Only five days left! I can’t believe how quickly my 8 weeks in Ireland have flown by. Although I’m happy with the amount of activities I did and places I visited, I still feel like there’s so much more to do. Last week started off great. My friends and I made another trip to Dun Laoghaire on Monday after work to cool off in the Irish Sea. They hadn’t jumped off the Forty Foot yet and it was one of the hottest days in Dublin since we’ve been here, so it was the perfect time to go. Since it was my second time doing the jump, I felt more comfortable and confident, so this time I dove off—twice! The water was cold but so refreshing. After a few jumps off and some swimming around, we made our way back to campus. Unfortunately on Tuesday I started to develop a cold. I didn’t feel too bad yet so I went to work but the next day I woke up feeling really run down with a headache and sore throat. I emailed my supervisor to let her know and she was very kind and understanding, so I took the day to rest. At this point I was worried that it might be more than a cold so I went to Ireland’s HSE website and ordered a Covid test kit. Even after taking Wednesday off to rest, I felt pretty exhausted and sick Thursday morning. My supervisor advised me to stay home again, so I did. Although I knew resting was the right thing to do for my health, I was bummed that I felt so awful my second to last week here. I eventually took a Covid test which luckily came back negative! I was super relieved to know it wasn’t Covid, and was hoping I’d feel better quickly. By the weekend, I felt a lot better than I did on Wednesday and Thursday, but still not 100%. Since it was my last weekend in Dublin I really didn’t want to let it go to waste, so I spent Saturday exploring more of the city with my friends. My friend Valerie’s sister was in town so we went to the Little Museum of Dublin, which was one of the last things on my list of touristy things to do here. It was great, we had a wonderful tour guide and learned more about Ireland’s history and culture. Next we walked over by the Canal and got a delicious brunch! Later we went to Teelings Whiskey Distillery, where we learned about the company’s history, the process of making whiskey, and what sets Teeling apart from other Irish Whiskey distilleries. Of course at the end we got to try some too! After a good start to the week, and a rough few days in the middle, I’m proud of the way I handled my situation. I’m glad my supervisor was so understanding and that I was able to rest and get better so I could enjoy my last days in Dublin.
Since Ireland is an English speaking country I really haven’t had many challenges regarding communication during my time here. The only thing that’s given me trouble occasionally is understanding an especially thick Irish accent. For example, the CEO of the organization I’m interning at has a fairly strong Irish accent and talks pretty fast too. So, when he comes to check in with me it’s sometimes hard to understand what he’s saying since he’s also very vague in his instructions. Luckily, the other Irish interns in the office are usually there so I can ask them for clarification if I don’t catch everything he said. In contrast, my direct supervisor gives very explicit directions for every task she assigns me. First she will go over each step of the task with me in person, then she will email me the same instructions in even more detail and sometimes include screenshots of what certain steps should look like along the way. She is American though so to me this makes sense. It’s been really helpful to have the written out directions as a reference in case I ever have questions. Another thing I’ve noticed about the Irish communication style is that they’re very blunt. Meaning, they will joke around while talking and aren’t afraid to call you for something but it’s almost always in a “friendly teasing” kind of way. I’ve learned to just go along with it and not be afraid to do it back—but always in a joking manner. I’ll definitely miss Irish humor when I leave, but I hope I’ll bring some back with me.