Eoghan’s road to Wageningen was long and windy. From studying biomedical sciences in his Bachelor, to contemplating medical school, to working in pharmacies across different neighbourhoods of Dublin, and then in a pharmaceutical start-up in the East Coast of Ireland, quitting that “fucking boring job”, only to be helicoptered off a mountain after breaking his leg on his “I’m free!” skiing trip which put him on bed rest for several months, deciding to become a pilot but then realising that as a pilot, “All you’re really doing is polluting the planet and flying people lucky enough to do so”, pushing him to finally come to Wageningen for a Master’s in Environmental Sciences, a decision he has never regretted. His first month wasn’t easy though. While he says getting Covid-19 in his first weeks in Wageningen was minor compared to the things he dealt with before arriving, it did confine him to his room for a good ten days. His coughing was so bad – it interrupted the sexy time of a couple next door. When he finally got his freedom back, he went out with the Irish gang, but with one pint of Guinness too many, he fell off his bike on his way home, right onto his face. His bike was so destroyed that he could not even wheel it home, so he abandoned it, walked home, washed his face and went to bed. The next morning, very concussed, he woke up with blood all over his pillow and decided to head to the hospital with a taxi. His face was so bruised and swollen that he couldn’t see from one eye, and had to get his eyebrow stitched up. And as if things couldn’t get any better, as he left the taxi, his keys fell from his lap and down into the storm drain.
“So you’ve messed your face up and you’ve had Covid – I would have gone home by now. Why are you still smiling?” is a question Eoghan got after all that. He admits that he was very, very close to getting on a flight and leaving, but he powered through and things got better. “There are silver linings to every story” he says.
Dodo started his Master’s in Climate Studies in September. He arrived in Wageningen in August for the AID with nothing more than a tent to sleep in, having always enjoyed backpacking and camping. Little did he know, he was getting himself into a massive housing crisis, and the tent life would continue into September.
With no room found by the beginning of term, he set up his tent on a field in Droevendaal following the recommendation of a friend he’d made during the AID. His camping spot is known to some as ‘Rex’s old room’, ‘Paradise walk’ or the ‘Field of weeds’. As soon as he arrived, residents of 69 welcomed him, inviting him to eat with them and use their home as he needed. He quickly packed up his tent, bouncing around rooms that were free for a few days, before sharing a room with another student for a month.
Over a month in, Dodo finally got himself a permanent
room. “I feel like I’ve been running a wonderful but socially exhausting marathon. In Droev, that’s a really nice thing; there are so many peculiar and loving individuals that draw your attention and make you want to meet even more people; but at the same time that can be very exhausting since I had no time to process everything. Now I feel like I am finally slowing down and finding a rhythm”. Now that he is inside and dry, Dodo has been able to develop the photos he took during his first month’s adventures. Here is an impression of the home that gave him good nights’ sleep during his first days in Wageningen.