Monday, March 29, 2010


So, the notorious Irish rain that I had so far avoided attacked today with a fury! My poor, flimsy little umbrella never had a chance. If you were in Galway City today, you might have spotted a rain-drenched American girl running through the streets after an inside-out umbrella that had become more of a hazard than a rain repellent.

Baileys Cheesecake!

It’s been a busy weekend. We got out at noon on Friday, in honor of the upcoming break, and all the teachers went out to lunch at a place called the Huntsman. We started around 2, and didn’t end up leaving ‘til around 7. Food was great, I had breaded chicken stuffed with spinach and mascarpone, with mushroom sauce, and mashed potatoes. Standard Irish food= meat, potatoes, and veggies :) I also tried the Pavalova, which is a merengue-type cake with cream and fruit on top, yummmmm! I had my first taste of Guinness in Ireland. It was great just to get out and get to know the other teachers, some are fairly young(24, 26), so not too much older than I am. The whole outing was “a great craic” :)

Saturday night, I went to a party with my host mother and father. It was a surprise 30th birthday party for a friend of theirs. They had it at a castle!

Sunday, one of the teachers took me out to lunch. Baileys cheesecake is the best thing ever!! Mmmmmmmmmm. Then we went in to Salthill and walked along the Prom for a bit, stopped in at a local pub and watched some soccer, then visited a cathedral in Galway City. It had the most beautiful stained glass windows.

It’s Easter break! That means that I have 2 weeks off to travel around and enjoy this beautiful country :D Did I mention that my host dad is teaching me to drive a stick shift?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Top 5 Favorite Irish Terms So Far:

1. Cheeky

2. Wanky

3. Brilliant

4. Bloody

5. Cuppa

‘Awesome’ is a very stereotypically American word, and they like to make fun of it.

Interesting fact: a period at the end of a sentence is called a "full stop".

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Week 2

The older kids at our school (Bawnmore National) had a Gaelic football match during school yesterday, and that was fun to watch. Pretty much the whole school got to take a break for an hour to watch! I wish we could do that in the States. Gaelic football is a lot like soccer, except you can pick up the ball and run with it, and you can throw it. There are two goals, like in soccer, but there are also posts sticking up on either side of the goals, kinda like in American football. Getting the ball in the net is called a goal and is worth 3 points. Punting the ball between the two posts is worth 1 point. I also had the chance to learn a bit of Hurling while I was here. Hurling is kinda like hockey, but played on the grass with wooden paddles and a small ball, about the size of a tennis ball. I learned how to 'solo' the other day, which is when you balance the ball on the end of your paddle, or 'hurl', and run with it! Hurling, Gaelic football, and rugby are some of the biggest sports here. Soccer is also pretty popular.

Today in school, the kids were doing Irish dancing as part of their PE. So fun to watch! These kids have so many extracurricular activities: dancing, sports, music, and they're all learning Irish too! I'm making a note to learn some Irish dancing before I leave.

At home, I've been getting along really well with the family. Ruairi, the oldest, is learning guitar and he's been letting me play on his whenever I want :) Also, Saoirse has a keyboard! I'm not wanting for a musical outlet here. I've been trying to run most days after school. The weather's been pretty good for it: a bit cold and windy, but not too bad. There's a pitch a ways down the road that I can go to and run around. Guitar, running, Judo... what more could I want?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Galway City

It was a beautiful day in Galway City. About 50 degrees and sunny. I spent several hours just walking around... awesome. It's a small city, but so much going on! Lots of shops, pubs, and restaurants. Live music on the streets, and some interesting people dressed up like statues. I took loads of pictures. The ocean was absolutely gorgeous with the sunlight glittering off of it, and lots of white birds were out flying around. Very peaceful. I found a coffee shop called Mocha Beans, and I had my first cup of brewed coffee since I've been in Ireland! Oh, I had missed it so... instant coffee just isn't the same. This city definitely warrants several more trips.


I'm really blessed to find a judo school here, because I've been told they're pretty rare. It's mostly boxing in Ireland. I went with Ru, and his age group meets right after Saoirse's. It was adorable watching all the little kids throwing each other around :) I was the oldest person there, aside from the instructor. We started out doing some warmups, and then got with a partner and repped some throws across the mat. I was kinda lost on some of it; most of the kids have been doing it for a while. They were really helpful though, and I was able to pick things up pretty quickly. I learned a new throw! Tai-otoshi. I need to brush up on the Japanese names for things :s After that, we just free-sparred with different partners- starting from standing up, and on our knees. I got rocked for the most part with throws, but I held my own on the ground. I wasn't expecting to groundfight as much as I did, and I guess that wasn't normal. Usually matches end with a hold of some kind, but I think the instructor added in some groundwork for my benefit. At the end of the day, I got thrown around a lot, got a few taps, and got a really good workout. It meets once a week for an hour, and it's less than five bucks! Not bad. I think this will be really good for my game.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

First Day of School

Love the school, love the teachers. The children are awesome. They are all very curious, and they have the most beautiful eyes!

Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful. My little sister goes to this school and was very excited to introduce me to everyone :) I spent my first day walking around and visiting different classrooms of ages ranging from 5 to 10. I read to some of the classes, including a chapter from Charlotte’s Web. I also had the opportunity to play on a guitar and sing for a class :) The first year teacher plays songs to his class often, and he welcomed me with an Irish tune. Then, the kids decided that I should have to play for them as well! I played “Leaving on a Jet Plane” and they enjoyed it. They were singing along with me by the end. The children are all learning Irish in school, as well as English, and at times the teachers will switch to Irish when teaching. I will be learning right along with my students!

Sláinte! (pronounced ‘slauncha’, meaning “good luck”, or “cheers”)

First Impressions

So the past couple of days have been a whirlwind of emotions! Getting off the plane, I was tired and hungry and felt completely lost. I was sure everyone knew I was a stupid American. However, when my host mother met me at the bus station, she gave me a hug and told me that I was "very welcome to Ireland!" She and the whole family have made me feel completely at ease here. Their house is beautiful, about 20 minutes from Galway City, and I have my own room and bathroom.

The family consists of the mother and father, a 7-year-old girl named Saoirse (pronounced Seersha), and a 14-year-old boy named Ruairi (pronounced Roory). Both children are very active and involved in hurling, swimming, and judo! The girl does Irish dancing and plays piano as well. I told them that they will have to take me to judo sometime, so that I can train while I'm here.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
We went into town to see the parade today. No school on St. Patrick's Day :) Most of the shops were closed to day, but I've been told that it's not that big of a deal here. It's mainly an excuse for people to hit the pubs, which are pretty much the only places that stay open. I guess the custom of pinching people if they don't wear green is totally American. The kids got a kick out of it when I told them about though, and kept referring to it throughout the day. "You can't pinch me, I'm wearing green!"

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Getting Pumped...

So I'm going to Ireland soon and decided to keep a blog... we'll see how that goes. I'm going to try to post fairly regularly.

I will be student teaching in a primary school of 148 students from mid-March to late May. I don't really know a whole lot else yet, but I'll be finding out before too long!

This song got me kinda pumped one day: maybe it's cheesy, but I don't care. Oh, I'm going to Galway by the way ;)

No, I don't have black hair and blue eyes, but close enough.