Treis Elies Re-visited

This week I was lucky enough to receive my copy of ‘Treis Elies A journey in Spring’  by Ethan Hubbard. Ethan Hubbard who lives in Vermont is a writer and photographer who for more than thirty years has been visiting remote parts of the world to observe the daily lives of indigenous people. By observing the inhabitants as they go about their daily lives , he learns about himself. The subject of his thirteenth and latest book is Treis Elies where he arrived during his search for “European peasants” whose way of life would not have changed much for centuries. He wasn’t hopeful, after travelling all over Northern  Cyprus and then exploring Troodos he feared there would be no vestige of such a life left in existence until he happened upon this remote village tucked up in the West corner of Troodos.

As I started to read about the various villagers he meets and over his many weeks stay gets to know as friends, I realised that a third of these people no longer live in the village, as the numbers have decreased from nearly 60 souls to just over twenty. It is a community of old people on the whole, although many visitors come at weekends to visit their family homes and since Androula has been living there, renovating them.

I live in a village in West Sussex and by contrast, today I have just attended a meeting about the future of our village. The concerns here are that due to  government  directives our village could double in size in a few years as there is a plan to build 1,000 more homes here. This will put an enormous strain on our infrastructure and is in danger of swallowing up surrounding fields and green spaces leaving us with an urban jungle.  The Parish council is being pro-active by getting the community involved in developing a plan whereby we lay out what shape  we want  the village to be, what facilities we believe we need to have in place for the village to work as a community, making it a desirable place to live not just a jumble of houses plopped down in various pockets of land with no overall consideration as to how it all works or looks. We at the moment have two food shops a church and a petrol station together with a health centre, village hall and a school. This plan, If put together correctly and goes through the correct channels and is approved could turn out to be a blueprint for further development and showing that the community is behind it.

It is a sad state of affairs that so many remote mountain villages are gradually shrinking to virtual non-existence and one the Cypriot government has tried to address by getting regeneration schemes off the ground. Who knows what the future may hold for this particular community, what I find extraordinary is that this tiny village has inspired not only two people to write about it but many more to visit through Androula’s efforts to promote the attractions that can be found in this beautiful and tranquil spot.http://www.spitiko3elies.com/

Reading Ethan’s book prompted me to re-visit my photos of Treis Elies and I have posted a small selection above. I hope you enjoy them.

Here is a bit of information about the history of the village. http://www.thevillagexpress.com/cyprusvillage/profile/253

 

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7 thoughts on “Treis Elies Re-visited

  1. Accounts of both villages, yours and Androula’s are thought provoking. Interesting to consider them together, as both communities face problems. I am interested in your village and how that will develop. It would be great if the planners listened to the inhabitants and the forthcoming growth would be directed in such a way that it would be an enrichment rather than a destructive event for all the ecosystems involved, (including the human one).

    I recently saw an intriguing TED talk about how empty shopping malls in the states are being repurposed to create possibilities for communities to grow. The talk has a lot of interesting points about what a community needs to flourish, you might enjoy it:

  2. Thanks for your comments Sarah, I thought it was an interesting juxstaposition. I have signed up for three of the focus groups set up, protection of the local history, environment protection and community and leisure. I’m not quite sure how it will pan out hopefully we will meet and put forward suggestions in the future. I’ll keep you posted.I do hope new life will arrive in Treis Elies it has a lot of potential.

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