From Andrew Buchanan :
More information about monasteries, team composition and schedule for 2017.
We’ll have people in 11 monasteries:
- Gt Lavra, and, for the first time,
Vatopedi is the only one we have people in for both weeks; the others are mainly for one week. There’s one 4 man team in the second week which will stay in three monasteries, but this is a tough assignment as you’re working and walking between them with all your gear.
Can’t say definitely which you’ll be in, though Vatopedi is a distinct possibility for one of the weeks. The team is:
- 30 in total: 20 for 2 weeks, 5 for week 1, 5 for week 2, so 25 working on the Holy Mountain at any one time.
- 18 Orthodox, 3 Roman Catholic, 1 Byzantine Catholic, 8 Protestant
- 7 nationalities: British, Greek, Belgian, Australian, Bulgarian, Irish, American,
- ages from to 33 to 78 [I suspect the 78 year old is one of the fitter ones!]
We normally head out onto the paths between 7am and 9am, depending on each monastery’s daily schedule, have a snack/picnic lunch about 1pm, then aim to get back to the monastery for about 3.30. This gives time to shower and change before the evening service and meal. This is usually around 5pm, but alters from monastery to monastery. In the evening there’s usually an opportunity to talk with one of the monks, or to venerate icons and relics.
We don’t work on the Sundays, but we use the time between services on the first Sunday to go walking and see what the condition the paths are in, and on the second Sunday to swap people between monasteries.
So on weekdays you’ll always be able to attend the evening service, plus of course any of the nighttime offices that you wish to go to. On Sunday and major feasts the schedule normally allows for both morning and evening services.