Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Unexpected

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My day started off as planned. I camped out on the bookstore floor thumbing through travel books on France, looking particularly at the Strasbourg sections. I priced flights on Ryanair to and from Germany then I went to work at the café.

When I arrived Monica was in sorts instructing two new volunteers from a study abroad program that required them to do 20 hours of volunteer service while in Ireland. The guy, Scott, was from Nova Scotia and the girl, Alex, was from Maine. They were fun to have around for the first hour while our shifts overlapped. Monica called us the American team (even though Scott was really from Canada).

Two things happened today I was not expecting. Monica suddenly remembered to tell me to run over to Oxfam, the other human rights organization in Galway, to talk to the volunteer coordinator about a roommate. She had heard a new girl from Slovenia would need a place to stay. I took off my apron and ran across the street. I got the contact information for a girl named Erika. She would be arriving October 18. I’m going to e-mail her tomorrow to see if she’d be interested in sharing a room. She will be here for 5 months, but if she wanted to stay here till she found something more long-term or take on the lease after Zach and I leave that would be amazing luck!

The second thing I found out was that the Amnesty café is closing…Saturday. Woah! What?? I was a whirlwind of emotions. Could it really be true, so soon, I would have been told before now, there was no indication, why, what for, how – nothing was on closedown sale, do I get to do something else, is this it? I have enjoyed my time at the shop in a methodical and soothing way. It has provided numerous relationships for me and I don’t want it to stop. From what I gathered, a businessman will be taking over the shop and it will no longer be run through Amnesty. Some of the volunteers will be assisting in coordinating campaigns, but they will not require the current number of volunteers to stay on. Monica was offered a position in Dublin, but she doesn’t think she will take it. While I wish she would stay in Galway, it would be a good opportunity for her. She seems to think she will stay, but she’s got a lot to mull over. I started thinking about what I’d do with my time now. I was going to work at the shop everyday next week. Monica said we’d have to plan a lot of bike rides. I thought I might be able to work for the new ownership at the shop. That could actually be a nice alternative if it is one.

When I got home at 8pm. Zach had leftover Indian food for me on the stove. The sauce was a Korma sauce. It had coconut and other spices to make a creamy yellowish very mild sauce. It was yummy. I’m surprised at how good Indian food tastes, but it’s all much milder than it would actually be in India.

After dinner Zach and I met Monica then took a free pedi cab to met Demelsa, Marta, Manuel, Roberto and Paula. The cab ride was sweet! I had always passed them up finding it rather gimmicky, but we were a good distance from where we needed to be and I was in heels. We did tip the guy some change though.

Paula is also from Spain and has been here for only two weeks. She is an au pair for a family just outside of Galway City. Paula is 25 and she had worked for Unilever doing advertising for about 14 hours a day the last 2 years and she was ready for a break, so she became a nanny and moved to Ireland till July. I offered assistance to all in help with English, questions, practice anything they needed in return for company and maybe some Spanish lessons. We all went to Massimo’s for the evening. We found a large round booth where we camped out and talked about things ranging from Halloween and Carnavale to women’s underwear styles. Marta and Paula have both been to Carnavale in Venice. I was super jealous…one day, one day I will go! It is in February and not an easy time to be going abroad.

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