An important part of life is the exchange of ideologies among people. This allows for the mind to become more open and the broadening of the intellectual horizon. With the aim of self-enhancement and improvement, I volunteered for an cultural exchange program with students of Belvedere College, Dublin, Ireland.
The word 'thrill' is, I feel, quite ambiguous. My experience in Dublin involved neither exhilarating rides or breathtaking sights. Nor was it one which pushed me to the edge of my seat but it was one in which I discovered the key ingredient of life - happiness.
I, along with fourteen other students, were to work in community centres spawning the Emerald Isle. My first week in Dublin - I worked in a nursing home named 'Tara Winthrop Private Clinic'. My exchange student and I assisted the Activities Manager, Jola, in planning and carrying out recreational activities for the patients. Those who don't know me, I am a fairly introverted and shy guy and so getting out of that safe bubble of 'keeping to yourself' initially seemed to be a Herculean task. But that wasn't the case. As the week passed by, I forgot that I was initially a shy guy. That person was dissolved in the smiles of the patients enjoying themselves. I was content with myself to have been the reason for the happiness of those people. Their innocence and their cheerful, lively and bright mood struck the chord of compassion in my heart.
During the second week, we mainly had to prepare bags containing basic supplies, for the homeless which also brought me a great deal of satisfaction.
This programme introduced me to another meaning of the word 'thrill'. Although this supposed thrill was devoid of adrenaline. it involved a rush of happiness garnished with joy and seasoned with a sense of self-satisfaction. Thus ended the two-week long exchange programme with the Irish students and heading home, we knew that these memories would be buried in the deepest trenches and crevices of our hearts.