Making the most of "Restricted Movement"

Authored by:
Julianne O'Connell

Julianne O'Connell

Greetings to all the family and friends of the Leadership and Social Justice program!

We have been going, going, going for the past few days and it’s time to update you on some of the beautiful things we have been seeing and experiencing. For the first five days of the program, we are in a period of "restricted movement" until we can get negative Covid-19 test results from all of the students. During this time we cannot go into shops and restaurants but we are able to do small tours of different areas. We have been making the most of this time and have been walking a lot! I feel like we have already seen so much and have gotten really familiar with our area of the city. Apart from rain on the first day the weather has been mild and the students are doing well with the distances, their only complaint being about the lack of public water fountains, even though all of the water in the tap is regulated and drinkable! There have been some other fun cultural revelations, like learning that ice in drinks is pretty rare and that the Irish do not eat Lucky charms for breakfast ;-)

On Monday morning we had a short orientation with information about the program and what to expect. In the afternoon, we visited Saint Stephen’s Green, a large and beautiful urban park, and had some free time to explore. The weather was nice so we also had our first dinner on the roof! It was amazing to watch the sun setting at 9:30 with such a nice view.

Yesterday, Tuesday, students had their first day of class with their instructor, Richard. They will have their classes on Zoom during the first week and next week they will walk to class which is held at historical Griffith College. In the afternoon Tony led us to the college so we could practice the route, then we explored an area called Portobello and got to see the canals. We learned that these canals were once used as highways to transport goods all around Ireland. The canals are man-made and filled with fresh water and folks can still travel by boat down the canal today. We got to walk down Wexford Street which had some awesome shopping and restaurants that hopefully we can visit when our restricted movement is over! Luckily, we are getting a lot of rest and fellowship during these five days and the students are grateful to have so much downtime. In the evening some of the students watched P.S. I Love You, an Irish movie - we will be visiting one of the filming locations later in our trip.

All in all, it has been a great first few days, despite the restricted movement. The students are bonding and spending time with each other in their common spaces and many of them are cooking breakfast together and having movie nights! Please comment below if there is anything, in particular, you are interested in knowing about our experience!

Until then, cheers!

Julianne

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