Meet LTC Ioannis Drakos (Army) from Greece one JALLC's Staff member.

We sat down a few questions on what is special about not only this day but also his nation!

1.    What do you miss most about home

Oh, that’s a good question.

Once you are out of your home, you are actually out of your comfort zone.

Most of all I miss my family of course as well as relatives and friends, I miss the feeling that I’m at home, that everything is familiar. The place where we know each other, each street in my neighbourhood. I know what to do in emergencies, where to order the best food and so on …

While it is very usual to feel apprehensive about handling all the difficulties after leaving your “nest”, in the longer run the benefits are far more important. The thirst for the unknown, the urge to discover new things new people, new languages, is why I want to visit places I have never been to!  

However, each time I am away from home, I miss my home and I am always happy and glad to be there once more!

2. What do you find rewarding about working in a multinational environment like JALLC?

 When you join a multinational, you inevitably end up in a multicultural environment. You work together with people from different countries with different backgrounds. When working abroad you will learn a lot about the norms and customs of this new culture. As a result, you have the opportunity to develop a more global, open mindset, and cultivate a diverse perspective of the world around you.

This culturally diverse work environment gives you new insights and is good for your language skills. Fluency in a foreign language is a skill that is difficult to acquire unless you practice a lot.

Not to mention that you also build up an international network that may help you for the rest of your career- you cannot underestimate how this period of your life can boost your career. If you can function well in this environment means, you have the right skills to work smoothly with different people in this context. This experience also boosts your confidence and gives you a greater drive to take on more tasks that you might have previously considered daunting.

3. What is something unique in portugal that others may not know

Portugal is a fascinating country with a proud history that is felt throughout the nation; from its capital, down to each tiny, picture-perfect village. It is one of the oldest nations in Europe. It has had the same defined borders since 1139. It is no surprise that Portuguese is the official language of 9 countries with over 250 million people speaking it around the globe.

Another of the interesting facts is that Portugal owned half of the “New World”. Was one of the longest-lived colonial powers, lasting for almost six centuries until Macau (now part of China) was handed over in 1999.

In 1494, Portugal and Spain divided the world in two by signing the Treaty of Tordesillas which essentially gave Portugal the eastern half of the “New World”, including countries like Brazil, Africa and Asia.

Portugal is also known as the “country of tiles”. These glazed blue ceramic tiles from the 14th century, the azulejo decorate the streets, buildings, and monuments of Portuguese cities.    

4. How do you usually celebrate this national day

March 25th is a double celebration of Greek Independence Day and the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary (the moment when the Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Virgin Mary and told her she would be the mother of Jesus, the Son of God).

The Greeks celebrate the Greek Independence Day throughout the world each year, the day that marked the official beginning of the Greek War of Independence in Greece in 1821.  Greece was overtaken by the Ottoman Empire when this Islamic nation swept into power after the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. The Greek Orthodox Christians would live under the Ottomans as basically second-class citizens for nearly 400 years before things exploded in 1821.

It is a national holiday in Greece that features military and school parades, solemn observances, patriotic speeches, picnics, all Greeks wearing the Greek colors of blue and white! One of the biggest military parades celebrating Greek Independence Day is in Athens, the Greek capital city. It includes marching bands, squadrons of the Hellenic Armed Forces and military vehicles. The sitting president of Greece is presides over the parade.

It is also a tradition to gather with family and friends and eat fish. Since this day is also a religious celebration, and it always falls in the “fasting period” before the Easter celebration, most people will avoid eating meat. That’s why the traditional menu for March 25 is the so-called “bakaliaros skordalia.” It is fried cod accompanied by a strong garlic sauce.