Michelle Obama comes to Dublin

Last week, Michelle Obama was in Dublin with her daughters, and the city basically shut down for her. She came to Trinity Monday morning and the entire front half of campus was blocked off with security at every point. She stayed at a swanky hotel just down the street from me, and that whole part of town was blocked off for her transportation. They were driving American cars on the streets here…but I guess you are allowed to do that when you are the First Lady. All of the blockades added a solid 10 minutes to all our walking commutes to work and just around the city in general. My iPhone was stolen last week, as was my best friend’s (iPhone theft is a huge problem here right now), and I was expecting a FedEx package with a new phone from my parents Monday morning. However, the delivery failed as it occurred at the exact same time Michelle was on campus. So, I had to take a cab to the FedEx store, which is up in an industrial area up near the airport (about 20 minutes away) to pick up my package. After asking all of his other taxi driving friends and referring to google maps, we finally figured out where to go and an hour later I had technology again!

Katherine’s (a girl I work with) boyfriend works at the Gaiety Theatre in Dublin, where Michelle was going for a private showing of Riverdance. He was briefed by the secret service and was given strict orders to not move from his post in the theatre once she was inside. He had to buy a new suit for the occasion and shine his shoes. He didn’t have shoe polish, so he used Katherine’s mascara as a substitute. Naturally, Katherine was not thrilled about this, but she allowed it just because it was for Lady Michelle. When Michelle was out to dinner before the show, we were walking home and saw a huge crowd of people outside. We waited for a little while and spotted her as she dashed from the restaurant into the big black bullet proof SUV. It was maybe a 2 second sighting but a sighting nonetheless.

Meanwhile at work, we had the launch party Wednesday night for the art auction fundraiser we are hosting in about two weeks. There are 50 pieces total for sale, but we featured 20 of them for the launch. We spent the beginning of the week picking up the artwork from the artists, setting up at the venue, and doing a final PR push. I made a slideshow for the event with pictures of all art pieces as well as photos and videos of the kids from the school in India, as we are currently focusing on fundraising to build a new, bigger school in Varanasi. Unfortunately due to some serious technical difficulties, the slideshow was unable to be played at the event. We’re going to get it working in time for the auction itself.  Nonetheless the launch was still a great success! Many of the artists came as well as a lot of friends, family, and prospective buyers. The art is really great and several of the pieces are actually worth quite a bit of money. A few of the artists have offered to let SCOOP keep 100% of the profits, while we split the others 45-55. Until the auction, I am working mainly on PR–contacting anyone and everyone in the Dublin art world.

Here I am with my coworker at the launch party!

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