By Luiza Reis – Brasil
When I was coming from Brazil to Ireland, I kept thinking of all the things I would like to do to feel happy and useful in Ireland. “Enjoying each day to the maximum” was my motto!! And so I have.
On the one hand; waking up early to enjoy the day, studying hard, getting used to the Irish weather, getting involved in the mountaineering, archery and volleyball clubs, were my first steps in Ireland. But I felt that I could do a bit more because I have received so much and have been given so many great opportunities here! Because of my passion for dogs and their great capacity to help people with disabilities, I thought that volunteering for the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind would be a good way to start the other aspect of my motto!! And so I did.
“Today is a good day”. That was my feeling while I was going home after a rainy and cold morning of volunteering on St. Patrick’s Street, Cork. No, there is no bad word in the last sentence!! My volunteering experience for the Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind that day could be described as a sudden burst of happiness. Everything was so much more beautiful and colourful after my day of helping the charity. The grey sky didn’t exist any more and all I could feel was huge inspiration from my day. Besides me, there were many other people volunteering with the Irish Guide Dogs, younger and older, everyone helping, and of course, some individuals with four paws, enticing people to stop to say “hello” and donate money as they couldn’t resist the cuteness of the dogs!!!
When I got home, I thought with myself: Wow, I’m studying in Ireland, I volunteered for the Irish Guide Dogs, I collected some money for them… I’m feeling great! By helping them, I also collected some smiles for me too. Smiles of my own happiness and gratefulness that I will keep forever in my Irish adventure memories. I learnt many lessons that day and all I needed was a little bit of willingness, motivation, and, just in case, a good rain jacket!