From Honduras to Ireland; Day continues travels
Even traveling for 30 hours straight didn’t keep Plymouth native Katie Day from jumping right in to get the most out of a seven-week trip to Ireland.
Day, a 2008 Plymouth High School graduate and Butler University senior, learned of opportunities to work for room and board in Ireland when she was traveling throughout Europe last year.
Day said, “I heard about an internet site (helpx.net) where people post their needs. I will be there for seven weeks and working on three different farms.”
To start, she will be saying at a village about 15 minutes outside of Limerick.
For the first two weeks, she will be staying with an older couple and doing whatever is asked of her including house painting and gardening. After taking a bus trip to County Laois, the following two weeks will be spent on a dairy farm. Day confessed that she has never been on 100-herd dairy farm before and doesn’t know what to expect.
She said, “I have never milked a cow. I have never cleaned out a barn. I am probably not cut out for that job, but I guess what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. I will repeat that to myself when I’m knee deep in… never mind.”
During the next two-week period, she will be changing roles and trying her luck at public relations for a blueberry farm.
Although her compensation will be in the form of food and lodging, Day willingly paid for plane fare and bus fare out of her savings from working three jobs. The plane trip had its harrowing moments.
Day said, “We had so much turbulence at one point that an alarm was sounding, and I was gripping my arm rests wondering if the people on either side of me would be the last two people I ever had a conversation with. I was nearly hysterical. Luckily, that ended after about 30 minutes. “
This is Day’s first travel experience without being part of an organization or having a traveling companion.
“It’s a great way for younger people to travel cheaply, do good, and learn more about another country’s culture by not only being the tourist. I am really excited about the theme I am traveling with, which is green, self-sustaining living,” she said.
She had just returned from her second trip to Honduras with other Butler students, including Adam Davis of Argos. While there, they visited and worked at orphanages. Before departing, Day enticed PHS Dean of Students Ken Olson to help her collect books and school supplies for Honduran children.
“I couldn’t believe there were some 300 books and four big boxes of school supplies donated,” she said, and ended up taking only half of the items to Honduras due to space limitations, but is passing the other half to another PHS graduate Cassie Eberly — who will be taking a mission trip to the Dominican Republic this summer.
Day was overwhelmed with emotion as the group passed out the books and supplies.
She said, “I can’t even explain to you what it was like to give them to the kids. Many of the people in our group were crying.”
Many of the books were put into individual bags for children to have as their very own.
Day said, “It was almost like Christmas.”
Davis also collected books from St. Michael School.
Day said one of the orphanages they visited had never had an outside group to help them.
“The children were a little more reserved, but had fun learning to play duck, duck, goose,” she said.
During her high school years, Day was member of the Speech and Debate Team where she qualified for both state and national competition in Lincoln-Douglas Debate. Although her goal during her debate years was to eventually be on the United States Supreme Court, she has now altered that plan to one day run a not-for-profit organization.
She does plan to spend some family time this summer as well. When she returns from Ireland, she will be heading for North Carolina for a five-day vacation to celebrate her grandparents’ (Dick and Martha Day) 50th wedding anniversary and her parents’ (Lori and Ron Day) 25th anniversary.
More information about Day’s experiences can be found on a blogsite she posts (katieday explorer.blogsite.com).