Our first day in Dublin was exhausting, but exhilarating. With just a few hours of sleep, we began the day with breakfast at Chorus Cafe and a tour around Griffith College. After approximately 12 hours, I gained a fascinating prospective into the life and culture of Dublin. So far I have noticed that the Irish are extremely generous with their portions of food and the locals are quick to joke with travelers.
I am shocked at the overwhelming amount of signs relating to the repeal of Article 40.3.3 of the Irish Constitution, better known as the Eight Amendment. On nearly every street, we saw signs that stated things like “Our Bodies, Our Choice, Vote Yes.” I had assumed that this would be a sensitive topic since the vote is at the end of May, but I never would have guessed that there would be so many public posters. From my interactions with the locals, however, it was confirmed that they would all be extremely welcoming. From the moment we met Hayley, she was so incredibly excited to answer all of our questions and make sure that we were comfortable with everything from our living arrangements to getting around Dublin. She taught us how to utilize the bus, how to navigate the city and what to expect from the program. She also encouraged us to walk to most of our destinations since nothing is more than a 25 minute walk.
Meeting Susanne Bach was also helpful because she went over all of the emergency numbers for the program and she asked us about our current knowledge of Irish culture. From our replies, it was pretty clear that the class as a whole didn’t know too much, but she assured us that this would most definitely change over the next two weeks. Susanne also briefed us on relationship management in Ireland. The major difference between the practices in the U.S. and Dublin is that the Irish are never direct in their wishes and concerns. They tend to make small talk and be more polite than Americans typically would be.
I am so excited for our historical walking tour tomorrow and I especially can’t wait to visit the Cliffs of Moher at the end of the week! I’m thrilled for this opportunity to explore such a fascinating city and I know that this will truly be an unforgettable experience.