I had the opportunity to interview a massage therapist who is also a yoga teacher, and teaches the Greek language. We met 3 days before the interview to speak about what the interview experience would be like. During this encounter, as well as during the interview itself, she spoke about her love of Paros. This interview left me reflecting on my own experiences thus far. She explained to me that she believed that Paros had a certain energy — a bright energy. I would say that I agree with this. We visited Despotiko recently and it was an indescribable feeling to be around such an ancient, historical site. I thought a lot about those who had roamed Despotiko over 2,000 years ago. They were able to construct beautiful buildings, each with different purposes. Just like we are doing now, these ancient Greeks were trying to explain the world around them. I also found myself grateful for historians, archaeologists, architects, and experts who have dedicated their professions to preserving and explaining the past.
In addition to the phenomenal historical sites, I felt the “bright energy” of Paros in more common places. We’ve been here a for a couple of weeks and have made some friends along the way. The restaurants along the coast and shops in the city are home to our new friends in Paros. They’ve offered wise words, connections, kindness, delicious food and beautiful products. We may only have a few weeks total to spend with our new-found friends, but I will always remember the connections we have formed on Paros. The people of Paros definitely, “Spread kindness around like confetti”.
Lastly, I believe the “bright energy” is infectious! Throughout these past couple of weeks, I’ve seen this study abroad group work together as a team. We’ve shared laughs, meals, and adventures with some more to come! There’s a mix of personalities, but we’ve managed to work well together and help each other every step of the way. I’ve also seen growth in not only myself, but those around me. Being able to travel across the country and committing ourselves to a project says a lot about the attitude we all have. I’m thankful for this trip and the experiences I’ve shared with everyone. Let’s make sure to keep a little bit of Paros in our hearts when we get back to the United States.
Written by Bubala Madubansi