Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Hello Friends,

In the next hopefully few weeks, our blog will be dedicated to the story of 'Water for Kallikratis'. Water for our village, for us, for our visitors.. This blog forum allows us to tell the story as it goes on, without the limitations of facebook, where we initially mentioned the project. So, for now its not herbs, but water.

Welcome everyone..
About two and a half years ago, we started building our place here in the remote village of Kallikratis, in the Sfakian mountains of Crete, at an altitude of 750m. We managed to create a good place, as everyone who has been here, has experienced. Many of you have shared work and parties with us, stayed with us.
The only problem we have here is, that there is no water. It might sound strange that nowadays an entire village is left without water, without a water distributing system.
Kallikratis is a village, which for centuries has been abandoned in the winter, the shepherds move themselves and their animals down to the coast villages of Argoules, Patsianos and Frangokastello, and with us we are now 3 houses which are inhabited all year around. In the summer months though, from May til October about 25 houses are inhabited. And there is no water supply. Traditionally, the houses had cisterns, which the rainfalls in the winter would fill.. This allowed for a few weeks of kitchenwater, if you wouldn't take showers or water gardens. Then, water has to be carried for the animals and daily use. Nowadays, the shepherds have pickup trucks, with plastic water containers and carry water from the coast villages..
We, when we built the house, dug cisterns down to hold 20 cubic.. this year, with the little rain we had, we ran out of water in early May. Since then, we carry water with our truck either from the coast or from Argyroupoli, 14km away...
2 years ago, we went to the commune responsible for the area, to address the water problem. Now, in the mountains surrounding our village, there is water.. they call it the 'acrid water', well, the result was, that a bulldozer came and did some digging and placed a black plasticpipe. You can see this in the pictures below, which I took when we went up to see what they had been doing in July 2008...

Here you see the results of the digging efforts, the black pipe to the right, and also the plasticbottles and other rubbish in the water...

And a closeup...

Behind Babis you can see the plateau down, where the village is.. Well... this digging was all that was done, and we still do not have a single drop..
What to do...
Obviously, we cannot wait for the commune to bring water, the village has waited decades...

Two weeks ago, we were talking about this problem.. and a friend who was visiting suddenly reveiled, that he is able to find water dowsing.. He went to his car and got his Y shaped stick of olivewood and started zick-zacking our ground.. and yes, he found water.. it was amazing to see, how the stick bent down towards the ground, how his knuckles turned white with the effort to hold the stick..
He then took his copper pendulum to determine the depth.. he told us, that there are two waterveins passing at a depth of approximately 46-48 meters...
And the amount of water should be ca. 1 cubic/hour...
Should we believe this, shouldn't we believe this? What choices do we have? We cannot expect the communal offices to do anything for water.. do we have another choice but to believe, but to go for it???

This is Kallikratis now in July.. dried out, only some thistles survive.. water could turn this place into a paradise...

There could be gardens, fruittrees..
So, we inquired.. to start with.. and contacted a company who drills for water.. they said, they didn't really believe in dowsing, but then, they do not have other sure means to find water themselves... its just to try and see..
They would first do a trial drilling, and then, if there is water, set up the system to bring it up.. The cost would be ca 2500 euro for the trial (50 euro per meter)
and then another 2500 when there is water.. And we will have to have all of it on the spot, because if there is water, it has to be done straight away...
So, for some days we were thinking, dreaming, wondering... what to do? Its a lot of money. We don't have it. Its such a risk, what if theres no water?? What though, if there is? The difference it would make..
So, we put out a call for action to all our friends.. if everyone contributes some, we can share it out- the risk, the win or the loose... if everybody joins in with whatever amount they can, the loss would be to bear for each, or the winning would be shared by many..
So many friends have shared with us, have been here with us... just have a look at the post I sent here on the blog in February this year..
So, we have put out the call, and many have already promised to contribute... many with 50, few with 100 or even 200 euro.. and the score now, after a few days is ca. 1290 euro..(the ca. is, because some have promised to contribute, but not told us the amount yet, so please tell us..)

We do believe, that it will be possible to raised the money with joined force, maybe even as soon as in a few weeks.. and then we will go for the drilling, arranging a great party here in Kallikratis on that day, food, drink, music... and share the excitement of the drilling and the outcome...
Maybe you'd like to join as well??

Here come the names of people having contributed/promised so far:
Giannis and Anna Bitsakis, Chania
Lampis Xylouris, Anogia
Willy and Johnny De Zeeuw and family, Holland
Arnold, Evelyn and Jaqueline, Holland
Giannis Tsagarakis, Chania, Crete
Nikos Psilos, Chania, Crete
Thomas and Martha Brandt, Denmark
Manfred Hoffmann and Moni, Germany
Jill and Derek Pearce, Kavros, Crete
Giorgos Markoulakis, Chania, Crete
Giangkos Chairetis, Anogia, Crete
Ina Hviding, Norway

And here on the blog, we will keep everyone informed, about how the action goes on.. On saturday we will go to Chania for a week, there is an agricultural market in the old customs building near the harbor (Teloneio), where we will meet many more of our friends..
Many small streams can make a river, many of us can bring water to Kallikratis.. and when we find it, we will make a great sculpture with the names of all of us..
So, thats it for now, if you want to contribute from abroad, contact us per mail, or come and find us during the next week in Chania...lets go for it together!! Lets risk, win or loose together for a great dream that can become reality!Water in Kallikratis!!!

1 comment:

  1. There is a comment, we would like to add.. In these times of crisis, we have to work together. We will not go to banks anymore for funds, we will share. We have decided this year, to try to only to buy from friends.. vegetables, shops owned by friends, producers we know. Any job we need done, be it plumming, car fixing, whatever. We will find friends or friends of friends to deal with. That way we share, we share funds around, we exchange services and products.. try to avoid merchants, chinese or other products manufactured by exploitation
    The alienation between us that comes with a capitalistic attitude. Its like back to basics.. Back to sharing and exchanging.
    Can we set an example? Set an example all together now.. we are sharing our place here with anyone who comes, there is always food, always a bed for many have experienced.. Now, if we can share any need as well.. Its only together that we are strong, only together we can resist this society, which wants to tell us that we are alone, so that you have to go to a bank, loan money, pay your interests.. Lets go for collectivism, lets work together. If we can make it work, now for water in Kallikratis if we can involve all our friends for a project that we wouldn't be able to do alone....well, why couldn't you?
    Do you have a project, a basic need--- let your friends get involved,let everyone contribute.. and remember or know, that you are giving a favor to the ones contributing, they will be giving, offering... the blessings are theirs...
    And you will be offering other times..

    Anyway, philosophy aside.. Lets share- lets avoid banks, laws and the like. In times of crisis, lets show our strenghts, lets work together, lets help each other. Do you have a project? Does it seems impossible? Why not involve your friends... many small steams can make a river...and we will know each drop of water in the steam.
    Just that for now