My two previous posts have waxed philosophical and also carried the theme of settling in and finding a place, friends, and purpose in Ireland for the year. As the winter transitions to spring, the days grow longer, and the rain more frequent, I have begun to contemplate, plan, and turn towards the future.
I have the fortunate opportunity to travel with my classmates in the Biodiversity and Conservation Course to South Africa for Field Work; I have been surprised to learn how often Irish students upon collegiate graduation have gone to work in South Africa on humanitarian and conservation issues, and I hope to meet some while there.
Once I return, it will only be eight weeks until our end of year activities as a Mitchell cohort, and I look forward to making the most of these weeks with excursions to Killarney, Galway, Mayo, Donegal, and Waterford (with as many of this year’s talented Mitchell Scholars as possible!).
But where does the island and this great cohort fit into my future after these weeks? This is the question I have begun to grapple with; I arrived at a partial answer this weekend on a reading retreat to Galway, with my gracious host Azza: continued collaboration. I had the wonderful opportunity of helping Azza put together a pitch for her next film project Desert Laboratory, A Film on Life at Taliesin West while enjoying the tranquility of a misty weekend on the west coast. In preparing meals, discussing literature, and assisting in this film project, I learned just as much about Azza as I did about myself and where my immediate future will be.
Within our cohort, we have become mirrors for each other when we cannot see or find the answer ourselves immediately; we have become friends, companions, teachers, and students. Ireland will continue to follow me and shape my future through the connections I have formed formally through my program at Trinity, but more so through the fundamental connection I have forged with my fellow 2017 scholars. This is the vision of the program, and it is a successful one. For that reason, I know the future will take care of itself. For now, I am going to make the most of my remaining time on this wonder filled, storied Emerald Isle.