Week two in Dublin means my internship at Spirasi and classes are officially underway! I think I might have underestimated the balancing of classes with my internship, but with more commitment comes more sacrifices! Plus, my internship has been really fun and interesting so far, so I have no regrets.
The Spirasi Building
The first two days I spent at Spirasi I mostly just chatted and spoke to different people and learned more about the organization. Maurice, the man in charge of the psycho-social aspect of Spirasi and who himself actually become a refugee, told me his story about coming to Ireland from the Congo knowing very little English. He spent many months writing journal articles about the difficulties of becoming a refugee. When people first arrive in a new country, he explained, they are considered asylum seekers and have to struggle through several phases of processes before they can be granted refugee status. The process can take months, even years, and then it’s not always a guarantee that the asylum seeker will be granted the title of refugee; sometimes they are even forced to return to their country of origin. Thus, in 1999 when Spirasi was first starting to become established, Maurice’s articles were vital in creating a new, easier environment for asylum seekers and refugees to get legal, physical, and emotional assistance. Spirasi now provides therapy and social services for clients, along with medical exams for those that have suffered torture. The exams can help for asylum seekers to gather more evidence for them to be able to take and have a better chance at gaining refugee status.
Since those first two days at my internship, I have met many more amazing people like Maurice, and I am thankful I have the next three months to spend getting to know others and hearing stories from people all over the world.
Wow, I didn’t mean to take up most of this post talking about my internship, but oh well! It’s a big part of what I’m going to be doing here, so I’m pretty excited about it!
But as for other aspects of what’s going on here in Dublin, I was able to get down to Cork last weekend and had a brilliant time making my way around the cute little town and meeting some very nice taxi drivers. We stayed at an Airbnb spot (I really recommend Airbnb by the way, it’s a really great way to find places to stay for fairly cheap!) and got to experience a little bit of the Cork countryside.
For future endeavors, I’ve also planned a trip to Clare and (hopefully) Galway to check out the Cliffs of Moher and the Aran Islands! And…LONDON!
More Blogs From This Author
<p>Hailing from Tacoma, WA, I'm a English Literature and Psychology major who is thoroughly excited to be traveling an studying in Ireland in the fall. I've lived my whole life in the PNW, so I'm interested to see what this new adventure will bring (although weather-wise it seems pretty similar!) I love music and dancing (badly) and I have loved reading and stories for as long as I can remember. I draw the most inspiration and creative juices from experiencing new things and ideas, so I know I'll be bursting with words to be written and stories to be told during the four months I'm away from home.</p>