Welp! We’ve reached that part of the trip where we’re pretty grounded now– not so much moving around so much as buckling down, getting to the bulk of our coursework, and figuring out living in Galway! This first week was absolutely packed, so I’m gonna do my best to break it up best I can in retrospect.
I find myself fighting an internal war with myself– the days are filled with much going and seeing and doing and studying and I want to write it all down, all while simultaneously doing my best to experience first, and write later. It’s a hard cycle to fall into, so as much as I’d love this travel blog for this journey to be consistent and daily-up-to-date, I know it’ll have to be a mix of scheduling posts, posts uploaded with text first and photos later [because internet LOL], among other things.
But anyways– we’re here now, so let’s get on with it, shall we?
~ june 23, 2019 ~
We arrived in Galway sleepy, tired out, and almost hungover in a sense, after the rigorous 2.5 days we spent in Connemara physically exhausting our bodies. We gathered around a meeting spot in our accommodations and got our individual apartment keys. Since we were going to be here for 4 weeks, we each got an apartment [shared amongst 2-3 people, depending on the space] and our own keys.
I am an absolute fan of our location– on the quieter side of the main part of Galway, but still super close to pretty much everything. Everything is pretty much within a 15 min walk away, which is *super* nice.
Once we got our stuff settled down, we all went out with our professors [who have been in Galway *many* a time before] to get a brief tour of the city’s main spots, [including the theatre where some of the films would be screened for the festival] as well as to get a look of where we would be working– the Foróige office that has the youth hangout/headquarters spot. As a program, our group is tackling the topic of food waste, food insecurity, and food sustainability in Galway, with the aims of treating Galway as a microcosm for larger areas suffering from food waste.
We were broken into teams: a web team, a multimedia team, an audio/video team, and a storytelling team, all which would work together to produce a website with content such as interviews, surveys, local studies, and infographics/other media that explore the aforementioned topics.
We ended the day with a group dinner at Massimo, a really nice local spot for Irish cuisine as well as a host of other food. There we perused the booklet for the Film Fleadh [Festival], looking at all the films that would be playing there and trying to decide which ones we were gonna see.
Afterwards, my roommates and I went to go grab some groceries at one of the local supermarkets, Joyce’s. Now that we were settled into a whole apartment, it was a relief to know that we could do some of our own cooking instead of eating out every night and spending a fortune *coughDublinwasexpensivecough* It was yet another reminder of some of the cultural differences between grocery stores in the US and Ireland. First of all, if you wanted a shopping cart, you had to insert a coin to unlock it from the rest of its flock, and then when you returned it, it would give you your coin back [guess that’s just a way of them making sure people don’t steal them!].
Secondly, the biggest tub of ice cream I could find there is about a 30 oz tub. I think about the gallon size containers we have in the US and just how MUCH that is compared to here. I love ice cream and all, it just made me realize how *much stuff* we have in stores.
Thirdly, baked goods are all left out loose on display. Whatever they bake throughout the day, especially the fresh pastries and breads and muffins, they just sit out on the display and you take what you want in little bags or paper bags. Crazy.
That being said though, generally speaking, groceries are much less expensive here, especially for fresh fruits and vegetables.
I may or may not have made a *significant* dent in the ice cream that night, anticipating the next day’s adventures and conked out from exhaustion.