OGX GCDP: Code Name For East Mediterranean Journey


Even if the above abbreviation doesn’t mean anything for you, there is actually a group of young and pro-active people in the world to whom it means a lot.

What’s CEEDer OGX GCDP Manager and who are these young people?

The full translation of the abbreviation is Cultural Envoy for Exchange Development. It’s a role I took in AIESEC – the biggest global student organization covering over 120 countries empowering almost tens of thousands of young people every year since 1948.

In fact, I’m a graduated student, but it didn’t stopped me to enjoy the travelling, the great people met and the work I did on Chios Island – an extraordinary location for an AIESEC local committee.

First time hear about Chios Island? Here’s a map for you:

View Larger Map


I had to help a group of students who applied for AIESEC’s Global Community Development Program. This included initial presentation about the organization, interviews and documents preparation but also motivating and helping the students to jump into mentality of international environment and challenges.

A picture of AIESEC AEGEAN Logo

The LC Aegean Logo, including all the islands of the local committee.

An interesting fact is that the organization cooperates with University of Aegean located on 6 islands including Chios, Lesvos, Syros, Rhodos, Samos and Limnos.

I’m going to share at least one case studies with one of the interns, when she goes back from Italy to Greece this December.

By the way, I also met the some interns on the island. Here’s an interview with Sara Slijepcevic, who was one of the trainees working for an Art Gallery as a journalist.

A Great Video

You could watch this video and feel part of the atmosphere the organization has.

Lessons Learned & Books Read

5 years ago I had similar responsibilities in LC Varna, but the feeling I had was totally different. A half decade later and a couple of years professional experience helped me to change the angle and at the end offer a better service to the internship applicants.

I was able to listen better, answer better and generally act in a more sustainable way.

I learned that you can go far in every area, just doing two simple things: listening other’s people problems and trying to be helpful as much as you can.

If you are studying business or entrepreneurship or at least you have a strong hobby or interest you can take a look at The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future – a book I read while I was living and volunteering on the island.

I also had enough free time to read a couple of novels like: And The Mountains Echoed and The Power and the Glory.

Life On Chios

From here till the end of the post I’m going to share more details about the life on the island and some of the most typical places and things there.

Chios is a beautiful place. I was waling around castles, the beautiful seashore of Aegean Sea and the narrow streets of the Chios Town and the villages around. I didn’t like the smell of the thousands of motors in the town sometimes, but Greek people are used to riding scooters.

Pictures from Chios

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Chios Video Presentation

There’s a lot of interesting videos for Chios, but my N1 is the one below:

NB! Sometimes these videos just disappear. I’ll be thankful to everyone who message me in case this or any other video has dropped off Youtube.

The Medieval Village of Mesta

Mesta is situated in the south-west part of the island. Many of the villagers emigrated to Athens, Thessaloniki and abroad (USA, Russia and others.) and they contributed a lot to make the village famous.

There’s a castle in the middle of the village and it’s very silent place to visit and stay alone with your thoughts, although I visited it with 3 friends.

A picture of Mesta, Chios

To learn more about Mesta, you can visit chiosnet.gr.

Pirgi and its amazing black & white houses

Pirgi is a village with unique architecture: black and white geometrical decor of the outer walls of the houses. It was end of September when we went there and some people were cleaning mastiha tears to store it their houses and probably sell it to the local manufacturers who produce various things from it.

A picture of Pirgi, Chios

To learn more about Pirgi, please follow this link.

Mavra Volia Beach

There’s no sand on Mavra volia beach. It’s all covered with warmed from the sun black stones. The water is crystal clear and it’s not a crowded place, especially in September.

Here’s a close look of the stones:

A picture of Mavra Volia stones

And finally: The Mastic

In Bulgaria, people relate Mastic or Mastiha with alcohol drink. But for people on Chios and in Greece generally, it’s something much more than this. There are thousands of acres of Mastic trees on the island and many growers who collect the special mastic tears – a raw product from which many other sub-products are made.

A picture of mastic trees

The Mastic Trees. The fire last year destroyed over half of the lands with mastic trees.

People in Greece call it “tears of Chios” and it really looks like tears – but you can chew it. It’s also known as Arabic gum.

This product is PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) since 1997.

There’s Mastic Growers Association who takes care of all legal issues and also distribute it through the Mastiha Shop. The ELMA chewing gum is also a product made from mastic oil.

A picture of mastic tears.

A close look of the mastic tears. Picture from spicetakers.com

What to do now?

I would like to encourage you and join this Facebook community. By the time of writing this post it’s really small. But my goal is to grow it in a natural way and not to invite people who are not interested. I’m going to share inspiring stories of ordinary and extraordinary people there, so if you want to receive notifications for my next story from time to time, I’ll be happy if you like the page.

If you really want to stay close and receive an email from me once or twice per month you can join my list. It’s painless enter only email subscription with confirmation. I’m usually sending a link to my latest stories, but sometimes I’m asking you questions or sharing my thoughts about some global issues or sustainable way of living.

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