Few journeys in life follow a straight line from one point to another. Whether it be meandering without a schedule or a long and arduous sojourn, most journeys involve adventure, adversity, setbacks, and unexpected joy that surpass one's expectations. Such is the nature of the Road to Lentekada with its many twists and turns as the author searches for his ancestral home in Greece.
Fascinated by culture, language, history, and genealogy since his youth, the author takes us on a journey to Greece where he searches for tangible evidence of his roots, including the actual homes of his grandparents who immigrated to America in the second decade of the twentieth century. The author, inspired by the biblical command to honor thy father and mother, seeks to extend this to his grandparents and beyond.
In 2016, the author returned to Greece on vacation, thirty-four years after having lived in Athens while serving with the United States Air Force. He shares many personal, nonclassified anecdotes about his experience of living in the land of his ancestors during the early 1980s. He takes us through his old neighborhood, which includes a visit to his former apartment, as well as a tour through the former Hellenikon Air Base, which had been closed and left abandoned for more than twenty-five years. Of course, no trip to Greece is complete without a jaunt to see the antiquities and a voyage to the islands.
For the majority of the journey, the author takes us to the small town of Kyparissia in the southwestern Peloponnese where he sets out to learn more about his ancestors and where they once lived. He seeks to find the mystical village of Lentekada, a place that his father spoke of but one that he could never find on a map. Whether by chance or divine appointment, the author had a series of encounters that enabled him to actually make a trip to Lentekada, which provided the opportunity to traverse the rugged road that his ancestors once traveled.
The favorable hand of serendipity continued to point him in the right direction as he met second cousins, people that he had no previous knowledge of prior to this 2016 trip. He was treated with incredible kindness and warmth as these relatives welcome him home to the patrida, his homeland, though he was born and raised in the USA. They also assisted with sharing information that helped arrange the puzzle pieces of the amazing family story.
Accompany the author on his true-life pilgrimage as he searches for his ancestral home. Are you ready to embark on the journey as we travel along the Road to Lentekada?