June 2nd, 2012

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Sunday June 3rd. Pentecost in Patras, Greece

Saturday, June 2nd, 2012

I am sitting in a park in Patras having my Cappuccino and waiting for the 11.30 English service at the Saint Andrew R.C. Cathedral here. The church was built the same year I was born. Saint Andrew was the first disciple, brother of Peter and the only other than his Master to die on a cross, here in Patras. It also happens to be the Pentecost weekend here, celebrated by the Catholics on the Orthodox calendar.

I left Itea early in the morning,, yesterday, to try and get as far as I could on the engine before the strong west wind sets in. That worked well, but by the time I got to the narrows in the Gulf of Patras, before the bridge, I had to put a third reef in the main sail and motor sail tacking to get through those 10 or so nasty conditions. Patras, like Corinth, has little old town to show because of several destructive earth quakes. It is a very pleasant city with attractive high rise apartments. The marina is north of town and I am using my folding bike to get to town. The untreated city sewage discharge is right near the marina and the smell is disgusting. My port neighbors are Sylvia and Jean from Liege. The town where Rose Marie (#2 daughter)’s birth-mother is from. The marina charges ($40 for my size) for a minimum of two nights moorage. So, I shall be on my way towards Corfu on Monday.

I am sending an e-mail to my Dutch friends and relatives, for one, to ask them if they might have part time employment for my granddaughter, Corrine, who arrived last week in Amsterdam to complete her university studies at the University of Amsterdam. Just in case you might not be on that list and have an interest: Corrine is 22, majors in Sociology. I am particularly proud of her accomplishments and travel experiences. We have to make appointments in airports around the world to have an audience with her. She is looking for part time work as a nanny, au-pair. Teaching English. She is very skilled working with children. My younger grandchildren would always be entertained by Corrine at family  gatherings. She spent the year between high school and college to work in an orphanage in Sri Lanka. She has worked in Star Bucks cafes, as a catering assistant, etc.  She will be in Amsterdam through January. Her cell phone number in Amsterdam is: o615330914.

Sunday afternoon: The English mass was attended by a small group of local residents, again mostly Filipinos, a Nigerian South African family a Polish tourist couple and more. They have just started the English service. Officiated by a young priest who has just taken over from father Marcus who gave his farewell into retirement mass before the 11.30 mass. He is 76 and had served here 14 years. His farewell ran beyond the 11.30 service and I watched the parishioners bid him farewell, especially the children were all in tears. The young priest gave a wonderful short sermon in excellent English, without notes. The Spirit of Pentecost became real to the small group.