Since I came to Ireland on vacation in 2016 with my family I’ve been fascinated with this Country. I made a tour around the north of the isle, visiting Northern Ireland, Donegal, Galway, and the amazing Connemara National Park. After finishing my master’s degree, I was looking to get some experience abroad and I was planning to return to Ireland to visit the southern part of the Country. When I found the GEAI volunteer position, I knew it was perfect at the time. I could combine those two desires and live a unique experience that would help me develop professionally and individually.

I applied for the position and got accepted. I had to prepare in a short time to live in Ireland. I couldn’t be more excited.

The days before my departure I stayed with some friends and family. The day finally arrived, and my father and sister were able to come with me to the airport where I found that my flight had been delayed for an hour. I finally got to Dublin, and waiting for my bus I had the opportunity to talk to a girl who told me that the bus link that had

to take me to Carrick-on-Shannon had been cancelled. The bus ended up arriving and I was able to go to my destination late in the night. I arrived at midnight at Carrick where a couple of volunteers were waiting and welcomed me with open arms.

I didn’t have much time to adjust to my new home, tasks, and new culture. On my first morning in Drumshanbo, I was invited right away to a 4-hour set dance class at Joe Mooney Summer School Music Festival where I had the opportunity to learn the local traditional dance. It was hard for me to get used to so much turning and spinning. I also found it difficult to understand the calls that the dance instructor was giving due to his particular Irish accent. However, after a few minutes I started to enjoy the event and Sarah, a lovely Irish woman, helped me following the dancing class. We had breakfast in the local community center and we continued our classes until midday. It was a  wonderful way to begin my journey in Ireland.

Written by: Héctor