If you want to see time go fast, just start the final year of medicine. The weeks just roll by. One semester has passed already, and only one remains.
I have moved back to Galway for my last 5 months in Ireland. I think Galway is the best place for me to spend the remainder of my time here. For me, it is Ireland in all the best ways.
I spent the last year in a small little town outside of Galway. It’s part of our curriculum to spend part of our course in an affiliated hospital. I decided to document our final year of medicine in the hospital, and this is part 1. Part 2 is here in UCHG, and is something I’m working on now. Part 1 involved just our small group of 16, so part 2 is going to be more…fun…to coordinate as our class is over 200 in size!
All photos are taken on my phone. Here are some of my favourites.
Let me tell you about Ballinasloe, the little grey-skied town that has been my home for the last 10 months, and will be for just another two.
It is a town where old man who owns the small shop, knows everyones names and will come out of his store to personally let you know that you have missed your bus. It is also a town where the bus is always and consistently 25 minutes, except for that one time of course. It is a town where the streets are practically empty after 7pm. Life for me orbits around the hospital and the small group of final-year-almost-doctors that like me, chose to do their 1 year placement here.
For 51 of the 52 weeks in a year, it is hushed, muted toned, peaceful town.
But then there is one week where this little town is transformed into a place I can’t even recognize! The Annual Ballinasloe Horse Fair. Yes, this quaint Irish town is home to Europe’s oldest Horse festival.
I have never been a horse festival before, so this was a special experience I wanted to share with you!
The month of September marked one year since I moved to Ireland. As a tribute to my first year of Ireland-ness, I decided to share with you a selection of my most beautiful photographs that I have taken (except for any photograph with me in it. I did not take those 😉 ) during my year here .
I still remember my first day in Ireland like it was yesterday. I remember getting off the little airplane at the Galway airport and looking around suspiciously. So, this was home now.
I didn’t really want to move to Ireland. I wanted to stay in Canada, because everything was predictable in Canada. I knew exactly what I could expect. Family, study, work – everything would progress on a steady and stable incline.
Applying to my medicine program was also very last minute too. I reluctantly sent off my application literally only days before the deadline. When I received my acceptance letter for the medicine program I was sad.
But I moved to Ireland. I moved to Ireland where everything was confusing, and suddenly the independence and freedom I had been looking for – seemed almost too overwhelming.
Michelle: Do you want to take a picture of you in the front and then one of you in the back with all the turf?
Me: I want to take one inside, outside, everywhere. I want to get all up in that tractor’s bidness.
***Note to mom: I’m not really smoking!***
I promise 🙂
Some of my readers will know that I recently got my licence, and I am slowly coming to terms with driving alone. I decided to ask my roommate Michelle for some driving alone advice. This was our conversation. It was too hilarious not to share.
Me: How long does it take for driving alone to feel normal?
Michelle: It depends on how many times you crash.
*A few minutes later*
Me: Ok, well how long did it take you?
Michelle: Well. I crashed pretty soon so….
*Few minutes later*
Me: So did you feel okay soon after the…crash?
Michelle: Well I was really really nervous at first. Then slowly, I was fine. Then crash. Then I was nervous again. Then I started to feel okay. Then the next crash. So, it took a while.
I’m experimenting with macro photography, and getting the focus juuuust right.
Michelle’s mama’s first home-grown tomato.
Michelle plays Camogie – which is an Irish sport played by women (the dude-version is called “Hurling”). She’s obsessed with the game, and even after a whole year of living with her, I had never been to one of her matches before. That is, until now. Michelle is number 5. She was so awesome!
It is a fast paced sport played with a hurl (that stick like thing) and a ball. I thought they would have to knock it around like field hockey, but I was wrong. They have to do many skilled maneuvers with the ball, like throwing it up into the air, sprinting with it with the ball balanced on the hurl, and catching the ball that is being hurtled at them (a little too fast for my liking) with just their bare hands. I wouldn’t want to be out there (but then again I’ve always been a bit of a wuss). I would not want to mess with angry girls wearing skirts and holding weapons.
I know. I’m such a noob. I’ve never been part of the “sport culture”. I have never pursued any particular sport, either as a player or a dedicated spectator, so this was a great experience for me! It was pretty neat to experience the pep talks, group huddles, game-plan discussions, cheering, and over all sense of team spirit. I can see why people can really throw themselves into their team. There is a great sense of pride, community and shared goals.
Ashford Castle. The architecture and gardens were so beautiful. And it was also a lovely day, which only made things even more perfect!
Walks in the sunshine, amongst the trees.
The romantic bench under the romantic tree.
This is a little stone fishing house built near the monastery for the monks. Apparently they even had it set up so that whenever they caught fish, a bell would ring inside the abbey so that the cook’s would know that there was fresh fish available. Smart monks!
I have been lucky enough to live in this beautiful little country, and I take up any opportunity I have to travel around and take photographs of some of the things I see. Last weekend my godparents from England visited me here in Galway and we went on a day trip to the Cliffs of Moher, just outside of my city.