After a long day of travelling, we finally arrived in Dublin! The weather was so much better than expected, with a clear sky and beautiful sunshine. Even the program coordinator and resident director kept saying that this was the first warm weekend in spring season. Over lunch, I learned something new from Irish culture. In here, potatoes fries are called “chips”, and it is very common to drink coffee as part of the meal. According to our program coordinator Hayley, Irish people value drinking a cup of coffee with friends and family, and that is why it is easy to find coffee shops around the city.
During our walking tour, I saw impressed to see a lot of churches on our way to campus. Some of them were huge, others smaller, but they all seemed to be used these days by religious followers. I would like to go to Mass on Sunday to compare the Irish traditions of celebrating Mass with the United States and Latin American. Also, another aspect of the city that impressed me was the traffic. It is the opposite than America, like in movies! The driver sit is on the right of the car, and driving goes from the left side of the road. They told us to pay a lot of attention and follow the traffic lights for pedestrians when crossing streets since we are not used to the traffic style here.
The tour ended at Griffith College. The oldest buildings on campus were originally used as a prison in 1813. It was only until 1991 that this place officially became Griffith College. The campus is smaller than Pitt, but has a rich history and both modern and antique architectural styles. When the resident director was presenting us about Ireland and our program, I was happy to hear about Irish people, and what she said confirmed my expectations about the culture. She mentioned that Irish people find very respectful to use manners in every situation. When we go to restaurants, we are expected to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ because we don’t want to be rude to the waitress. I read about it on my research about Ireland, and it seems to be something that locals still value and use in the country. Also, she talked about Irish people being friendly, welcoming and polite to foreigner, and I experienced it with our host organization since they are more than willing to help us experience Ireland in every aspect. I was very glad to hear that Hayley is fluent in Irish because I can learn from her common words to use while in Dublin.