From Valencia to Ballina – a once-in-a-lifetime presidential opportunity for Ainhoa
I am Ainhoa González Amorós, an audiovisual student from Valencia, Spain.
For the last few weeks I have been doing my work experience in Ballina, Ireland, with the Erasmus+ program that my school offered me. I work with Ballina Chamber of Commerce, helping out on social media and I support the Ballina 2023 team too.
Being only two weeks in Ireland I was told that on April 14, 2023 I was going to take photos of US President Joe Biden during his visit to Ballina as part of the Ballina 2023 celebrations! My Spanish family and friends couldn’t believe it and I much less.
In the days before the event, I was taking photos on the streets of Ballina for social media, as they were all adorned with the American and Irish flags to welcome the President of the United States of America.
When the day of the event arrived, I went to get my volunteer card to be able to enter the event with my volunteer partner Christine. I was very lucky with the area I was volunteering in, as it was where all the Irish dignitaries were seated.
I helped put out Irish and American flags on the chairs and also recorded some videos for social media.
It was a very crazy day in general, it rained, the sun came out, the rainbow, it was cold…. But it was worth it, because this opportunity doesn’t come twice in a lifetime!
It was a long event, since it started at five or six o’clock in the afternoon and Joe Biden arrived at 10pm. He started giving his speech, talking about Ballina’s St Muredach’s Cathedral and his relatives who lived in Ballina like his great-great-great grandfather, among many other things while I was taking photos and videos of him.
This experience was incredible and exciting for me, I am very aware of the great opportunity I have experienced and how much it can benefit my career path. I never imagined that one of my first events would be taking pictures of the President of the United States of America. I felt a lot of pressure when they first told me, but I think I was able to handle it quite well and it was very exciting to experience it.
I can only thank NBTI who are the ones who organized everything about Erasmus+, my school (Sagrada Familia PJO) and Ballina Chamber for trusting me and offering me this incredible opportunity. Thank you very much, I will always be very grateful!