YENESIS gave me the opportunity to create memories
Leaving your comfort zone and entering a new environment is a challenge. Organizing the trip and creating a new routine from the beginning are processes that cause stress and insecurity. But this is the only way to have the chance for more constructive experiences and better performance.
The YENESIS programme is designed for young scientists and emerging entrepreneurs who want to expand their knowledge and skills in the fields of energy efficiency, RES, sustainable tourism and sustainable transport. In the programme, I was given the opportunity to work on the island of Alonnisos in August 2020, to train on issues related to sustainable development using alternative forms of tourism. This month was very constructive, both for the knowledge and experience I gained during my collaboration with experienced professionals in the field, and for the opportunity I had to get to know the island and its people better.
With my involvement in the information centre, as well as via the interviews with the local businesses on the island, I had the chance to meet people from different professional and educational backgrounds. Initially, my acquaintance with the representatives of the island (mayor, deputy mayors) helped me both in my integration into the new environment and in the fulfilment of my duties. Secondly, coming into contact with the businessmen operating on the island helped me to understand the habits and any problems of the local community. The internship networking also paved the way for any future collaborations that may arise.
The impressive natural landscape of Alonnisos is one of the main features of the island. The beaches of Alonnisos combine crystal clear waters and lush vegetation. The waters of the island are amongst the cleanest in the Aegean, and have been declared a marine park because a rare species of seal, the Monachus Monachus, breeds there.
I was lucky enough to live in the Chora of Alonnisos, perhaps the most beautiful Chora in the Sporades, a hillside settlement (not far from the beaches) unique for its beauty and architecture. Palio Chorio is located at the top of a hill, with a panoramic view of all parts of the horizon, just 3 km from Patitiri (port and capital of the island). The main characteristics of the village are the narrow spaces, where the houses are built very close to each other, so there is no motorbike or car traffic. Chora is small and easy to walk around. The bus from the port drops you at the edge of the town, and from there you continue on foot.
What you remember from a place you visited, are the relationships you created, the tastes, the smells and the new images you have retained. Apart from the educational nature of the programme and the fact that it was a source of inspiration for activism in sustainable development fields, YENESIS gave me the opportunity to create memories.