Greek Cultural Corner Posted by takis on Dec 17, 2010 in Uncategorized
Hello ( yiasas)!
Welcome to our Greek corner. Today, we would like you to meet Dr. Niki Karavasilis professor of foreign languages who was born in Greece and educated in the United States. Fluent in many languages, she taught for thirty-five years at high school and college levels in Athens, Greece, and several universities in New England. She was the founder of the workshops in New Hampshire: In Search of Excellence in Teaching Foreign Languages. A member of numerous honor societies, she was selected for Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the East for her outstanding achievements in the teaching profession. She was commended for her efforts in promoting the study of foreign languages by the Consul General of Spain in Boston, Andres Drake, and also by President Reagan for helping high school students.
By now, you probably are asking yourselves, who cares what Dr. Niki Karavasilis has accomplished, right? Hold on don’t judge her yet. Read on…
Dr. Niki Karavasilis is a grandmother of three grandchildren and upon her retirement she thought that she was going to be the happiest woman in the world now that she had all the time to do whatever she pleased. However, after three to four months of her retirement, she found out that she was becoming bored with all the free time that she had and joined many organizations to keep her busy. But, she still wasn’t happy! She also went daily to the library to find something exciting to do during her retirement years. One day, however, as she was returning home from the library, she had an idea; to write about her youthful years in a small village called Trikorfon, in the northern part of Greece. She had left from the village when she was ten years old and could hardly remember anything about her village. She started making plans of going back to her village, but at the same time she was afraid of what she was going to find or if anyone would remember her. She felt that she would be a stranger among strangers, after so many years living in the United States. Finally, one day she took the first step to buy her ticket to Greece.
It was the day before her departure, and suddenly she felt a surge of excitement penetrating her body. Finally, she was going back where she came from. She arrived in Athens (Αθηνα) and took the next flight to Salonica (Θεσσαλονικη) and the taxi to her village, Trikorfon.
It was six o’clock in the afternoon when the taxi arrived to the center (πλατεια) of the village. The villagers with curious eyes asked each other who was the foreign lady, but nobody recognized her. They kept looking at her while Dr. Karavasilis greeted them by saying good-evening (καλησπερα σας) and introduced herself: I am Niki, the daughter of Mr. Demetrios Simopoulos (ειμαι η Νικη, η κορη του Δημητριου Σιμοπουλου). Suddenly, all the villagers came closer to welcome her. Everyone opened their homes for the American visitor. Dr. Karavasilis at last felt happy! She had made the right decision to come back to her youthful playground that she had left long time ago. She felt so comfortable among the villagers, her classmates, relatives and friends. The next day, she started doing her research about the villagers’ lives, their sufferings, and the destruction of their lives during the three wars: The Italian Invasion, The German Invasion and the Greek Civil War. She visited many other villages, heard so many stories which were new to her and when she returned to America, after a stay of four months in Greece, she started writing about her experiences in Greece. When I ask her how her retirement years are coming along, she smiles and says, wonderful (ωραι)! I love to write books (μου αρεσει να γραφω βιβλια). In our retirement years and in general, we have to do the things that really please us in order to be happy and successful.
So that’s Dr. Karavasilis background, and she looks forward to sharing more about Greece with you.