XIII – Bittersweet End

Our final day in Cyprus. It’s crazy to think that we have gotten to this point so quickly, even though each day felt like an eternity. Our final company visit of this trip is to the Schulte Ship-management Training Center (BSM). Here, we were able to see how new employees are trained and prepared for a career in the shipping industry. Many of the living quarters mimicked those that would be on the ships, and there were multiple rooms with control boards that were nearly identical to what they would use on board. The amount of training that went into hiring every new member was impressive to me, because I was previously under the assumption that a shipping job would be something anyone can do right out of high school. The difficulty and high-paced decision making that comes with the job was shown in full effect when we went into the simulation control room with some current crew members in training, and the boat got stuck on a sand bar while trying to maneuver between two ships. This difficult situation then had to be full assessed by the crew, and the subsequent actions had to be taken place, as if they were on a real boat with an emergency. 

After having visited BSM, I came to the conclusion that being physically present would not be something that I would want to do, but I have a new found appreciation for those individuals that do decide to work long work times (often jobs are given based on a 4 month work, 2 month break schedule). The pay definitely compensates for the work being done, but it takes a special individual to say goodbye to home for four months on end to go work at sea. The global supply chain relies on the the people doing this type of work, so being able to appreciate that has been incredible. 

Our final cite visit in Cyprus was to Omodos Village and the Times Stavros Monastery. This was a remote village in the mountains with a small monastery that overlooked the entire valley. After all this time I have realize that small attractions like this must bring in a lot of income for the local people because there were more than a dozen shops set up on the same road as the monastery, but not any further any into the village. From small local candy stores, to cafes with coffee for only one euro, these shops seemed to be all family owned, with even some of the wines and candies being produced in the village by the families that lived there. 

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