AALP Class 19's International Study Tour: Day 10 in Greece

Date: February 3, 2023

Author: Tracey Arts, AALP Class 19 Participant

As AALP Class 19 starts our tenth day in Greece, we look forward to what the day brings.  Our first stop is to the American Farm School (AFS) which was founded in 1904 by John Henry House.  He was an American missionary who wanted to make sure the local people had the proper skills and farming techniques.  AFS has a mixture of the Greek and American culture within the campus and many American organizations donate to the school.  

Through a partnership with Cardiff Metropolitan University, AFS now offers 5 major degrees and 3 master’s degrees.  Our first speaker, Dr Trylon Adamidis gave us an in-depth look into the Greek Mediterranean diet, in which some of the main ingredients are olive oil, fish, carbohydrates that are made from whole wheat and beans to name a few.  He discussed with Class 19 the health benefits of this diet, the customs and habits, cultural aspects such as exercising, eating, and cooking.  Our second speaker, George Fytianos took time out of his busy schedule to talk to us about climate change.  George has a background in chemical engineering and spent a bit of time in Texas.  George quoted 'you can predict climate but not weather’. For example, in the past year we have seen extreme weather which we could not have predicted from draught in Northern Ontario to the flooding we saw out west.  George also talked to Class 19 about carbon capturing and storage.  This is and will be a topic that we will continue to talk about as we continue to work through how this should be incorporated into the lives of everyone.   

Class 19’s final destination of the day was the Women’s Agricultural organization ‘Valmada’.  We were greeted with a pomegranate liqueur which they make in their community kitchen.  The Women’s Agricultural organization is a place where the women from this town get together to make authentic Greek foods and sell them in order to contribute to keeping the organization flourishing, all while sharing fellowship together. Class 19 was able to experience hands on making of bitter oranges, and making Greek pasta.  Our hosts were very welcoming and treated us to tasting bitter orange, and potato pastry which were delicious.   The class had time to enjoy the sights of Thessaloniki seeing the sea front and monuments like the white tower.