Ireland 2015

Travel | A Shillelagh Under Me Arm and a Twinkle in Me Eye

July 17, 2015

Young Ambassadors 2015: reflections & musings

Well, I made it through US Customs (which is a ridiculous process – cripe!) and I’m sitting, waiting for my flight to board from the Dublin Airport to the states. I’m taking this time that I have to reflect on and share a few tidbits from my past two weeks in Northern Ireland.

1) Hospitality: The welcoming and hospitable people of Ireland do indeed exist. This is not some hokey stereotype. It’s very real and it made me feel welcomed and right at home! It was such a delight getting to know everyone, the openness of conversations and the honesty in laughter and story-telling. I am so grateful to everyone that I had the opportunity to meet and work with during these past two weeks. It’s wonderful to be able to think of a different place in the world as my “home away from home”.

2) Placement: My placement with Ulster Hospital was incredible. I have learned so much about the healthcare in Northern Ireland, the Trusts set up to care for different regions in Northern Ireland and the different roles that everyone has in order to ensure that individuals are well taken care of and cared about, especially during emergencies, life changes and regular check-ups. I learned about the specifics, but I was also humbled to have my mentors share their personal experiences related to healthcare and ‘The Troubles’ with me. It was quite powerful and eye-opening.

3) Young Ambassadors: I had the opportunity to meet and travel with incredible individuals from America and Canada. We started out our trip not knowing each other, fumbling in forming friendships, trying to piece together what we were learning in our placements and it was grand. I am so thankful that I was able to spend two weeks with such brilliant, talented, smart, fun people who have shared parts of their world with me. It was so wonderful sharing in life together!

You are always welcome to Minnesota/Baby Canada (you’re welcome, Rory. You’re welcome.). 🙂

4) Dr. Campbell: Tim is an incredible force of energy, charisma and joy and it was a pleasure working with him and getting to know him during my past two weeks in NI. He is doing so much for the St. Patrick Centre and works hard behind-the-scenes to ensure that everyone has an impactful experience, whether by visiting the centre or coming as a Young Ambassador for the program. Tim’s laughter is contagious, his joy is exhilarating and his willingness for adventure sparks in us the willingness to jump in and figure out situations that arise! I am very grateful to Tim for all that he did for us, continues to do for everyone involved with the St. Patrick Centre & Friends of St. Patrick and for his work in sharing the message of St. Patrick. It is so important!

5) Next steps: I am excited to come back home, help with my chapter and share the message of St. Patrick. The mission of the St. Patrick Centre and the importance of sharing the history and the work of Northern Ireland is necessary in order to strive for continued peace and reconciliation.

Ciara, Bridget, Rory (the Canadian), Colleen, Hannah, Kathryn (pictured left to right)

Until next time! ♧


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