Another fantastic week in Dublin. Time is going by rather quickly and I just want it to slow down because I don’t want to leave Dublin anytime soon. Being past the midway point of this program, I have luckily been given more responsibilities in my internship than when I first started. I’m trusted to do tasks where I interact directly with the elderly members. My internship recently began a series of social activities for the elderly people, where they can form new hobbies. This week was arts and crafts, and future activities will be exercising, gardening, aerobics, etc. I helped set up for this activity, and I also called the members and told them about the upcoming activities trying to get them to participate. I also assisted with running the activity today. It may not seem like much, but when working in a charity interaction with members the service provides for and striving for their satisfaction is one of the most important things and I’m glad to be doing a bit more of it.
My internship is unlike what I’ve been taught at Pitt. Just like with anything, there is a difference between being taught about something and then applying that knowledge. I also haven’t taken any classes on nonprofits so I’m not really sure how Pitt could have better prepared me for the experience. All in all, certain habits such as time-management, self-discipline, and motivation are all things that I had to work on when going to college when working on different assignments or studying for tests. Those habits can all be attributed to success in the workforce, so in a way, going to Pitt did prepare me for this internship. Any gaps between the classroom and the office can only be faced through experience, and after working for four weeks, I feel rather comfortable at Friends of the Elderly and have found this to be a positive experience for professional development so far.
While the internship experience is getting more involved, life outside of work place has continuously been better than I could have imagined. Along with my roommates and the other girls in the program, I am constantly exploring new parts of Dublin. This week I went to a flea market at a place called the Digital Hub. There were so many cool vintage items to look through. I also finally made it over to Phoenix Park and rented a bike for an hour. I was not expecting the park to be as big as it was, and I definitely am planning to go back so that I can properly explore the area to its entirety. I’ve also been trying different gelato places around Dublin, just out of a mix of curiosity over which place is the best and an excuse to treat myself. So far I have tried Sunbear Gelato and Amorino. Although Sun bear was probably the most refreshing and offers larger portions, Amorino presents the gelato in a cone in the shape of a flower which makes the experience of getting ice cream all the more fun.
I also went on yet another tour this weekend; this time to the Cliffs of Moher and Galway. The cliffs were unreal, they were much higher than I thought they would be and for the first time I actually felt wary of the heights. When we went it was a beautiful and warm sunny day. The water was practically sparkling, and the grass greener than ever. I even got a bit of sunburn! After spending a month under the clouds I didn’t even think to apply some; a decision I am certainly regretting right now. I thought Galway was beautiful, and because of how nice it was that day so many people were out in the streets and were seated outside of restaurants and people watching. This part of Galway reminded me of Grafton Street in Dublin with all of the people as well as the live music. My roommates and I grabbed some food and found a spot in the grass by the water to eat lunch, and after that we found an ice cream place called Murphy’s that (sorry Amorino) was possibly one of the best scoops of Ice cream that I have ever had. The workers were also very friendly and they each took some time to engage in conversation with us, which made the experience more enjoyable as we felt very welcomed to Galway.
Although I still have a few weeks left, I am scrambling to think about what else I hope to see while in Ireland, I just want to do it all!