Distant Family Connections can be AWESOMEMelbourne, Fall 2011

Once again, avoiding finals. Typical. Look, anyone who’s anyone will appreciate my incredible talent at procrastinating.

So. Canberra. Some background, a few weeks ago I found out that my Great Aunt is currently living in Canberra with her husband. Oh, did I mention her husband is the Greek ambassador to Australia? Yeah. So a few weeks ago I found out that Tenia was in Canberra so naturally I went ahead and emailed her. I am a big family person and my Dad has always had the best things to say about her so I figured it would be a good idea to try and meet up with her at some point.

The trip was very last minute, I got in touch with Tenia and found out that the week I wanted to visit she and Alexis (her husband) would be back in Greece, so if I wanted to see her it would have to be as soon as possible. Two Wednesday ago I bought my ticket and two Thursday ago I arrived in Canberra to spend a couple of days with my Great Aunt.

I have actually only met Tenia at a couple of funerals, so this trip was my chance to actually get to know her. I’m so glad I went. First of all, I ate enough food to feed an army. I even had some bananas which are a luxury right now in Australia (they’re still pretty expensive because the flooding in Queensland a while back wiped out the crops). I also got to indulge in a huge spread of sea food. More importantly I got to spend time with Tenia. She is a pretty amazing woman and her husband is just as great. They are both incredibly intelligent, interesting people. I didn’t spend much time site seeing while I was there, I spent more time talking with Tenia about my family history. Her mom is the woman I was named after, my great grandmother, so I got to hear a lot of stories about Alexandra which was incredibly rewarding.

The site seeing we did do included driving past the parliament. Alexis took me to the Hellenic monument, which was amazing. The floor is a tiling of a map of Greece. Also Tenia and I went to the National Gallery and wandered around for a while. I got to see some fabulous Aboriginal art work as well as other pieces. Oh! I also got to see some wild kangaroos. In Melbourne there are a lot more wallabies and they live outside the city so you don’t really get to see them unless you go outside the city. Canberra had big kangaroos that hangout in this park by the big lake there. It was midday when I saw them, so they were all lounging around in the shade.

Even though Canberra isn’t exactly an exciting city (it’s really small, especially compared to Melbourne or Sydney) I think this is the most rewarding trip I have been on since I came to Australia. AND Tenia invited me to come visit her in Greece as soon as I can.

So everyone, it is totally worth it to get in touch with your distant relatives. Chances are they have amazing experiences to share and you never know, they may be someone important in the government. Also I can pretty much guarantee they will want to spoil you.

 

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