Unfortunately, today was the last day we got to spend in Cyprus 🙁 While it feels like the two weeks went by quickly, I know that we made use of every minute we could and I found so much value in the time my group and I spent here together. I think that being around the other people on my trip so much has created such a strong bond, and I can’t wait to keep in touch with everyone over summer and during this upcoming fall semester!
For our last site visit, we walked 5 minutes from the hotel in Limassol and met with the BSM Maritime Training Centre. Here, they train prospective crew members to be able to man ship operations and learn what it takes to work and live on a boat. We got a tour of the premises, where we saw training rooms full of screens and some simulation software that students use to practice memorizing controls and reacting to problems in real time. We met with some of the students as they were interacting with the technology, and watching them navigate a vessel and figure out how to fix issues really put the purpose of BSM MTC into perspective. I walked through the engine room and classrooms and the living quarters, trying to envision what it felt like to be that dedicated to this type of industry, but it didn’t fully register until I saw the trainees be excited and focused on the simulation activity. I’m glad that BSM MTC gives people the opportunity to discover their ideal career paths in a welcoming and accommodating environment.
We also ventured into the village of Omodos in the Troodos mountains to see the Church of the Holy Cross, or the Holy Cross Monastery, where we had a conversation about the differences and similarities between religions and even denominations of Christianity. In a place like Cyprus with a long history of takeovers by people of various religious affiliations and cultures, it seemed appropriate to acknowledge the complexity and beauty of a collision of beliefs in an old church open to the public eye. Between an amazing lunch and some beautiful mountain top views, it was the perfect way to wrap up our stay in Cyprus!