US Embassy/ACG Office of Sustainability Speaker presentations

All of the speakers from the US Embassy and the ACG Office of Sustainability Speaker were so amazing. I am so thankful for the opportunity of being able to meet them during class. Both of these jobs really seemed to make an impact and are so rewarding! The US Embassy was so interesting to me especially because I didn’t really know exactly what their job was before meeting them. Turns out their job varies from a million different tasks throughout their career. Tasks can range from getting movies approved to be filmed in Greece to helping brands find which market is best for them and many more. Their passion and dedication is so admirable how they are willing to travel and live in different countries constantly every four years. I think it is really nice that the government gives a lot of stability to families and provides them with many necessities to help. It also is so cool because I feel like they are always learning something new with each different task they have to do. The main speaker was so sweet and gave great advice regarding job opportunities and learning to take risks because you could only benefit from it. Like her experience with the job application process for joining the embassy. I love how she and the rest of the embassy members help America form better relationships with many different countries because that is so important. 

Learning from the ACG Office of Suitability Speaker was so insightful! You can tell how much she truly cares about our environment and sustainability. I strive to be more aware of my carbon footprint after listening to her. She is working very hard at the American College of Greece to make it as sustainable as possible with projects ahead as well. This college is going to implement water fountains for students to use more reusable cups like Americans. I thought it was so interesting when she told us the story of how there is a debate on the cigarette company trying to invest in their sustainability projects. The controversy of whether sustainable cigarette companies can even be considered sustainable is ironic. She explained obviously this is because they are bad for the environment and the health of everyone using the product. Overall I really enjoyed both experiences of the presentations by the US embassy and ACG Office of Sustainability Speaker.


Hydra Island towards Sustainability

Right when we got off the ferry at Hydra Island, I was enamored by the island’s beautiful sights. The white historic houses on the hills with red roofing and concrete looked so manicured against the blue sea. I got more of a local feel of the island rather than Mykonos, which felt extremely touristy. Although I was surprised from this reading to learn just how much this island also depends on tourism. The reading suggests that tourism is one of, if not the leading source of income for the island. I also loved how the only modes of transportation on the island were by donkey, mule, or water taxi, and this has always been a thing in the island’s history. It was also interesting to learn that the island has competition when it comes to attracting visitors as it is definitely on the smaller scale of tourist attractions, and islands such as Crete, Kos, and Rhodes gain much more attraction leading to more revenue. The island has become greatly expensive over the years, with houses averaging around $5 million, but the island is having trouble with this inflation as the increase in the land process is putting local workers, such as farmers, out of luck. Because of this, many people are wondering if the island will become an oasis for the rich rather than a remote tourist attraction. Unfortunately, Greece as a whole is under an economic crisis and has been for years, as worry that money and young people are fleeing the country however, little islands such as Hydra get the short end of the stick as the government tends to worry about their issues last. The island relies on transportation from the water boat for example, most of Hydra receives its water supply from the mainland, so the provision of a local water supply is not only essential to the locals on the island but for the tourists that generate most of the revenue. The article suggests synergies might be possible for the island as wind power would generate electricity and pump water into a reservoir. Another idea would be to capture rainwater or construct a reservoir to sustain water on the island as easily as possible. Unfortunately, Hydra remains a beautiful little island with Greek culture and significance and is suffering great socio-economic issues that very well have the opportunity to diminish the popularity of it being a tourist attraction and sustainable place to live.