For the fifth year in a row, we have brought students from the IUPUI School of Informatics and Computing for our study abroad program here on Paros. The time here, as always, has been wonderful due to the friendly people and beautiful surroundings on the island.
We have been blessed to be able to document many amazing aspects of Paros, its people, and it’s way of life. We have had many adventures, and it is always wonderful to see students open their eyes to making new friends, seeing new vistas, and experiencing life in a completely different way.
Sometimes our time here goes so slowly it feels like we have been here for months. Other times, it feels like it all flashes by in the blink of an eye. When one looks at our final work, it is easy to forget the amount of effort that goes into these documentaries. We showed our work Thursday night to the citizens of Paros at the Archilochus Hall, and the reception made us all proud of the hard work we have put into our time here.
We all overcome challenges to produce this work. Different time zones, different food, unfamiliar roommates, home sickness, deadlines, new software, weather conditions, personality differences, sunburns, yoga, money challenges, and language differences. Through all of this, our students are learning how to tackle complex issues and learning new ways to navigate this world.
It is too easy to sit at home and wonder “what if?” All of us here have accepted the challenge of stepping outside our comfort zone and seeing how Paros challenges us. Overcoming these challenges are the things that give us a sense of accomplishment. Nothing worthwhile comes easy.
Students this year have done an incredible job; we are very proud of their work and how they represented themselves, Indiana, and the United States. I have been told by many residents that we have a wonderful group of students- and that makes me very happy to hear. I feel that our students accepted many challenges this year and have come out with an experience that will shape their lives.
So I leave with these words from one of my favorite songs that I think is appropriate for this year…….
Who can stop what must arrive now? something new is waiting, to be born
Dark as the night, you’re still by my side, shine inside.
Gone are the days we stopped to decide where we should go, we just ride.
Gone are the broken eyes we saw through in dreams gone, both dream and lie.
“Crazy Fingers” By Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia
Until we meet again Paros, thanks for the challenges!!!
Photo by Thomas Lewis/ Drawings by Logan Henry