I have only been in Ireland for just over a week, but I know for a fact that I am incredibly blessed to be here. My time so far has been quite overwhelming yet fun. After having a successful flight alone with wonderful airline workers who trul7 understood how to treat someone with a visual impairment (I was never once asked if I need a wheelchair) I arrived at the University College Dublin (UCD) campus. The campus was much larger than Wofford or my area in Salamanca, and I was quite intimidated. I began to think that navigating Dublin wouldn’t be possible due to the size of the campus! Things quickly got better. After a much needed nap, a pizza social, and an introduction to some wonderful roommates and new friends, We got through the long day of orientation, had yummy pub food in Dublin, and found the most beautiful park when we missed our bus stop (see attached picture) This picture is of a wispy tree with branches, a blue cloudy sky and cute little red brick buildings.
My weekend continued to go wonderfully! I spent the weekend relaxing and exploring the city. I ended my fun weekend with a ghost tour that was quite silly, but enjoyable. Due to the fact that I need a bit more time to get comfortable in a new place, the Asthma Society agreed to let me start a week late so that I could get comfortable with th4e city. Early Tuesday morning, I set off on my first journey with Chris, my IES internship coordinator. At first, I began to feel overwhelmed, but as I saw th4e bus route I gradually got more comfortable. Practically every bus driver, restaurant worker and random person who saw my cane was willing to help. I have never felt so comfortable and happy around crowded places. My training continued on for three days, and today I made a huge leap. I used my final practice run to get to my job and home completely by myself. I actually used public transit, memorized my stop, and didn’t get lost! I am so incredibly grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait to explain the details of my first week of work. Please continue to follow my adventures this summer! I am so grateful for these opportunities that the Gilman Scholarship gave to me, and hope that my experience can inspire other people to get past their fears and try new things. Please share the blog!!