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Kate's European Adventures.

My first week as a Fundraiser in Ireland

IRELAND | Sunday, 18 January 2009 | Views [537]

So the first week - and what a week it was. Started with me at the office in Dublin at 9am MOnday morning with all my possessions, and ended with me eating lasagne and drinking cheap wine in a house in Youghal with 3 Canadians.

Working out the fundraising deal was interesting - it's bloody hard work too. I thought teaching was a job where you're ignored a lot or spoken to rudely on a regular basis,  but this is just nuts! While getting frustrated at myself, the people walking past and the stupid raid (even though I swore I would NEVER be unhappy about rain) I had to keep thinking, "I'm doing this for a good cause. I'm in another country, living life and doing a good thing."

So the week ended with my team leader quitting, one team member only lasting a day, another one getting the sack for not pulling in numbers and another one having to leave unexpectedly. It turned out the that two Canadian girls quit too when the roaming team moved on and they were left leaderless in Cork. Those two girls, Steph and Jen, were the reason I lasted the week really. That and the thought of a Euro paycheck at the end of the week. So with Max's departure (the third Canadian - yes, I felt outnumbered), we decided to go back to the house we were staying in in Youghal, 40 minutes outside of Cork, I'd cook lasagne and we'd open some wine. It was a great night with the 3 Canadians and we'll definately do it again. I don't think Max will let me leave the country without cooking lasagne for him again - he ate half of it by himself!

So with the changes to my roaming team I embarked, Saturday morning, on my first Ireland road trip. Thank God they drive on the same side of the road here as I'm used to. The road rules and speed limits here are only a guideline - that's certainly true. People eithere drive 20kms over the speed limit or 30kms under it. And there's no sticking to your lane. It was like National Lampoons Vacation and Chevy Chase's driving!

I drove from Youghal to Cork, back through Youghal to Waterford, then to County Wexfod to New Ross. Picked up another worker, an Aussie guy Karl from Brisbane, and then headed to Dublin. By this time it was 7pm and we picked up our team leader, Jane, and then drove the 2 hours to Galway. Well, it should have taken 2 hours, but with the freak snow storm that we had to drive through - very slowly mum - it took a lot longer.

Twice on our journey we stopped for directions - once Karl jumped out in shorts, t-shirt and no shoes to ask the car behind us, and twice people drove us part of the way while we followed. So we quickly discovered that's the way to get directions. At about midnight, after being in a car for 12 Irish hours, we arrived in a little place outside of Galway called Invern. We stopped at the SuperValu and ran Padraig the landlord, who showed us our house for the next two weeks.

It's a lovely old home right opposite the coast. We took a walk Sunday down past the bluestone fences and green grass to the beach. It was blowing a gale and freezing, but looking back up at the house I realised for the first time since I left Australia that I was really in Ireland. It was just like all the pictures you see. This town is lovely. Driving on the coast road we found a guy surfing the choppy, dark waves. I don't mind the water but he must have been crazy; it'd be lucky to be 2 degrees out there and super windy - madness.

So tomorrow we start week two of this fundraising gig. It's a differend charity this week - Focus Ireland - and it feels like it's going to be a great week.

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