Yes, you are looking at the picture correctly. The white stuff on my jacket is, in fact, a gift from the sky- bird poop. Is getting pooped on a “gift?” While the endless wiping, scrubbing, and gagging may say otherwise, it is undoubtedly a gift in disguise. They say that getting pooped on by a bird is a sign of good luck and means that a positive change in one’s life may be happening soon. I can certainly say that this superstition holds.
I am genuinely starting to comprehend the importance of studying abroad as a student. Everyone always says that studying abroad is a “life-changing moment.” While I believed their words, I’m now getting to experience the reality of their message. One can read as many books/ textbooks, watch as many videos, or listen to as many podcasts as possible, but none compares to getting to walk through the streets and interact with the culture. I feel as though I’ve experienced more personal and career development in the past few days than in some semester-long classes.
The thing that has changed the most about myself over the past few days is my understanding of my privilege as an American. Of course, I’ve always been aware of my privilege of growing up in a first-world country, speaking English, etc. Still, it’s different when you sit in a cafe or walk past a group of individuals on the street and realize that no one has the same accent, style, or mannerisms as you. It’s similar to looking in a mirror. My previous travels outside of the US have centered around a touristy experience, a place where even abroad, the majority in a given location was American. With this experience, I’m starting to truly understand how other ethnicities and nationalities feel when they come to America.
Getting pooped on by a bird was undoubtedly a gift. Navigating the culture of Ireland proposes a similar challenge to learning to navigate the physical streets, but while it’s slightly uncomfortable at first, I feel a positive change coming.