Saturday, April 19, 2014

Trivia Wrap-Up

All the clues have been given, the guesses have been submitted, and the winner has been drawn!

Congratulations, Joseph! Your $10 Amazon gift card has been emailed to you.

So what’s the answer?

We’re going to Athens, Greece

It was our top choice, and, yes, we are excited. It’s going to be a great couple of years—we may even just have to try to extend for a third year …

Here are the stats about the contest: this year, we received 48 guesses from 41 people. A total of 34 people submitted a correct guess, for a total of 242 entries in the drawing.'s free random number generator said that #142 was the winner. Our first correct guess came on Clue 1. Clue 3 had the most correct guesses, with 13. The only clue that did not generate any correct guesses was Clue 2. Our winner guessed correctly on Clue 4.

For those of you who are wondering about the timeline and our plans: We will be here in Kosovo until late May 2015. After that, we most likely will spend some time in the United States before arriving in Greece sometime next summer. This far out, none of the details are set in stone.

For those of you who are interested in the clues and their sources, read on:

1)   We won’t be adding a new continent to our list this time.

We have lived in North America (the United States), Africa (Egypt), Asia (Cambodia), and Europe (Kosovo). Greece is in Europe, so we will not be adding a new continent this move. Maybe next time!

2) I hope that citizens of our new home keep themselves well-informed of current events, especially political events. After all, every adult citizen is required by law to vote.

Several websites (including but not limited to Wikipedia) listed Greece as one of several countries with compulsory voting laws. However, they also agreed that Greece (like all but 12 or so of these countries) does not enforce this law. The CIA’s World Factbook confirmed that voting is “universal and compulsory,” but did not comment on whether the law is enforced.

3) We like to buy a few local “treasures” to remind us of our time in different locations. With our new post, that’s likely to include some olive wood—at least I assume that a country that’s known for olives also will have carvings made from olive wood.

According to the latest data I located, Greece is the third largest exporter of olives in the world. In 2012, Greece provided 12.5% of the world’s olives. When looking at olive oil, Greece also is a major player—again ranked #3, providing 10.8% of the world’s supply (again based on 2012 statistics).

4) I am thrilled that the homeschooling schedule we plan to follow will have us studying Ancient History while we are at our next post. There are countless nearby places we can go for relevant field trips! The difficulty will be picking the best ones so we still have time for the in-home schooling.

From the Acropolis to Hadrian’s Arch to a day trip to Delphi, I do not think we will run out of historic field trip locations. My problem so far—both of the homeschool curricula I’m considering spend some time on ancient history during the grade levels when we’ll be there, but they don’t spend enough time on ancient Greece! We’ll still be doing ancient Greece Field Trips while we’re studying the American Revolution! If it wouldn’t throw off the whole scope and sequence of Alexa’s education that we’re aiming for, I could do a full year unit study on ancient Greece alone.

5) For the first time since leaving the United States, we’ll be living in a country where the culture and population is identified more strongly with Christianity than with any other religion.

In Egypt, the population was mostly Muslim. In Cambodia, it was mostly Buddhist. Here in Kosovo, we’re back to a majority Muslim nation (though much less conservative than in Egypt). Greece, however, is 98% Christian—Greek Orthodox, to be more specific (source: The CIA World Factbook). Although I’m Protestant, I do look forward to being back in a country where the holidays and rhythms of life point toward Christ. I’m hopeful that my time in an Orthodox country will encourage me to consider viewpoints and doctrines to which I may not have been exposed before and will help my faith to grow stronger. I believe that Christians of different traditions can learn a lot from each other, and I look forward to that opportunity in Greece.

6) All things considered, this move will be one of the easiest moves possible for our cats. Our new home is close enough to our current one that we’ll just plan on boarding the cats here (or there) while we’re in the States and transferring them by car (rather than by plane) before or after our official arrival at our new post (depending on where we board them).

Yahoo Maps estimates the driving time between Prishtina, Kosovo, and Athens, Greece, at approximately 8.5 hours. It’s a long drive, but not prohibitively so—even as a child, I regularly went on rides that long to visit my grandmother! It’s certainly easier (and less expensive) to board the cats and drive a total of 17 hours round-trip to get them to our new home than it would be to deal with airline regulations regarding flying the cats. Of course, we’ll have to look into border crossings we can use, and the rules for transporting pets through Macedonia, but we’re hopeful that it will all work out.

7) Because our new country is so mountainous, there are no navigable rivers. In fact, legend has it that when God created the world, He used a strainer to sift all the soil onto the Earth. When He was done, He tossed the rocks from the strainer over His shoulder, thus creating the country to which we’ll move next year.

The CIA World Factbook describes Greece’s terrain as “mostly mountains with ranges extending into the sea as peninsulas or chains of islands.” Another page of the Factbook, which lists the navigable waterways in the world, does not list any rivers for Greece, only one canal.

The legend about Greece’s creation came from, but they list as the source a book I haven’t read: Heinrichs, Ann. 2002. Greece: Enchantment of the World. New York, NY: Scholastic Inc. (And, yes, for any students who are participating in this game—I agree that secondary sources are not as good as primary sources, but this is a game, not a research paper, so I’m ok with it in this context. Hopefully your teacher is as well!)

8) A British poet is an unlikely hero of our new nation, as he chose to fight for their independence. He died for his choice, though not due to battle.

Lord Byron (1788-1824) was an English poet who sympathized with Greece’s desire for independence from the Ottoman Empire. He travelled to Greece, supported the Greek navy financially, and made plans to lead Greek troops in an attack against the Turks. However, he became ill and died before the ships sailed. He is considered a national hero in Greece. (Source: Wikipedia)

9) Our new country’s land area is roughly the same as the state of Alabama, though it has over twice as many people.

According to the CIA World Factbook, Greece has a land area of 131,957 square kilometers and an estimated population of 10,775,557. According to, the state of Alambama has a land area of 50,750 square miles—which Yahoo helpfully told me was 131,441 square kilometers. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that Alabama’s estimated population (as of 2013) is 4,833,722.

10) Besides its mountains and olive groves, our new country has several other claims to fame as well: over 2000 islands, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities on its continent, more archaeological museums than any other country in the world, and a rich history full of famous philosophers and mathematicians. It also is blessed with good weather—with hot, dry summers, and mild, wet winters, the country hosts over 16 million tourists each year.

While the Greek National Tourism Organisation claims that Greece has over 6,000 islands, most web sources that I saw claimed between 1600 and 6000; “over 2000” was a common phrase, so I went with that.

According to Wikipedia, Athens has a recorded history of around 3,400 years, though it probably was inhabited much earlier.

The statement that Greece has more archeological museums than any other country in the world also came from, with the same source cited above. The Greek National Tourism Organisation claims over 100 archaeological museums, and claims 300 museums overall.

Famous Greek (or at least lived in Greece for a while) philosophers and mathematicians … let me just list a few; you can look them up yourself: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras, Euclid, Archimedes …

Wikipedia lists Greece’s climate as Mediterranean. The CIA’s World Factbook describes it as “temperate.” Both describe it as having mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers.

Tourism is big money in Greece—according to the CIA’s World Factbook, 18% of Greece’s Gross Domestic Product comes from tourism. For the precise number of tourists who visit Greece each year, I’m again relying on secondary sources. Wikipedia lists 17.5 million tourists per year, citing a source with a title in Greek. My other source,, claimed 16.5 million and provided a link to the CIA’s World Factbook. However, I could not locate a number of visitors on that page—which isn’t too surprising, since the page surely has been updated since 2010, when Random History last accessed it. For the record, all the webpages I cite here were accessed by me on 7 April 2014.


  1. Very cool! I'm sure you will have a wonderful time there! What a great experience.

  2. We have been to Greece twice and we LOVE it! In fact, Athens is my most favorite city in the world to visit. And the food. Oh...the food. Get ready to buy some bigger clothes! ;-)

  3. I am so ridiculously excited for you - what a fantastic location from a homeschooling perspective! I hope you can take advantage of so many of the sites that will be nearby, and I would be so tempted to modify my schooling plans to make the most of this posting.

    Also, I hope you share about the field trips you end up taking while you're there - I want to read all about it!


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