Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Getting Settled In

Jumping into the Irish Sea
UCD Campus

I am finally getting situated over here. I am finally learning how to use the bus system and learn my way around the city a little. One thing I still struggle with is the hot water. We have to manually turn the hot water on, it is not readily available like in the US. When I wake up in the morning I have turn it on and wait about 30 minutes before I can take a warm shower. Eating has also been a struggle! We have one mini fridge to share between four people and we don't have an oven just a stove top. I have been eating a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches! The cost of everything is so expensive here, even the groceries. This past Sunday we went to the coast and jumped off a cliff into the Irish Sea. The water was about 42 degrees and it was 45 and windy out. Maybe not the smartest idea, but they said everyone has to do it at least once. It made me feel bad when I was complaining and there were people over 65 years old casually swimming. The weather over here has been pretty consistent, about 40-50 and we usually see rain at least once a day. This weekend I believe I am going hiking (if the weather is okay) in the Wicklow Mountains. I also just booked tickets to travel to Barcelona Spain in two weeks for my room mates 21st birthday. Traveling over here is so much easier and cheaper than in the US. You can fly to Spain and back for under 50 euro.
Statue of Oscar Wilde (He is from Dublin)
Mural on the Science Building

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Oh Back to School

School has officially started for me in Dublin. It has been hectic trying to get situated with everything and learn their system. During one of my many orientations last week the dean said that the Irish are very laid back and can sometimes seem to Americans that the Irish are very inefficient. I have noticed already how laid back the atmosphere here is. It is great to experience it, but just very different. I was only officially registered in one out of my six courses on the start of classes on Monday. I was worried, they however said, "Ah don't stress mate it will all be grand." This is just a different approach from what I have seen at Purdue where we live by the always planning and "you're late if you're on time and on time five minutes early" mentality. Many may not think that it would be hard to communicate with the Irish since they speak English, but it has been an adjustment. In class it can be a challenge to understand some of their jargon and accents. For example, in my econ class they have made several references to the European government and it is confusing since I know nothing about it. The way classes are set up is very different from what is traditional in the states. We have just maybe one midterm worth 20% an essay worth 10% and a 70% final exam which is just essays. There is no homework or quizzes to help your grade. I am taking Micro-economics, Micro-biology, Organic chemistry, Spanish, and Scientific writing. We have not traveled outside of Dublin yet, but we hope to start making weekend trips soon. The video below is what we found to be typical Irish-pub banter.
Trinity College

Monday, January 13, 2014

Finally here

I am finally in Dublin. It has been some difficulty traveling. We had flight delays and cancellations but we were finally able to make it.  It is crazy that I am here! We stayed with a family who had a student who did study abroad at Purdue from Ireland. It was great to be able to stay with them so we could see the normal day to day Irish lives. Everyone is so welcoming and pleasant to be around! Very welcoming, at first I thought everyone was going to be a little off that we were from America, but to my surprise they love us and respect us. I have made my first visit to traditional Irish pub, and of course had my first pint of Guinness.  I also had my first serving of bangers and mash.  It is a little weird adjusting to the slang.  The first night I someone said, "Where can I find good crack?" I was taken back and wasn't sure what I was getting myself into. I found out crack means fun so the lad was asking "Where is a fun place?" I just got onto campus today and still trying to get settled into my spot and prepare for my classes. All in all, I think I am going to love it here!
The mom of the people we stayed with and two other Purdue students

Outside of the house where we stayed 

My first Guinness.

Saturday, January 4, 2014


I am now back from Honduras! This was truly a life changing experience. We visited two villages and provided medical and dental care to over a thousand people. It is hard to explain what I saw in words. It was truly amazing to see the country and have the opportunity to interact with the people. Right when we got off the plane I saw the huge difference from the US to Honduras. The streets were crammed with cars and people. Everywhere I looked I saw armed military patrolling. We stopped at a gas station to get snacks and drinks,  because we had a 2.5 hour drive to our "hotel" Once we got off the bus we saw two police offers walking around with large rifles and everyone was staring at the gringas (white people). It was awesome driving through the mountains and seeing the local people and towns. Our hotel would have been less than a half a star in the US but was like a five star to the Honduran people.

The first day we had the opportunity to travel to a beach and play with some local village kids. I have never met happier kids in my life, totally different from the kids in the US. They feel blessed each day just to wake up or have food. We had to travel about 2 hours every day to the village where we were working. It was humbling to see the way these people live, some had shacks some don't have any shelter. I spent most of my days in the dentist. The first person of the week had 5 teeth extracted and was just given 30 ibuprofen for the pain. NOTE these patients were just given a couple shots of Novocaine and some had wisdom teeth extracted. It took a while to understand the concept that these people come in with so much pain, and having the teeth extracted means they will eventually be pain free. By the third day I pulled teeth and gave anesthetic  shots by MYSELF.

Me assisting the dentist
Words can not describe what I saw and pictures do not do it justice. Honduras is an absolutely beautiful country with the mountains and ocean. This was an extremely humbling experience that I wish everyone could have the opportunity to do. It truly put everything into perspective and makes me realize how lucky we are to live in the US.
The beach with the kids

The Honduran dentist we worked with

El Salvador to the left Nicaragua to the right 

My new best friend! happiest girl ever to receive a glove as a balloon

If you would like to hear more about my trip please feel free to email me at jhaury16@gmail.com I would love to share more but it hard to post everything from my week in a short post!

I leave for Ireland on this upcoming Thursday, and I am still trying to get all of my bags packed and everything in order!