August 14th, 2013 | Uncategorized
After a tiring 12 hours of plane delays I finally arrived in Ireland on Monday to meet the other Victory Scholars and the rest of the Sport Changes Life family. My family and friends did an absolute awesome job of hosting various parties before I left for Ireland. Although some have stated, “this was the longest goodbye in history,” I really did appreciate all of the love and support I received in my final weeks left in the states.
I first landed in Dublin and then traveled up to Northern Ireland to Belfast where I was able to witness how beautiful this country truly is. Aside from initially trying to enter the car on the driver’s side and being freaked out because we were driving on the opposite side of the highway, the trip up North was great. I noticed everything here is so clean and the people really couldn’t be friendlier.
All of the scholars are staying at the University of Ulster this week in Jordanstown and then eventually I will get situated in Galway when school begins in September.
The scholars and I had our first day of training yesterday where we learned how to effectively teach children different skills as well as learning how to teach in any given environment. Later that day we had our first experience with the eHoops program. This program was so much fun and extremely eye opening. We played football (soccer) and basketball with the local boys and I had a blast. I was so amazed by how awesome the boy’s footwork was while playing football and I was obviously showed up big time. After my first two football games I was then told that all of the boys I was playing with were boys that had been from troubled backgrounds. I would have never guessed by the way they welcomed me. After our football games we then played basketball where the children’s hand eye coordination was a different story. Basketball seemed so foreign to them especially considering how smooth they were with the soccer ball. The boys I met last night had such a passion for their religion which was so odd to me because most 16 year old boys do not even speak of religion where I’m from. Such an interesting experience but so cool to see how different cultures and lifestyles really are. I’m excited to learn more and impact these children anyway I can.
As for food…yesterday I experienced my first official Guinness, which was absolutely delicious. I also tried their pepperoni pizza which had barbeque sauce instead of pizza sauce, which in my opinion tasted like hotdogs, but surprisingly wasn’t terrible!
We have an action packed weekend ahead, which I’ll share in my next blog!
Much love to my family and friends back in Philly<3