Just when I thought I was getting the hang of my responsibilities, Michael left the country. Unlike American politics, there are not twenty or thirty other staffers to take on his duties…I am actually the only one in the office, and I am not qualified for that. Seriously.
Deputy McNamara is a member of the Council of Europe, and the Monitoring Committee is conducting meetings in Strasbourg this week. This event leaves the TD’s office in Parliament completely vacant…no, wait…the 21 year old American intern is there…lets ask her ground breaking questions on the Arab Spring, the Forestry Bill scheduled to go to committee, status of the upcoming events for the Irish Constitutional Convention…and so on. I came to Ireland to learn about Irish politics and culture, and to sum it up, I am learning a lot.
In other news, I have officially found a church! To be honest, Adelaide Road Presbyterian Church actually found me. My route from my apartment to Parliament takes me right past the church. This past Sunday was the first that I was in Dublin since I found it, and I really love it. The church community was extremely welcoming and I even met two girls from the US studying at Trinity. It took me a couple of seconds to realize that I actually qualify as an international student, but the church hosts an ‘international meal’ on Friday nights that I was invited to join. The meal is just a time for students and adults from countries other than Ireland to join in fellowship and talk about the joys and challenges of living in a new culture.
I can honestly say that I am learning more about politics, culture, and myself than I thought I would be at this stage. Each day presents a new challenge, but I am blessed to be surrounded by people who challenge and push me. Both at home and here in Ireland, I appreciate all the words of encouragement and continued support. Thanks for reading!