On Tuesday August 20, I arrived at the airport in Des Moines Iowa for a long day of travel. Due to bad weather in Chicago, my first flight was cancelled I left Des Moines at 4:30pm arriving in Chicago by 5:45. Once I got to Chicago I ate pizza waiting for my plane next plane to Dublin to leave at 8:30. I was not nervous about moving to Ireland, I was very excited and thankful for this opportunity to impact other lives in Ireland and continue to play basketball. As I boarded my flight from Chicago on an Air Legus (green) airplane, it all seemed to become real to me that I was leaving the county to start the next phase of my life. Before leaving, I thought I would sleep the entire plane ride, but that wasn’t the case. I watched 2 movies on the plane and enjoyed my music during the 7 hour flight. Once I landed I gathered my bags from baggage claim and got on the bus to go to Belfast for training with the rest of the Victory Scholars and staff. Once I got to Belfast I was greeted by staff members who took me to check in and join the rest of the group. I went to the grocery store and figured out how to pay with pounds sterling and pick out food items for my apartment during my time in Belfast.
Meeting everyone was great the first day, I got to meet the other Victory Scholars for the first time and live with Ashley, Aryn, Morgan, and Becca and talk to them about their college experiences and who they are, and their journey to Ireland. After the first day,I felt like I knew some of the SCL members for a long time just after 1 day of being together.
For the first 10 days, I spent my time in Belfast with my Sports Changes life family going through training and orientation. I got a chance to visit in Peace Wall, visited Limavady High School, tour Portrush, participate in EHOOPS with the Carnmony girls, and attended a local nursing home. I was very grateful for each opportunity I had to serve and be in the community making an impact from the start. The hardest part of the first 10 days in Belfast was leaving my Sport Changes Life family because I created so many relationships and bonds throughout my first week living in Ireland. But now I am offically moved into my apartment on DCU campus and I am very excited about the next 10 months of my journey in Dublin Ireland!