Well folks, this is my last and final Ireland blog, and I must say I am very sad that I had to say goodbye to The Emerald Isle. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. I’d really like to speak to whoever came up with this rule, too. Not only for this, but for all good things in life in general. So, seeing as how I didn’t post on Friday, I’ll start by recapping the last of my Ireland excursions.
We spent the day in the town of Audare. This town is quite a beaut. It’s a small, quaint, and dainty town filled with character and beauty. It reminded me a lot of Frostburg to be honest – filled with churches and pubs, local shops, busy streets, but not too busy at all. We spent the day walking around the town and looking in shops. It was a nice afternoon and a relaxing way to end our touristy adventures. You know what to do for pictures.
After we got back to Limerick, a few of us set out for out last shopping trip to satisfy our addiction to Penny’s. No, no. Not JCPenny. This store is like Target, but cheaper, and filled with the cutest clothes ever. It also has adorable scarves for only 3-5 Euro. Yes, ladies! That’s far better than what we pay here in the states. Trust me, I bought a few
6. Don’t judge.
Then, thanks to Dr. B, Dr. O and Steve, we all enjoyed a great evening at The Unicorn, which before your imagination starts running, I’ll clear that all up for you. It’s a restaurant. Along with all of the Irish GA’s that could attend, we ate dinner and laughed a ton. It was the perfect ending to a perfect trip. Thank you to the three of you for such great food and a wonderful night! Afterwards, the group met one last time to reflect upon our trip and enjoy each other’s company.
Unfortunately, the rest of the night involved packing. And don’t worry,
cause I know you all were, I somehow managed to fit everything – including all that I bought, into my suitcase and carry-on… All with 1 lb. to spare. Just call me your packing queen. :)
After a 3 hour nap, we headed to the Shannon airport at a lovely 6am. We boarded our flight to Newark, New Jersey at 9am, and approximately 8 hours later, we landed in the good ol’ US of A, the sweet land of Liberty. The flight wasn’t all that bad. I managed to watch two movies, 4 Grey’s Anatomy episodes, two Nashville episodes, listen to music, AND play Solitaire. You’re probably wondering if I utilized this time to catch up on some much needed sleep, right? The answer to that question is a big fat I wish. I couldn’t sleep for the life of me, and yes, it was very unfortunate.
We then had a 2hour layover in Newark. And yep, you guessed it, our flight kept getting delayed and we kept changing gates. It wasn’t too horrible though. Regardless, the moral of the story is: Never fly to Newark… that is if you can avoid it. We landed in Dulles around 5, and 3 and a half hours later, I was at home sweet home. It was kind of nice to be back on American soil where there are free re-fills, salad dressing, and money that doesn’t confuse me. Though I didn’t miss the snow one little bit. And I must say, there really is no place like home. I sure did miss it, and mom and dad, too.
My day has consisted of sleeping from 11:30 pm (last night) – 1:30 pm (today) … Yes, that’s 14 hours of sleep. And Yes, I’m still tired. As they say, never wake a sleeping baby.. or exhausted 22 year old.
Final Thoughts of My Ireland Adventures
I am sad to report that while I was in the land of rainbows and castles, I didn’t find gold at the end of a rainbow or spot a leprachaun. I know, I know. It’s rather unfortunate. But luckily, I was very fortunate in multiple other ways. As I look back on the past two weeks, I can’t help but feel extremely fortunate to have been able to be apart of such a valuable experience in Ireland. If you recall, I had mentioned that the president of MaryI had said to us at the very beginning of our trip that, “Your life will be changed, and you will change many lives.” Well, I’m here to tell you that this wise man did not tell any lies. Throughout my time spent in Ireland, I found myself not only learning about the country, its history, education system, and culture, but I found myself learning about myself AND learning from the girls (and “the boys”) that I got to spend the past two weeks with. I truly believe that I have been changed. The Irish (children and adults alike) have opened my eyes to a whole new world, including teaching, and have ultimately set an example of exceptional character, kindness, determination, and hard work. My peers, who traveled 3,000+ overseas with me, have left me with wonderful memories that I will always cherish and hold dear, as well as, a new outlook on my own teaching. My professors, who are more than just professors, but more like family, have continued to be exceptional mentors who I can only hope to be like one day. Their wisdom, thoughtfulness, and dedication, is inspiring in itself. There is absolutely no price tag that can be put on what I’ve learned and gained while in Ireland. My experience there is just as memorable as it is valuable. Now I am confident that when I have my own classroom one day, I will truly be able to teach to my best ability. I couldn’t thank Dr. B, Dr. O, Steve, Aisling, Patrick, all of the Irish GA’s, teachers, and schools, and anyone who helped to make this trip possible, enough. I’m so thankful for this opportunity and appreciate all that I have learned. Thank you all so much!
So, I guess this where I officially have to say that all good things must come to an end. :( Though it makes my heart sad, I’m looking forward to taking all that I have experienced with me wherever I may go. May the luck of the Irish be with you all! And hopefully I will see you soon, Ireland! In the words of the Irish, Slain leat agus go raith maith agat!