Saturday January 20 , 2018

Aegean seagulls in Sikinos island

 

SIKINOS ISLAND

...a promise

...a trip

 

Μαθητές ΣικίνουBeautiful and shy, the petite "lady" of the Cyclades, doesn't show off her charms ... yet, she is there. Rock, Light and endless Blue, at first glance. 41 square km is the island and 200 are its souls.

Warm, proud and hospitable souls.

Such is the soul linking us to the island of Sikinos, where we rested for a while in the Summer 2011.

A single expectation, expressed when we were leaving, by the deputy mayor Mr. Vasili Maraki, "I hope you don't forget us". A single promise "We will come again".

And already in our mind we were planning one of our following journeys.

Needless to describe the surprise and joy of our friend Vasili, as soon as he heard us over the phone. "I thought you had forgotten about us" and you could "see" his smile through the telephone.

Our telephone communication became daily in order to gather as much information as possible about the needs of the island. Our target was to supply what they wanted and needed with the valuable help of our sponsors. As far as the sponsors are concerned, we will tell you later on.

We collected valuable information and begun the efforts to collect the goods.

We focused on specific medication that was requested by authorized nurse Mr. Chalkea Niko, an enduring presence at the island's hospital all these years. Together with the local doctor they created the list of medicine needed. Specialized medication that is absolutely necessary for the inhabitants.

The island doesn't have a chemist. Due to adverse weather conditions, connection to the island is sometimes cut off for days and medicine - that sustains life - runs out. Some of the patients cannot afford to buy their medication. Then, you exclaim: "By God's Grace" ... and not only then ...

Basic diagnostic tools are missing from the medical centre, the doctor confesses, and without these, one feels that he needs to become a magician. They don't even have a stretcher.

Two sides of our islands. Beautiful scenery and nature playing hide-and-seek with worries, desperation and fears of islanders, who live so near and yet so far from us. Lighting a candle in prayer and asking for good luck in order to drive off misfortune, so it may not come. Because if it does...

We felt compassion and the need to contribute further, so we found a defibrillator, a medical monitor, a stretcher ... and a valuable life cooperation (we will reveal this secret later).

In these efforts our sponsors have been very generous.

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Medicine was offered by the Social Medical Centre “Athanasios Tiliakos” in Kilkis by the manager Mr. D. Agathopoulos. The Man who created and organized this marvelous center, that deserves full admiration, is always by our side when we ask for his help.

Another donation of medicine came from Syros, the Pharmacy of Ms. Eleni Armakola, who has stood by us ever since our mission to the Shelter for Juveniles on Syros Island.

It is thanks to these people, we managed to collect the medicine needed.

LIFEPAK

A portable defibrillator, the vital instrument to save a human life in the event of a heart attack was donated by Aegean Airlines that supports us and is always by our side.

The company. B.I. Mantzaris S.A., the exclusive representatives of LIFE PAK defibrillators, offered free technical assistance and arranged a relevant seminar for efficient use of the equipment donated.

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The company Cortessis Medical offered an otoscope and a colour medical monitor allowing multiple diagnostic checks and telemedicine technology.

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The company STOP donated the stretcher.

 

"Journey Log" ...

Friday, 16 March 2012 we are prepared and setting course to Sikinos.

Loaded with all the valuable goods and four crew members our RIB is ready to begin its journey from Lagonisi.

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08:10' we wave good bye to our friends who came to see us off and wish us a good journey.

The greek ancient god of the sea, Poseidon is in great spirits today and is keeping us alert. Wind forces alternate between 5 and 6 Beaufort and it was difficult to estimate our time of arrival. During our brief stop for hot coffee at Fikiada, Sifnos we reset our course in order to avoid greater discomfort. We still have several hours of journey ahead of us. The deputy mayor calls frequently to check on us and is quite concerned as weather conditions on the South passage have worsened. We reassured him and explained we will be delayed a couple of hours.

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What is important is to arrive safely, with instruments and medicine intact.

14:30’. Arrival at Alopronoia harbor. The name is derived from the greek ancient word “αλς” which means Sea and the word “πρόνοια” Care. Care of the Sea.

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We see them waiting for us. The deputy Mayor together with the dentist and two municipal employees welcome us and help us carry the things. The RIB is soon empty and we are shown to our rooms. A quick rest and then, straight to the Medical Centre.

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16:00’ We are at the Medical Centre and we have the pleasure of meeting with the local doctor. We discuss with her the problems and difficult conditions that the islanders face especially during the winter or when something happens and one needs to visit Athens for medical reasons. Things are difficult on various levels.

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The city bustle, the worry of illness, practical difficulties create a maze without a “lead” and people reach their limits of physical and psychic strength.

As on other missions, we put ourselves in their shoes and imagine how we would feel if it happened to us or to our children. This time we are prepared and thanks to a number of people we bring with us hope … As we open the boxes with the donations we feel like children on Christmas morning.

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17:15'. We leave the Medical Centre troubled and happy (there are always two sides to life). We are shown around the island.

The beauty of Sikinos or Sykandros or Oinoi ( as it was called in Ancient Times), unfolds before our eyes. The main settlement - town with its castle is possibly one of the most beautiful of the Cyclades. It stands built on the edge of a cliff, 280 meters above sea level. Walls and cliffs to protect the "Lady" from the pirates ... and all of life, even today unfolds around the main square. The town hall, the medical centre, the coffee places, the shops, the church of Pantanassa!!!

PantanassaYou fall in love with Sikinos with the white washed houses, the stone manors, the winding streets, the traditional coffee places and tarvernas, the churches and chapels and above the town, the Monastery of "Zoodohou Pigis", like a castle, like an embrace. Episkopi, with the church dedicated to the Virgin Mary and its ancient settlements.

...the beaches are also inviting even in this weather, at least for a walk.

The deputy mayor talked to us about the black cave – one of the biggest caves in the Cyclades – and the country paths inspiring us to come again for a holiday.

21:30'. The night is rounded beautifully at a traditional taverna with the deputy mayor, the priest, the dentist and the local doctor.

Saturday 17 March, 2012

12:00 am. With a local bus we arrive at the school were students, parents and teachers are expecting for us. We have a big surprise for our young friends – thirteen children. We bring them their presents, toys donated by Toys Stores Moustakas, as well as clothes that friends donated.

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We are even more excited!

In front of all the parents, Mr. Lefteris Gonos, gives a speech and announces the news that is important for the children.

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"We are most happy to announce the official cooperation of the "Aegean Seagulls" with the following paediatric clinics of the Tzanio Hospital.

1) Paediatric clinic with Director Mrs. Gerle Zoi

2) Peadiatric-neurological clinic with Director Mrs. Gerle Zoi

3) Peadiatric-surgical clinic with Director Mr. Bouldathaki Ioanni

4) Orthopedics Clinic with Director Mr. Maragoudaki Georgio

Our cooperation will soon cover more Clinics.

From here on, any child with a health problem is entitled to examinations, treatment, surgery etc with just a telephone call. There will be no delays or technicalities for the parents or child, who will receive priority care and treatment, without an appointment being required. We stand by them.

The news brings happiness and smiles to all. "It is a relief", they say, "to know that there will be someone by our side in a difficult moment"

We thank the Directors of the above mentioned Clinics for their unconditional support to the children on various islands and thank all of you, for offering us the strength to continue our efforts with your support.

Sunday 18/03/2012

Our last day on the island and we meet with inhabitants of the island but words and camera shots are not appropriate here.

Return

We leave our friend behind as well as the petite "Lady" that has proved to be a real "Princess" with roots in antiquity, rich from the gifts of nature and the labors of man. Unassuming, authentically nostalgic and above all hospitable.

We sincerely thank the Deputy Mayor of Sikinos, Mr. Vassili Maraki for his heartfelt hospitality.

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Most grateful to:

AEGEAN AIRLINES

Social Medical Centre and Pharmacy in Kilkis,  Athanasios Tiliakos

MOYSTAKAS (Toys)

D. Kortesis (Medical equipment)

Siros Pharamacy Ms. Eleni Armakola

STOP (Personal protection Equipement)

Medronic Physio-Control MANTZARIS (Medical Instruments)

Sealine Ribs, Sakis Botonis

Chris Kavallaris – Accounting office

GNT Accountants Tselios IoannisΤσέλιος Ιωάννης

Tasos & Afroditi Zerva

Karlo Alexandridis

Antonis Kanakis

Konstantinos Dimitrakopoulos

Theodoros Michailatsos

Georgios Panagiotakopoulos

Stelios Filaditakis

Natalia Vlachou

Sofia Kassotaki

 

                                                                                                                                            

        «AEGEAN SEAGULLS»