I had hoped we could weave in homeschooling lessons while sightseeing. Usually, the kids don’t agree. In the morning, they finish their work, and then they want to focus on having fun. Sometimes, more like “often”, they complain about our suggested excursions, especially if these involve culture or history. I was holding my breath for our trip to the ancient city of Delphi in Greece.
“Alright, we are going to meet the Oracle of Delphi today,” I started.
Silence. No protests. This was suspicious. I quickly continued, “Here is the ancient Agora, think souvenir shops.”
“Cool,” Seven said. “What can I buy?”
Everybody was still smiling. I don’t know what our Greek hosts had put in the full-fat yoghurt that particular morning, but they were listening. “In these small temples,” I pointed to a pile of stones, “You can drop off your donations.”
Then we arrived at the main event, the Temple of Apollo, and the Oracle. “How does the Oracle work?” asked Nine.
I replied, “For the right price, you can ask the Oracle a question. Virgin priestesses drink spring water, eat Bay leafs and sit on a tripod over a spring, inhaling the smoke of more Bay leafs. Then these women wave their arms and make odd sounds. Nearby attendants can interpret those sounds, and relay the answer to you, the waiting customer.”
“Let’s do it,” said WorldTripGirl. She was suggesting to role-play the oracle.
“I will be the Oracle,” Nine volunteered. Seven signed up to be the customer and WorldTripGirl was the interpreting attendant. Nine, as the priestess, was groaning loudly, shaking his head up and down, and the customer was asking increasingly deep questions, including, “Will I be rich?”, “What will be when I grow up?”, and “When will I die?”. Some tourists were stopping to see the play, and most were smiling, so I think we were ok.
Video: role play of the Oracle of Delphi
We were onto something. All of my kids love to act, and next up was the ancient theater. “The Greeks put on shows and sports games to attract more paying customers for the Oracle. Maybe you guys can do a musical.ly video here?” I suggested. WorldTripGirl looked at me incredulously, as she knows I usually hate this app. She didn’t wait for me to change my mind, but took the stage, dragging Seven and Nine with her. They made four or five videos, drawing more smiles from the passing retirees.
Finally, we made it up to the stadium. Unfortunately, we couldn’t enter the arena itself, but that didn’t stop the kids from ending our visit with a running race. I am so proud of them. They acted out Delphi from bottom to top, and I think they learnt a thing or two in the process. I wish all days were like this.