Assembling custom made gift boxes is our way to express our passion for anything Greek of incomparable quality. This is how we get closer to you. But this time we want to turn the spotlight on the people that inspire us. So, this is the first episode of the Unwrap the box interview concept! And our first guest is Leonidas Fotiadis, President of the PanHellenic society of patients with autoimmune rheumatic diseases AKESO - a member of IMI pool of patient experts.
He is definitely of the people who love Greece as much as we do. What does he have to share with us? Five questions, 5 minutes, words that will stay with us forever! #begreek
If you were to put in a box your favorite memory, what would that be?
People are used to calling their childhood memories as their favorite ones, but in my scenario, my favorite memory comes from one of my recent summer vacations. Back in 2017, after a very tough winter that I had to face a severe arthritis flare, my company and I visited Ikaria. The car we rented broke down in themiddle of the island so we had to autostop in order to reach our destination. A truck driver picked us and the road trip in the truck body was amazing. I could feel the summer breeze, admire the view over the hills, smell the nature of the island and feel free from every bad experience of the past.
What’s the one thing that always reminds you of Greece?
There is a combination of things that reminds me of Greece. The sunlight, the sea, and the summer breeze is a perfect description of Greece for me. If I had to choose only one this would be the sea. The perfect reflections of the summer sun in Greek sea waters and the sound of the waves bubbling in the beach or in a boat. In Greece, you can admire a perfect view of the sea even if you are climbing in a mountain and you can smell it in the air ever you are in the city center of a seaside city.
What would make a perfect gift from Greece?
A wooden gift made from an olive tree is the perfect gift for me. Olive trees can be seen all over Greece even in the driest and windiest areas like some islands and can be planted even near the sea or in the mountains. This is why every time I smell the wood of olive trees reminds me both of my childhood summers spent in beaches full of olive trees and at the same time reminds me of winter excursions in the mountains. This smell reminds me of the innocence of being a child, symbolizes the sun and the sea that features Greece during summertime and simultaneously is the Greek nature all over the year.
Have you ever tried to make from scratch something for a loved one? Was it a success?
I love making handmade gifts for my loved ones. Last time I tried to do so was a couple of months ago when I collected seashells, small singles from a beach and using boat rope I tried to make a coffee table rosary. I can admit that it was a successful attempt and the rosary still decorates a coffee table in Paris where a good friend of mine lives.
If your summer vacation were a gift box, what island of Greece would be a part of it and why?
Tinos is my favorite island of Greece and with no doubt, I would choose it as a part of my gift box. Tinos combines everything that consists of the special character of traditional Greece. A strong faith in God, white houses with Aegean blue windows, strong summer wind and impressive windmills, artistic stone made dovecotes, tasteful homemade recipes all these are everything that describes Tinos and someone could say that describe Greece of the past.
The first episode of Unwrap the box interview concept with our lovely guest Leonidas Fotiadis is now over. It was as if we traveled with him back in time and experienced the moments he shared with us. Who's next to come? We can't say just yet! But your guesses are welcomed!