We started our last day in Samos at 7:30 A.M. The breakfast was delicious (as always) and prepared us for the long day ahead! After an hour, we headed back to the Archipelagos Institute for a few more activities. We were then split into three pre-made groups to mix the typical groups up. We participated in three interactive workshops:
Workshop 1: We walked along the beautiful Aegean while learning about the preservation of deep-sea habitats. We learned about the importance of seagrass and algae for maintaining life in the seas. They act as nursing beds and food, respectively, for invertebrates and fish that live amongst them. In order to have functional food chains, we must continue to work towards this problem through replenishing lost resources and conservation.
Workshop 2: The groups sat down with leaders of the Institute to discuss plans to promote their sea-saving agenda. Ideas ranging from an Instagram/Snapchat account, merchandise line, and reaching out to local Greece schools stuck out the most to the leaders. However, they challenged us to see how we can make changes in Culver. This was especially effective because it allowed for us to commit to real changes on our campus. Whether that is using reusable mugs rather than the Dining Hall’s Styrofoam cups, looking into it conservation as a senior service project, or just “plogging “ (picking up trash while jogging with friends!), we all want to bring what we’ve learned about conservation back to campus.
Workshop 3: Here, we got to collect microplastic samples and listen for dolphin noises in the water. After driving to a nearby dock, we spent an hour on the water. The first half of the time was dedicated to collecting surface level microplastic samples. Between the three different groups, we collected more than twenty pieces within ten minutes of being on the water. This hands-on activity added a level of reality to the issues we’d heard so much about. The second half, we listened for sea noises by placing a basic microphone underwater. Many just listened to the sounds of the sea but, a few lucky ones heard the sounds of dolphins.
After our workshops, the Archipelagos Institute prepared us a scrumptious meal yet again. We had gyros, french fries, rice, and greek salad for lunch. Afterward, we had an hour to roam around the site a bit. We spent the time skipping rocks, reading, and just enjoying the overall atmosphere. This time was completed with a ton of goodbyes to our new friends. The mood was light and jolly as we traded Instagrams and emails. We then headed to the airport to take a short flight to Athens.
The flight was short and so was our transit to our newest hotel. We had a little time to freshen up before our dinner in the hotel. While many of us were all dressed up, we enjoyed the pasta, pork and rice, and a pecan pie. Following dinner, we enjoyed a walk in town to get (handmade) ice cream and window shop at the Plaka for an hour. We then returned to the hotel to get rest for our early morning Acropolis tour tomorrow!