Wednesday, June 12, 2013

82 Fighter Jets Later and Here We Are

 It’s amazing how quickly the transition to Crete life has gone. Upon returning from our trip to the Gorge this weekend, the institute had that home-like feeling. The comfort and welcome from the women that cook and clean for us every day and treat us like their family is nice. Being here in the Mediterranean has placed an added sense of realization for the course work we are completing. Looking out on the ocean and realizing that across the horizon is the place you are studying and being able to emerge yourself in the culture adds a new dimension to the learning process. Overall this first week and a half has been great.

Crossing the bridge at the Gorge before lunch. 

A view of Chania. 

Yesterday was another interesting day with attending the NATO base and partaking in a formal reception. Later on in the afternoon, the security section of this course became much more apparent. While relaxing on the beach near the military bases, both NATO and American we saw Greek fighter jets flying overhead to Libya. Dr. Vamvakas explained how they are issues that arise between Libya air space and Greek airspace that is constantly challenged which is why we were seeing and hearing these planes directly overhead. He later explained how he came up with the idea of our program at this beach a few years back when 82 of these fighter jets were flying overhead. This experience made what we are learning even more real.  Back home he would've been able to tell us what that may have looked like, but I would have never have known the experience of seeing these fighter jets flying overhead and realizing that a conflict may arise shortly thereafter. All in all, I would just like to thank Dr. Vamvakas for providing us with the opportunity of this trip as I already feel I have learned so much. Without this program, I can certainly say I would not be here in Greece or learning as much about this section of our world. 

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