Panos This is my life and I like this life, because I am free.

Panos could have decided to change the course of his life, like many on the island have done, and are still doing ... He could also go on only with the most prominent coffee bar in Stavros that he owned together with his family, BUT he found his challenge and happiness in continuing with farming, which goes back generations. Panos can not hide the fact that he feels satisfied (fulfilled) with every bit of his life. Since his English is not that good, we exchanged some very basic info in short recorded conversation, and the rest was just oBBserving his generous, spontaneous and positive behavior towards everything around him ,,, His 1,500 animals, his family, and the people that he meets ... Including myself.

My brother Bellisaris and me, we take care of the animals, It is a family business. Sheep and goats stay outside, since they have enough food.

The land owned by Panos' family is scattered around the island, with part of it on the very top of it.
Still, when they come up, the sheep are not far, They stay together and approach when they hear visitors.
This is also my land. I generate 1,500 kW of electricity here, but I do not want to generate more and to get more solar panels.
First thing every morning: milking the goats and feeding the animals on the farm.

I also have many olive trees, but I only get 2 EUR per kilo. Elsewhere, they pay 6 EUR per kilo. You need 1.5 kilograms of olives for one liter of olive oil. My brother and I grow 1,000-2,000 kilograms of olives per year. We use 350 kilograms by ourselves, and we sell the rest.

Of all the animals I have (1,500), I like sheep the most. We have approximately 200 of them, and I do not want to have more because this is the maximum amount I am capable of taking care of.

Once a year, the day when Panos and Bellisaris shear sheep, is a really big day ....

Every year during the last days of May.
I can only get 3 cents per kilogram of wool! So I do not sell it at all. We do this every year anyway, because it is good for the animals.
The most prominent cafeteria in Stavros (small town on the north side of Ithaca) is also owned by Panos' family, including his sister Christina. Panos and his family actually live in Stavros.

Once a year, on the day when they shear the sheep of Moraitis family, Panos and Bellisaris make a big, really big party. They prepare a huge table, loaded with excellent food for 100+ people. It is basically an open-type party: even people who were just anchoring on the island for a couple of days and had heard of it, were welcome! A genuine Greek hospitality!

The party was intensive, but not more than 2 or 3 hours longer than the sheep shearing itself, Funny enough, there was also a football match organized.
Bellisaris, Panos' brother, lives in Anogi, small village where their family's roots are. Kefania/shop in Anogi.

Panos takes a holiday for 2, 3, maybe 4 days a year. For the rest of the time, he is on his farm literally every day, living with his animals - a completely different sense of freedom!

Released by MED Land project / photography, audio conversations, editing: BB / self-portrait: Panos Moraitis / on-location team: Panos Moraitis, Marko Vodanović, BB / research: Nejc Jordan, BB / text edited by: Tadej Turnšek/ godfather of the story: Jelka Brecelj

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Created By
Bojan Brecelj-MEDLandproject


Panos title portrait self-portrait