As for exploration, now,
the greatest motive of this trip is an urge to get in touch with different people, cultures and places. It is not supposed to be a sports project or anything super-special; rather an exploration of the multifaceted nature of human and its habitat.
As for research,
One day of early 2015, riding my bike to the Uni, I thought: how amazing would be being in Lima and having the opportunity to visit a Peruvian school, get into the classes, talk to the teachers, watch how they deliver the lesson, watch how children interact. And then, how superamazing would be to go to an African school and see what is the situation there, say in Nairobi, different? the same? And then in China/ Russia/ Europe/ USA… Ohhh…
I was thrilled by the possibility of this actually happening…
But, how on earth could I gain access to such a special place as a school…
I thought it would be good to contextualise my school visits on a scientific basis. Why not writing my dissertation essay on a school/classroom-related subject matter?
So, I put myself together and tried to find a topic and something I could elaborate on in regard to the classroom and the delivery of the class and so on…Maybe something in the field of Classroom Management, since my first degree and my MSc were in management!!
Opa opa, hold on a second – did I imagine myself randomly picking schools on google (maps) and sending emails? No. I needed an international network of schools to get in; someone to mediate, find the schools and even maybe make the contact for me. I searched on-line and there is a 10.000 all-round-the-world school network, which I am in contact with in order to find the schools that I could visit.
Now, there is also another theme that I find intriguing. When I was a masters student in the UK I was astonished by the beauty of our Christian orthodox parish there. Every one was participating, being in church consciously and not because it’s a social thing that you are used at doing (this is, to some extent, the situation in Greece). And then I spent four months in Spain. The orthodox parish there was a Romanian one, and I was again deeply amased by the chanting and the people and all the particularities. We share the same ritual, all orthodox people, but for example the fact that this Romanian church had no chairs inside was newfound. Almost everyone was standing still for 1, 2, even 3 hours.
The point is I would like through this journey to get a taste of the different Orthodox ways “to practice” your faith. The goal is to be in a different Orthodox Church every Sunday. (Of course, there are some places where this is not possible, because there are not many (even not at all) churches in the route).
What trip is that?
A trip of:
- Self-exploration + self-awareness / introspection
- Meeting-feeling-embracing diversity / outrospection
- Communication with time and space / familiarisation with History and Geography
- Studying the human condition / where lies uniqueness in our commonality
- Great physical intensity
- Natural – close to Earth. Feeling the wind, smelling the flowers, hot or cold *
- Loneliness as a rider, sociable as a resident
- self-transcendence (mentally – physically), out-of-the-comfort zone
The diversity point.
Why is that? Cause I see in my everyday life, so many times, being with others but being alone. We so often do not have the capacity (time, mood, energy…) to understand who is this next to us. Be it your wife, your friend, your child, a stranger. So many of our interactions are based on our perceptions. We think we know what others want/need/dislike/afraid, you name it. We are unable to put ourselves in their shoes, in their world. And this is the real problem – the center, the cornerstone of all problems.
You – stay a bit silent and feel.
I know, all these may be boring to some of you. Or, more possibly, some of these may be boring to all of you. Commonsensical, a bit cliché. But this is it. For me at least.
* So painful is it the realisation that the urban lifestyle is day-by-day cutting us out from Nature. One day in the countryside I realised that in my Athenian daily routine, I don’t know when and wherefrom the sun rises and sets, I don’t know the names of the flowers, I have no orientation skills whatsoever, I don’t feel the earth anymore – the soil, I don’t really get the seasons as 4. It’s more like winter time-summer time. Plus plus
Now I am typing these words I am feeling so good – I am building all this project by myself. Setting the context and acting within it. So much of our activity is placed under institutional or other limitations, rules, regulations…
Ι like it!