August 14th, 2013 | Uncategorized
After a long journey across the Atlantic, I have finally arrived in Ireland! With only a minor delay before leaving Des Moines, the trip was a relatively smooth one. Words cannot describe how excited I am to finally be here and officially meet these amazing people. I am the lone Midwest representation, and thus, have been dubbed “Princess Iowa.” I suppose there are worse things to be called.
Once everyone had arrived and we all settled in, we hit the ground running and haven’t stopped yet. After a full day of training, we had our first eHoops experience. We had been briefed on what to expect and what we would be doing, but there is no way I could have been prepared for what I was about to experience. The young people I was able to interact with opened my eyes to the situations and issues going on around me like only a local could. I was amazed and appreciative of the amount of passion and knowledge those kids had for their beliefs and how readily they shared them with us. While I realize I have a very top-level understanding of the issues, their perspective fascinated me. I have always enjoyed learning about different American political issues (though not as much as my mother), but this touch of global perspective has certainly piqued my interest. I look forward continuing to expand my knowledge and understanding of the issues as the program progresses.
I have already attempted to expand my language and integrate Belfast-isms including: “what’s the crack” and “wee this or wee that”. Thus far, it’s been mostly failed attempts and lots of laughs, but eventually I think I will blend right in.