Hey readers. Thanks for following my experiences so far. Was not going to blog about this trip, as it was a work-related one, but after hearing about so many tragic things going on around the world, I thought I’d take a moment or two to document something nice too.
I LOVE THE IRISH!
Reason number 1: although our AirBnB host was away and the lady who welcomed us was not Irish, we were received very warmly. I was travelling with a co-worker and two disabled people and she was happy to keep in touch via whatsapp; when we got to the house she sat with us for at least 45 min asking questions about the people being supported and saying how she had been thinking about ideas to cater for their specific needs. She had guide books and maps and told us all about the best places to see and how to get around. The first place we visited was the beautiful Botanic Gardens. It is the most wonderful thing ever. I have been to places like the Eden Project in Cornwall and can say that this place is even more special. You don’t have to pay to get in; once you’re in it’s super quiet; everything looks as if it was carefully placed in each of the locations and it all looks like it is literally full of love. Take a look at these examples:
You walk around this small place but there is just so much to see – the more you look, the more surprises you get. And some of the squirrels there are super friendly like this one who came to shake my hand even though I had no food at all:
In the afternoon, we decided to go to Dublin zoo. I was personally not too excited as I don’t agree with wild animals being caged up. I don’t think they have anything to teach children. However, I reached the conclusion that some people with disabilities may never make it to the depths of Africa to actually see any of these creatures so I guess I don’t see much harm in some animals giving their freedom up for that. At least that made me feel a bit better about it. And so did this peacock who appeared to want to mingle with humans and ask some burning questions.
“Err… Excuse me, will someone explain why peacocks can’t come into the shop?”
On the second day, we ventured to Howth, we had lunch in a really quiet pub (which I later realized was due to the fact that there were dozens of amazing looking oyster bars along the seafront). We had to listen to some lame Catholic preaching on the radio, which I (only just) politely asked them to switch off, the food was average, but the waiter was hot so it wasn’t so bad!
We went for a walk and then discovered that there were little cruises that we could go on. We went around Ireland’s eye – I took some poser photos – then came back to explore more. We managed to get to Ye Olde Hurdy Gurdy Museum of Vintage Radio. It was shut but the view was nice!
Today was by far the BEST day. The second reason why I love this Irish is that they are super patient. They will wait for you to sort things out with an enormous smile on their faces. I was carrying seven envelopes of money and nobody rushed me when I needed to find the right one. The third reason I love them is the fact that they try so hard to communicate in Sign Language.
But as seems to be the trend in my holiday adventures, the penultimate day is always the best. The Guinness Storehouse is simply the most fantasic tourist activity ever. On arrival, they spotted that we had people with us who required assistance and they came to us within seconds, took us out of the queue of dozens of people and told us to skip the waiting line. Not only they have special concessions for seniors, carers also get to go in for free, all with vouchers to claim a pint at the top of the building!
On entering the place, there is a massive sign that says you can get a free International Sign Language tour, which is recorded on a portable device that you carry around with you and can change according to where you are. I noticed the huge improvement of the experience for the people I was with!
There were loads of sensory experiences to be had. Loads of barley to dig your hands into, a massive waterfall, steam points giving out different aromas, tasting samples, loads of statues and artifacts, the list is endless!
You also got to learn how to pour a perfect Guinness. I messed it up with my last step, but got a certificate anyway:
Now I will be able to find a bar job a bit more easily, which I really need, since I recently quit my evening job – hot-headed decision but not regretting!
Anyway… The people running this place just kept impressing me more and more. When I told this lovely lad that we might struggle in a big group, he gave us a private tutorial on how to pour the perfect pint almost immediately and he also tried very hard to use sign language as well, while doing it. Wow!
At the very end, we all purchased our own glasses and had our names engraved on them. The girl who did it for us was super lovely too. She was pretty and constantly emmiting really positive energy. She misread one of the names, which was poorly written and she sounded even happier when she took the blame for it. I just had to spend some of my own money in that place. And now I am also telling you all to go there. The view from the top is also quite good:
To finalize this, I just wanted to say how blessed I feel for having had this opportunity. Thankful not only for having been sponsored to exist luxuriously for a week, but also paid for my time and paid in sheer joy coming from the excitement you see in others as a result of the things you do for them. It is tiring to have to be solid, happy, responsible, aware, creative, etc, but so rewarding. I think I have once again brought two of my biggest passions in life together: helping others and travelling.