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James Prineas

August 2006

Off to Kythera

My family and I have been on the island now for a week. My young boys are already dividing up the treasure they hope to find on our next trip to Paliopoly Beach, planning a climb up Paliocastro, where the most holy temple to Aphrodite once stood, looking forward to their next fishing trip with uncle Niko, and licking their lips at the prospect of Theia Anthoula's, Paniotitsa's, Katerina's, Fofo's, Marieka's etc. culinary wonders. At ages seven and four, the kids are already Kythera-fanatics. Jasper – my eldest – has decided to move here when he grows up. For many of us in the Diaspora, the prospect of visiting Kythera excites us, no matter what our age. It is our Treasure Island. But the jewels and riches we find there are not objectively valuable. By walking the same streets which our ancestors did; by resting beneath an ancient olive tree which might have produced the golden oil our great-grandparents ate; and by seeing and smelling and tasting the timeless wonders the island has to offer, we are enriched with bounty of our heritage. Perhaps the traces of our ancestors which are within us – in our traits and features and genes – celebrate as well when they too return to the island with us.

Jump on a Plane!
Don't forget: if you're on the island on the 12th of August don't miss our second "Discover Your Roots" get-together at the Kythera Town Hall (next to the museum) in Hora at 10am. It's free and entertaining! If you're not already on the island, you still have a week to get here. The cicada's are screaming for you, and the water is wonderful. The island isn't as full as it was last year, so accommodation is still available. And if you know of anyone visiting the island now, please inform them of the event. I hope to see you all there.

10,000th Entry Competition
Only about 500 new submissions on the Kythera site will bring us over the 10,000 entry mark – a great achievement for the whole Kytherian community. Those thousands of pictures and oral histories and family trees will keep our children and their children interested in the island for decades.

To celebrate this milestone the Website Committee has decided to offer prizes to a half-a-dozen of you who submit at least 20 entries between August 1st and October 31st. So this is your big chance to get on the Kytherian bandwagon and finally secure all of your family collection online. Or to add to your collection there already.

We will be drawing 6 names out of a hat and the prizes will be divided up amongst the lucky ones. And the prizes? The committee has rummaged through their treasure chests and so far we have come up with one original Kythera map from the 18th Century, various out-of-print books on Kythera now considered collectors' items, and a number of original prints from my exhibition photographs. And I'm sure we'll come up with other exciting prizes. Of course if any of you have something Kytherian which you would like to donate to the prize pot (please keep it portable – donkeys or grinding stones would push our postage budget...) please get in touch with George Poulos at [email protected] or Sydney 9388 83 20 .

James Prineas, Berlin ([email protected])

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