I bring you greetings from my home, Charlotte, North Carolina. Since I’ve last checked in a lot of things have transpired in my life, so here’s the 4-1-1. So, following that Monday at the dairy farm, we went to two other farm facilities that week and got the opportunity to shadow veterinarians at their clinics.
We went to an organic poultry farm called “Petrides” and at this facility, they raised laying hens. These are basically birds (chickens) that are raised to produce our table eggs. It was cool touring this facility because although this company isn’t comparable to big-name brand cooperation such as Tyson or Purdue, they still sell in local Cypriot grocery stores. One thing that fascinated me while there were their staffing practices; there were only five people doing the entire farming process of collecting the eggs hourly, cleaning, candling, and packaging the eggs. It was quite amazing.
We had two visits planned for this day plus an extracurricular task a few of my friends and I selected to do. We went to a swine/biogas unit and shadowed vets at the AnimalCare Vet clinic. The swine unit may have been my least favorite farm visit while over there since it was directly functional with a biogas unit. The pigs smelt bad, which was to be expected, but the biogas unit was miserably insulting. The biogas unit is where they use the feces (or poo) from the pigs and use it as a source of energy to power the farm. So, there’s a little fun fact for you, pig waste becomes electricity! Don’t believe me, look it up on Google. So just try to imagine the smell of stinky pigs with the smell of I don’t know of many tons of fecal matter being filtered out in the open air. The smell…. unspeakable, but this experience was another learning point for me. I have never been to a biogas unit in the States, so I may have to visit one to make a comparison between there techniques and ours.
Following that farm visit that evening two of my classmates and I went to shadow vets. One person went to one clinic and Daijah and I went to another. At this clinic, we worked under the authority of Dr. George Evangelou and his team. We got the opportunity to tour the facility and watch how he interacted with his clients. There was a slight language barrier because he spoke to his clients in Greek but wasn’t able to translate as frequently as I had hoped, however, I understood the gist of what he was saying to his clients due to body language and certain landmarks he would point out on his patient at the time. It was cool and I was overexcited to be a part of his crew for the few hours that we shared. I learned a lot in that short amount of time and look forward to going back again to visit. After this, all three of us went to watch The Incredibles 2.
Thursday was our official last day of lecture time. In each class, we had a review session for our finals that we took on the following Monday.
Weekend in Limassol
On our 2-night excursion to Limassol, our first stop at Kolossi which is said to be the best preserved medieval castle in Cyprus.
Then we stopped at Kourion to see the beautifully preserved mosaics and magnificent Greco-Roman theater of this ancient city kingdom.
We took our finals which I passed with flying colors. For one of my finals, I had to write five essays. After our exams, we had our Farewell dinner that evening. As a class historian, I was responsible for creating and presenting a video for the group. I collected photos that everyone took via Instagram and made a massive photo compilation video and uploaded it on YouTube. I would say everyone liked it. The link to the video is below:
Tuesday & Wednesday
Tuesday was our free day as we prepared to leave to return home. I just took this day to finish packing my bags to return home and say my farewells to some people. Wednesday was a travel day and it was quite an adventure. Instead of taking a 40-euro taxi ride or a shuttle bus that cost 11-euros, Celine, Daijah, Aliyah and I decided to spend 5 euros to take public transportation all the way to the airport. That morning we caught a city bus a block away from our apartments to the bus station in downtown Nicosia. Then caught an 8:50 bus from that hub to Limassol. Then from Limassol, we walked 10 minutes to the hotel Aliyah was staying in because she was going to stay a few more days in Cyprus. So, we had to tote our big bags of luggage through the streets, sweating bullets. It was so exhausting but using hindsight I’m glad we did it, it builds character. When we finally reached the hotel, we could sit down and cool off some. After that, we had to catch another bus to the airport but instead of all four of us going, it was just me and Celine (and then there were two). We made it to the airport safely and caught our flight back home. I flew back through London where I stayed for a few days to experience that culture with a family member who lives there. Saturday, I flew back into the States where I am currently typing my blog!
I would like to thank the Fund for Education Abroad and their amazing staff and team for helping me achieve my goals and allowing me to explore new worlds and experience life outside of the American way. I really learned a lot about myself and matured as a young adult. This trip alone has awakened a keen desire within me to continue to travel, learn, and appreciate the little things we so frequently take for granted. I am forever grateful for everyone who has followed me through this journey and intend to pay it forward. THANK YOU!