"The good side of Greece" supports the GoFundMe campaign for seriously injured diving champion Androgeos Sampsakis

Please donate here: 

A message by Evangelos "Stefanos" Tzivopoulos, Head Diving Coach / President of the Hellene Clavadistas:

My beloved friends all over the world.

I am doing this GoFundMe for my beloved friend National and International Junior Champion Androgeos Sampsakis.

Androgeos is 17 and is an extremely sweet and talented kid. He is the Greek and Balkan champion this year and a very promising athlete.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Stamatis Krimigis Earns Top Honor from International Academy of Astronautics

The International Academy of Astronautics (IAA) has presented its premier honor — the von Karman Award — to Stamatis 'Tom' Krimigis, eminent space scientist and head emeritus of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, Maryland.

Named for aerodynamics pioneer Theodore von Karman, founder and first president of the IAA, the annual award recognizes outstanding lifetime scientific achievement. In presenting the award on Sept. 24 during its annual Academy Day celebration in Adelaide, Australia, the IAA cited Krimigis for his leadership and scholarship in the space sciences and astronautics, including his discovery and promotion of the physics of energetic particles throughout the solar system and into near-interstellar space; his development of scientific instruments to explore the environments where those particles exist; and his articulation and application of policy-shifting paradigms in robotic space exploration that led to fundamental advances across astronautics.

Krimigis is the only scientist in the world to lead or participate in space physics experiments on all nine classical planets. He has served as a principal investigator on five NASA missions — including the legendary Voyagers and the Cassini Saturn orbiter — and as a co-investigator on many others.

Kevin Durant thinks Giannis Antetokounmpo could become the "best ever" to play in NBA (video)

Kevin Durant might just be Giannis Antetokounmpo's biggest fan, at least among NBA players.

Going back to June, when Antetokounmpo won most improved player at the 2017 NBA awards ceremony, KD took to his YouTube channel to congratulate the young player, saying "it's guaranteed" that the Bucks' star will be the NBA MVP someday.

More recently, in a video posted on Friday on his YouTube channel, KD gave Antetokounmpo another huge compliment.

In the video, KD takes questions from fans as part of a Q&A for readers of Fast Company, a magazine that will be featuring Durant on the cover of its next issue. One of the questions is, "Who are your favorite players in the NBA to watch?"

Monday, September 11, 2017

Greek legend Nick Galis joins Hall of Fame (KaliEllada tribute)

He is Nick Galis to some and Nikos Galis to millions of others. He is the celebrated Greek hero who, almost single-handedly, changed the course of Greek basketball, turning it into a national sport. He’s also a Jersey kid and Boston Celtics draft pick who just entered the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame thanks to the International committee.

Galis’ first sport was actually boxing, but his mother soon put the clamps on his burgeoning career. Her horror at seeing her son come home every day with a new facial injury led to Galis taking up basketball and in 1970 began to play at Union Hill High School.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Technology detox for kids on the slopes of Mt. Parnassos

One morning last summer Sofia set out for the pine-scented slopes of Mount Parnassos in the family car. The camp organizers had told the kids’ parents to be there at noon, but Sofia arrived early, partly because she had been unsure how long it would take her to get there and partly because she wanted nothing more than to give her 9-year-old son a big hug and to learn all about his time at camp. “Why did I do that?” she asked. “As soon as I got there, he saw me, eyes widening, and said: ‘This is my space! Go away!’ He then went and hid behind his team leader. I was shocked but I understood why he got upset.

When he saw me, he knew that his time at camp was coming to an end and that he would have to return to normal life. I told him not to worry because I would leave and then come back when it was time.” Soon after, the same drama would play out between other parents and their kids when they showed up for the end-of-camp presentation the kids had prepared for them before going home and back to their regular routines. “The kids were crying and so were we. It's hard for a parent. You wonder what you’re doing, whether you’re pressuring your child too much,” she adds.

None of these issues had been contemplated two weeks earlier, when they were taking their children up the mountain for the Elatos Summer Mountain Adventures program, which is organized by the Elatos Resort for kids aged 7 to 14. It's a new kind of summer camp for kids which emphasizes simplicity, getting back to nature and out of touch with technology and the connected world. They learn about bushcraft, the art of survival in the wilderness. They also learn about botany, astronomy, music from the mountain's natural sounds and visual arts based on the myths of Parnassos.

Captain Kostas Prasinos: The fearless pirate of the Aegean Sea

“The sea needs to be respected otherwise you will end up a loser. I’m not afraid of the sea because I respect it. The sea and I always communicate well together,” says Koufonisi native Captain Kostas Prasinos of a lifetime spent at sea. Now 76, he has no thoughts of retiring. Prasinos, or “the pirate,” as he is affectionately known, is also fully aware that paralyzing fear can be deadly when facing wind speeds of up to 9 Beaufort.

“The boat and the sea are my life,” the old salt remarked as he launched into a description of feats that have established him as the most renowned living skipper of the Small Cyclades region.

“I was born on Koufonisi in 1941, during the German occupation. My family was poor – 13 children – and our parents had trouble raising us. I left school early. I wanted to travel from a young age,” Prasinos noted.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

MoMA's Katerina Stathopoulou is Life Framer's judge for August

Life Framer is a photography award that sources and showcases outstanding work from amateur to established artists. The award is made up of 12 monthly calls for entries – each judged by an industry leader with a wealth of experience and expertise. You can use your entry to submit to one or more of the open themes.

Each month winning photographers receive online exposure, $2000 in cash prizes, and at the end of the year the winners are exhibited in shows in New York, Paris, Rome and Tokyo. This is the third month Life Framer is running and for this edition there's no clear lead as yet.

Participants are free to investigate everything, and to capture anything: landscapes, portraits, reportage, conceptual, personal documentary, travel; from spontaneous street moments to meticulous studio set-ups and everything in between.

August's judge was Katerina Stathopoulou, a curator at the Musuem of Modern Art (MoMA), having previously worked for the International Center of Photography.

With a focus on contemporary photography, she curates MoMA's challenging and varied collection of renowned artwork, as well as sitting on award panels, and running portfolio reviews.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Δρ. Ελένη Βαριάμη: Ένας άνθρωπος που εμπνέει και θεραπεύει

Αιματολογικό Λαϊκού, κ. Ελένη Βαριάμη και όλες οι λειτουργοί του τμήματος Σεβαστουπόλεως που κατακλύζεται από κόσμο με σοβαρά προβλήματα, αλλά η αγάπη, η υπομονή, ο σεβασμός του προσωπικού κατορθώνουν να δημιουργούν ένα κλίμα παρόμοιο γύρω τους.

Ευχαριστούμε και καλή δύναμη. 

Μ. Κ. 

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