Riding Lessons

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Flag of Greece  , Ionian Islands,
Friday, October 1, 2010

   Had my first riding lesson since childhood today, on Silia, with Ilona acting as instructor.  Silia is a beautiful palomino Icelandic horse, caramel-colored with a blonde mane and tail.  Ilona is blonde, too, so we joked that our lesson was blondes only.  She's an excellent teacher, very relaxed but perfectly in control.  I felt safe with her.

            The beginning of the lesson focused on establishing my balance and rolling with the movements of the horse.  We did lots of exercises that the kids do in their lessons, like waving my arms in the air and riding with my feet out of the stirrups.  Trotting was really fun.  This time, I didn’t have to post or anything, just bounce along.

            Today, I thought I’d make a list of the Greek words I know so far.  These are probably all horribly misspelled since I learned them from speaking and being spoken too, but oh well.

-       Yasas (hello)

-       Yasu (hi)

-       Ne (yes)

-       Ohi (no)

-       Indaxi/daxi (ok in the formal and informal)

-       Kali mera (good morning)

-       Kali spera (good evening)

-       Kali nichta (goodnight)

-       Kali orexi (bon appetit)

-       Ef haristo (thank you)

-       Parakalo (please, you’re welcome)

-       Te kanis (how are you)

-       Kala (fine, or something equivalent to the French ca va)

-       Signomi (excuse me)

-       Pa me (let’s go)

-       Siga siga (slowly, slowly)

-       Micro (small)

-       Ana, dios, trio (1, 2, 3)

-       Ella (come, either literally like come over here or figuratively, like oh come on)

-       Po pop o po (sort of a nonsense expression, hard to translate, maybe like oh my gosh)

-       Malakas (wanker, m.; feminine is malakismene)

-       Opa (oops)

Not bad for three weeks.  Today, I was shocked to realize that I only have a week left on the farm.  This freaked me out for two reasons: 1) I have grown to love the animals, the setting and some of the people here and 2) Getting back on the road will be exciting, but stressful.  It’s been so nice to get to know Corfu well… and of course, not to have to move my luggage every few days or plan anything beyond whether or not I’m hitting the beach after work.
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