I recently returned from a ten day trip to my ancestral island, Chios, in the North Aegean. Chios is a large island with a rich ancient and medieval history. This is Homer's land, upon which he told our Ancient Greek heroes' tales. A land of sights and scents, vivid colors, patterns, with backdrops of sea blue and gold-yellow stone. Where inside medieval castle walls, bustling villages still thrive as monuments to the resilient people that once built them. Terraced orchards of mastic and olive trees grow alongside pines and cypress trees, with acres of mandarin and orange groves in the Kambos. The many monasteries are testaments to the peoples' devotion in the face of historic oppression and violence. This island is as much sea as it is land; a history that lives on in the inhabitants and descendants of the northern villages, such as my own Kardamyla. Its beauty is in its diversity; the amalgam that came from those that sought refuge, respite and opportunity on its shores, and the undeniably modern Greek soul that is at its heart.
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