Holy Sheep!

Picture of Alyson Zawisza

Hello everyone from beautiful Ireland!

I’ve completed my first week of this amazing opportunity but like most things in life, it was a little bumpy. I flew into Dublin early last Sunday and what was supposed to be an hour and fifty minute bus ride to Carlow turned into an unfortunate all-day event. Not being a very good car/bus passenger and already being ridiculously tired, I got sick and missed my stop!

student getting licked on the cheek by a dog while smiling

After riding the bus for another hour and fifteen minutes from where I was supposed to get off, I finally realized that I had missed my stop followed by the fact that I had NO CLUE where I was. I tried calling my host family and my coordinator at Learn International (Rosie), but technology picked the opportune moment to fail me. After several minutes of pure panic, Rosie’s call came through and did not leave the phone for a second. She immediately helped me figure out where I was and what to do next.

After another two hours on the bus I got off the right stop! All my fears and nerves about meeting my host family vanished away because when I got off the bus, finally, after hours of travel and still sick as a dog I had never been so happy and grateful to see anyone in my whole life. I no longer cared that I was in a totally new country, in a new home, with new people I didn’t know, or that I was going to be there for three months. My new Irish mummy took me home got me some food, settled me in and sent me to bed, telling me to come down whenever the spirit moved me.

Even though the beginning of this journey started a little rough, at least it was interesting! It’s a lesson to be learned. Things happen that we have no control over and we have to adapt and move on. Was that the way I wanted to meet my host family, sick and tired and a mess, nope not at all. But there was nothing I could do. We figured out the situation and in the end the day ended just fine.

I am now pretty adjusted and am loving the work I am doing. I go out in the morning and feed the sheep and then we do different odd jobs throughout the day before we feed them again and head in for the day. I am loving all the sheep, even though there are about 300! I find myself just watching them sometimes, such funny curious creatures.

I am also loving the people I work with. My host family is wonderful, kind, and I’m learning a lot. There is a student here from another part of Ireland and I am learning a lot from him too.

This is such an amazing experience and its only just begun. I can’t wait until the real fun begins when lambing begins in a few weeks.

I’ll keep you posted!


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