Recap & Upcoming Events

Since I’m awful at keeping up on my blogging, I’d like to give you a few highlights of my last two weeks. Note–These are not in chronological order of occurrence…it’s more like the order in which my mind remembers things out of the blue.

— Irish dancing class [also met many German secondary school girls who are exchange students…they thought I, too, was in secondary school (middle/high school)…awesome]. They have soft shoes and hard shoes, which are basically like tap shoes. Apparently I’m a natural. haha…all those years of dance put me in a good position!

— Observed an Under-15’s soccer match between two local clubs and began talking to the Irish around me to learn all about it. I literally just started talking to them while I was standing in the park on my way home from the dance class, and they were incredibly friendly and welcoming. It’s amazing how people are around this area.

— Weekend in Galway, which included making friends from Canada, Germany, and New Zealand

— A visit to the Aran Islands where we rented bikes

— Field trip to Dublin with the 4th class boys to see the Tutankhamun exhibit (first experience at Supermac’s on the way home…their McDonald’s equivalent)

— More fantastic meals by Regina, including a traditional Irish stew one night, but then homemade vegetarian pizza another night piled with deliciousness (I now will eat anything, I think…including mushrooms, cucumbers, and tomatoes, all of which I did not like coming over)

— Almost getting blown away like Mary Poppins on the way to school yesterday morning…literally had to hold on to the umbrella at the top and bottom and hold it nearly horizontal)

— Getting my own Irish mobile number! It’s awesome to have someone ask for your number now and not have to be like, “Uhh….email? Facebook?”

— Completing my service learning project at the family centre/preschool. It was wonderful and hope to volunteer there a few more times before I leave so I can see the kids again!

— Successfully using “class” in a texting conversation. Class is like “awesome” in the states. I also am successful at telling the time (half nine), calling the older boys “lads”, adding “like” to the end of sentences (very much part of the Cork dialect…they’ll say things such as, “He just kept carrying on like.” I used to want to respond with, “like? Like what??!!”), attempting to use “craic” (it was good craic last weekend), and saying “How are you getting on?” rather than “How are you?”.  One last note on this: their English is more proper than ours, or should I say, more accurate. So my old-fashioned wording that sounds awkward in the states sometimes perfectly fits in here. Example–at the supermarket today (not “grocery store”), I inquired of an employee, “Where might I find the hummus?”

— Wrecking my bike on the Aran Islands as I tried to take a moving photograph and ended up hitting the front brakes instead of back. I also pricked my behind and hand with some nettles, so they proceeded to sting and become irritated allll day.

— Making best friends with a dog on the shores of the island and playing fetch for awhile.

— Getting my produce and yogurt for the week’s lunches at the “Vegetable Man” down the street. It’s basically a little corner shop and he brings in everything from nearby in Ireland, so it’s all fresh and organic and amaazing. I’m becoming spoiled with good produce.

— Going on a couple runs longer than I have done before. The air here must have an effect on that. haha

— Hanging out with a couple Irish people around my age several times. I feel so knowledgeable now. Also, I made friends with a couple Italians that I’ve seen out a few times now and they are helping me with my spanish…a little strange, haah.

— Playing Connect 4 and Jenga (or “Tension Tower” as it was called) in the pubs.

— Learning about the soccer teams from England, Manchester United and Chelsea, and watching them in the pub.

— Left my umbrella hanging on a hook in the pub last night…hoping it doesn’t rain on the way to school/home tomorrow (we have a half day and finish at 12 and then it’s the two week Easter break, which is actually two weeks and two more school days!)

— Making English friends (whom I called British and was laughed at)…one girl actually heads up a dance studio over there.

— Doing a fantastic job at procrastinating on my schoolwork for IU….which I actually need to be doing now, so I’ll move on to the upcoming events on the horizon.

Coming up soon:

— Surfing lessons!!!! Scotland became too expensive to visit over Easter Break because we did not book flights when they were super cheap (dumb move), so Racheal and I are going to Lahinch on the west coast of Ireland, and it’s apparently known for surfing. There is a place that does classes, so we’re all signed up to do it on Sunday! Hopefully I don’t die.

— All of the Lahinch visit (it’s a small town), and we also plan on going to the Cliffs of Moher which is only like 6 km away from the town…if the weather is nice, we’ll probably just walk from the town.

— Midleton Farmer’s Market…this is about a 30 minute drive east of Cork and Regina usually goes about once a  month, so Racheal and I are going to join her this Saturday. I’m really excited because I love the farmer’s market in Bloomington, but this one is apparently incredible.

— London. After I return to Cork from Lahinch on Tuesday, I’m flying to London Wednesday morning and meeting up with a few other student teachers that are spread across Ireland. We’ll explore London for a few days and hopefully spot the soon-to-be royal couple?? The wedding is happening while we’re there, which is crazy.

— Paris. Lauren and I will taking the chunnel to Paris early early Saturday morning (so basically we’re going to sleep in the station the night before to save money haha). Explore Paris Saturday and Sunday…hopefully find somewhere to stay Saturday night, perhaps through Couchsurfing and fly back to Dublin late Sunday night.

— Dublin. Since Lauren is student teaching in Dublin, I’m gonna stay there a few days when we return from Paris and explore the city. Even though I went for the field trip on Monday with the 4th class for the Tutankhamun exhibit, I really didn’t get to see too much.

— County Wicklow/Glendalough. Hopefully while I’m in Dublin, we’ll take a day trip/overnight trip(?) south to County Wicklow. There is a national park here, which is where P.S. I Love You was filmed, so obviously I’m ecstatic. There are plenty of hiking opportunities and mountainous ranges.

— Maybe another Irish dancing class?? They are every Thursday night, and I’m hoping I can go a couple more times before I leave.

— SCHOOLWORK. I kind of forgot how to do actual schoolwork, what with the student teaching being so different and all. When I return to Cork for the last 5 days or so of my Easter break, I plan on whipping out some of the work that would be coming up.

— Making a plan to stay here forever. (Now, don’t get me wrong to all of my family and friends–I love you and miss you, but I have never been happier for such a long, consecutive period of time than I have been here. I am hardly stressed at all which, as many of you know and would agree, is completely rare for me! The motto here is basically: “Work to live, don’t live to work” and I wholeheartedly agree, even if I am still too much of an overachiever here, too.

I’d say that about covers everything. I don’t have time right now to put up pictures on the blog, so if you want to see them, please look on facebook! For those of you that I haven’t spoken to in awhile, either add me on skype (courtney.c.woodward) or email me at ccwoodward1989@gmail.com. I check my email everyday, although it will be less over break since I’ll be traveling.

Oh, and HAPPY LITTLE 5!!!!! Good luck to my Theta riders. 🙂

Quote of the week: “Happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to deal with them.”

2 thoughts on “Recap & Upcoming Events

  1. Bruce Woodward says:

    Reading your adventures brings a smile to my face. Now you understand what I discovered at your age in my travels, though you are doing it at a more culturally extreme level than I ever did.

    If you chose to live your life across the pond, I for one, would understand and wholeheartedly support you in your decision.

    But I do miss you.

    Dad

    Like

  2. Zachary says:

    Courtney just cancel your year in Spain and stay in Ireland.

    Then get a flat large enough that yr big brother can move in with ya!

    Like

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