Pigs at the Hospital – by Kimberly Gaertner

The time here is flying by, and I’m enjoying every second of it. Let me just give you a snap shot of what my last couple days have been like. Yesterday, we had class in the morning, and then went to the Jameson Factory in the afternoon. It was very interesting to see how whiskey is made, and the historical impact that the factory has had on the city of Dublin. After the tour, a few of us went to a restaurant for dinner called The Church. It is an old church building that they turned into a restaurant. It was actually the church that Arthur Guinness was married in!

Today we woke up early and had about a 45-minute walk from the dorms to the Central Mental Hospital. We were able to tour part of this facility, which is one of the main psychiatric hospitals in the country.  This facility specializes in patients that have had past episodes with the law due to their mental illness. In small groups, we toured some of the units, and the nurses explained the process of rehabilitation in the facility. The nurse who took our tour group around explained that the main goal is ultimately re-entrance back into society if that is possible. The units range from maximum security all the way down to some that actually look more like a house, with a kitchen which residents can make their own food. I really enjoyed touring this facility. We even got to see their gardens where residences and staff can grow their own vegetables, and have hens and two pigs!


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