Friday, December 24, 2021

When Lockdowns End and Internships Start

After months of uncertainty about the possibility of a trip to Greece due to COVID, I was able to start my internship at the CIG on September 13, 2021. It became clear quickly that it was more than worth the wait, not just because it helped solidify my interest in Classics, but also due to the activities that I got to engage in. From the stunning archaeological sites to interacting with numerous members of other institutes, the 3 months that I was lucky enough to spend in Greece will stay with me for a long time. 

Since the first site of the Olympeion, I was captivated by the archaeological sites, which only increased as I began to explore and venture to more sites around Greece; the Acropolis, Temple of Aphaia at Aegina, Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, as well as the Tholos and Temple of Apollo at Delphi to name a few. Aside from the archaeological sites, the various natural features were just as breathtaking, from the crystal-clear water that wrapped around Hydra to the immense mountain ranges overlooking Delphi. With so many places to visit and so much natural beauty and cultural masterpieces around Greece, exploring the various cities and what they have to offer was among some of my favourite experiences.
Trying the cuisine from the various islands and cities that I was able to explore was a very pleasant experience, whether it was seafood, wine or tsipouro, experimenting with new dishes and drinks were one of the many highlights of my time around Greece. The locals in these areas were also very friendly and interacting with them allowed me to not only learn more of the language, but also of the lifestyle that goes along with each location. This gave me a greater appreciation for Greek culture and an increased desire to return to immerse myself more.
The work that I did at the CIG primarily involved cataloguing the library and ensuring that the books matched the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, which gave me an increased appreciation for the books on various topics surrounding Classics. Another aspect was to make book exchanges with other foreign institutes, allowing me to interact and get to know many interesting people, while also giving me a better understanding and appreciation of the Athens area. Helping with the lecture events that took place at the institute was a nice experience; interacting with members of academia, as well as learning about interesting topics like looting around Greek sites or video games was not something that I expected to be a part of due to COVID but was incredibly enjoyable and something I hope to be able to be a part of again.
Looking back at my time leaves me with a bittersweet feeling. While I wish I got to stay longer and take in more of Greece, I am glad about how many experiences I was able to be a part of, and how many friends I was able to make during the past few months. The work that I was able to do here helped solidify my desire to explore more in archaeology and classics, while also showing me various other areas that are just as interesting. This internship was something that I have been looking forward to for a long time, but I could not have imagined just how incredible my time in Greece would have been, or how many amazing people I would get to meet, and I can’t wait for the next time I am able to come back.
Nekesh Nair
Wilfrid Laurier University intern, Fall 2021

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