I went to Dublin for 4 full days and one was my birthday!

There was this moment on take off when the plane turned over Toronto and the sun came in from the window on the other side of the plane and moved across my side of the plane and back out. And you could see all the boats in Lake Ontario as tiny white dots and I saw the CN Tower in the distance out my window and all the tall buildings that remind me of my home.

The island looked so small from above compared to how big it felt when I went there for camp as a child. The flight to Dublin bad. I wasn’t able to sleep for more then 30 minutes in total and spent most of the 6 hours watching movies, reading, or trying to seep. There was an empty seat in my row, but the guy beside me refused to move over to make the empty seat the middle.

When we were served dinner, I ate all my food in 10 mins. The guy beside me was smart and saved some. I landed in Dublin around 5am and went through customs and grabbed the event bag before trying to locate the taxi stand on the other side of the small airport. Finally I was in a taxi and had to explain and somewhat fight with the driver to take me to the DCU Innovation Campus that was not at the campus he thought it was but at a new location (it has been there since 2013) near the MET office. Finally he gave in and took me there.


Thursday was a simple day of sitting in a boardroom and then a small office working on event set up lists, checking items, and trying to not fall asleep. I left the campus for the hotel around 3pm when I could no longer keep my eyes open. Then I had a 3 hour nap before going out for dinner with someone else from the hackathon that got in Thursday night by herself as well. It was a nice way to celebrate my birthday.

I made it to the DCU campus on Friday morning around 10am and worked on some things. While sitting with some of the staff members, and getting name tags printed, I was presented with a cup of coffee (the start of my love affair with coffee over the weekend) and a chocolate muffin as a birthday cake! I wondered around the campus, looked at our event space, and waited for my co-workers to come, which was around 12pm. At 3 we started set up and people started to show up between 4 and 6pm. The event went off with no real problems, well we had one, but it was easily fixed, the Irish are very resourceful. There was also had no fresh food, everything appeared to be cakes or deep fired. One of the DCU staff members drove me to the closet (and still open) convince store to pick up some apples. That night Gwen (a co-worker) and I went out for a late dinner to Bobo’s in the city centre and drinks with one of the mentors, who was staying in our hotel.


Saturday was pretty easy going, as the teams were formed and working away. I spent most of the day on campus watching over the hackathon, while hiding out in an office with a staff member talking about the differences between Canada and the USA in how we say words, and the differences in meanings between Canada and Ireland. Then Gwen showed up and we worked for a bit. I went out back to visit the Stoney CNC workshop that is on campus, and ended up spending most of my time over that day and the next morning watching the machines cut prototypes for the teams. Rory, who owns Stoney CNC was great and made me my own signs for Hi! I’m Erika! Gwen and I went on a short tour of the area during the day, stopping in at the Botanic Gardens and the Glesneivn cemetery. That night we didn’t go out but neither of us had an easy time falling asleep.



Sunday was the big and final day of the hackathon. There was’t a whole lot going on in the morning, so I wondered around the campus and out to the workshop. We set up and executed the final demo and pitch night. Then packed up our event stuff and took it to the hotel. Gwen and I went out with a few mentors and participants to JW Sweetmans in the city centre for some drinks and to see the city at night. It was a fun way to wrap up a trip filled with work and logistic stress.

Monday morning was just the general; wake up, go to the airport, eat breakfast, catch our different flights, fly home, go through customs, get the event bag, go home. I changed when I got home and went off to see Pitch Perfect 2 with the roommate. It was really good and I’m happy that we got to see it before I leave Wednesday morning for Fargo, North Dakota.


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