As my time in Athens inches closer to the end, I must reflect on the last three months and what I have been able to accomplish. I came to Athens in mid-September from my much smaller home town. I first heard of the Canadian Institute in Greece internship program at my university back in my first year and was ecstatic at the idea of being able to live and work in Athens for 3 months. When that time came for me to apply at the end of my third year, I was more than delighted for this amazing opportunity to start.
Working at the Canadian Institute, my main task was to archive a group of old institute files. I worked tirelessly though my 3 months to digitize all the files and organize them into a consistent manner that would provide easy accessibility for any future researchers. This often included the rearrangement of several files and the redistribution of many documents. I ended this major project by physically archiving the documents within the Institute’s archive room and keeping a digital record of all documents and their location. Along with my archive project, I was also responsible for some small maintenance tasks of the Hostel and administrative tasks and errands in assistance to Jonathan. This mainly included laundry, running errands, and delivering and picking up packages. I was also responsible for the food and beverages at the Institute events.
The shock from coming from a small city to the hustle and bustle of the large city of Athens quickly wore off as I became more comfortable with the city through my own exploration. The city’s metro was easy to use and the bus system carried to me areas beyond the reach of the metro. My first goal while in Greece was to become as familiar with the city as possible and I accomplished this through many evening and weekend visits to the major and minor sites and museums of Athens. I was able to the visit the Acropolis, Hadrian’s Arch and Library, Temple of Olympia Zeus, both Agoras, Panathenaic Stadium, the Aeropagus, Lycabettus Hill, Filopappou Hil, Kerameikos the National Archaeological Museum, the Byzantine and Christian Museum, the War Museum, the Acropolis Museum and all the minor museums within all of the sites.
My second goal while in Greece was to visit some of my favorite sites outside of Athens that I had spent years learning about in my classes. I was thankful that the Bus Company KTEL was easy enough to use as it was my primary source of transportation outside of Athens. I was able to travel to Mycenae, Nafplio, Delphi, the sanctuary of Asklepios Epidavrous, Aegean, Ancient Corinth, Cape Sounion, Eleusis and the Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore, and Crete to see Knossos. I was almost able to complete my very long list, but three months is not long enough to travel around an entire country. At least it gives me incentive to return to beautiful country.
During my time in Greece I have also spent my time in Athens attending lectures at the other international Institutes, volunteering at the Weiner Lab at the American School of Athens, visiting the cinema to watch the latest movies, eating at the many cafes and taverns, and visiting the main shopping areas like Syntagma Square, the flea market and tourist districts, and the several shopping malls. I have used this experience to educate myself on the archaeological community within Greece and the country as a whole. This entire experience has been eye opening, unforgettable and very enjoyable. I am very excited and hopeful to return in the future.
Wilfrid Laurier University intern, autumn-winter 2017