YaYa pointed to the valley next to the mountain we were on and said, "You see all that land? That belongs to me and to all of our family." Of course The Greek translated that to me. I didn't know we owned a whole valley. Their family had been in the olive business for generations. They use to live and work on the farm in the valley part of the year and the other part they lived in their other house in the village. YaYa's nephew ran the farm now and she lived in the village year around.
We sat around and YaYa told us stories and sang for us while The Greek video taped her for the folks back home. We walked around the village and went to The Greek's dad's house that he grew up in. It was abandoned and falling apart. We couldn't walk inside, but we looked through the windows. The Greek's dad obviously wasn't as well off as The Greek's mom. I think that's why he had to spend so long in America earning money to get married.
|This is what the roads look like in the village.|
I must say I was very charmed by all the people we met in the village. I think most of them were cousins of some sort. We went out that night with The Greek's mom's cousin who ran the family farm. He took us to a restaurant (the only one on the mountain) above the village. It was a very long dinner. So many courses, too much smoke, and lots of stories. He spoke English very well.
He gave us a treasure that night. A book that was recently published with the names and birth and death records of all the men in the village for the last 100 years. The information was gathered from military records, so there was nothing about any of the women in it. It was a huge genealogical find for us. Our family history charts only went back two generations. The Greek was very very happy.