Tuesday, August 31, 2010
After class Josh, my housemate, and I went to town to go and get a card for our hostmom cause she is retiring today so there is some sort of party. actually my host brother has been cooking none stop from last night it seems through this morning for the occasion. also we had to go out and get laundry detergent and meat to put in our pasta that we were going to make. i say that we were going to make it because we didn't actually cause we got invited to dinner at two of the girls house because they were making potato soup and didn't want to have any leftovers.
The only problem with going to the girls house for dinner was that we didn't really know where they lived, and they gave us the wrong street when they gave us the address. both those things really helped contribute to Josh and I wandering around the Bogside(the area to the west of the walls of Derry, AKA the location where Bloody Sunday took place) for about and hour until we finally gave in and called the girls. we didn't want to call the girls because it is really expensive to use minutes on the phones we were given and were also kind of determined to find our way by ourselves. woops. but dinner was good none the less.
after dinner some of the other girls wanted to go to the pub so we went to a local pub and all had a blast. there was live music and people were dancing and singing and just have a grand time. ("good craic" if you want to put some Irish slang in there) some people came up and talked to us and we would politely act as if we 1. understood them and 2. really could actually hear them. it was loud with the music going on and people were everywhere. I am glad that we go there early for seats. the live music was amazing and I couldn't get one the songs out of my head so naturally this morning i went on a google search to try and find it and boom there it was. the video i am about to put down is a performance from a pub just to kind of give you the idea of what it is like but it is not actually the pub we were at. i should have brought my camera so i could have gotten a video. I kind of can't wait to start tin whistle and Irish dance lessons now!!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPAZ5TOHHvo
Saturday, August 28, 2010
It is scary to think that this is my new home. it is like moving into the dorms freshman year all over again. you don't know where everything is cause your mom packed all your bags and you don't know where to put everything because you are afraid that you might offend someone who really doesn't care about it at all. What I am even more scared of is classes starting because classes over in Northern Ireland are completely different than those at Bluffton. The professors do not give you a reading list or what needs to be done by when, they just give some names of books that might be helpful and expect you to have them read by certain times. Also there is no homework for our classes apparently, so all that we have to focus on is reading and studying up for our papers that are due at the end of our 8 weeks of classes. this might be the strangest 17 credit hours i will ever take. but i know they will be the most exciting!!
Friday, August 27, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Were here!!!!! the plane rides were less than enjoyable. Especially having to run through the Newark airport only to come to our gate for our flight to Belfast and see that the door was already closed, but after the girls put on their best puppy dog faces they agreed to open the doors just to let all ten of us on the flight!!! By then they had already given our seats away and so I got to be lucky enough to sit in between 2 overly talkative grandmas that just thought I was the sweetest boy in the world. Finally after a 4 hour nap and sitting through "Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon" we arrived at 8:30 in the morning in Belfast International Airport(3:30 our time). We went through customs and then met up with our program director Myrven Love, who showed us to our bus and shipped us of to CorryMeela Retreat Center for our next 5 days.
Once at the center we got a tour of the grounds and then got some free time before some of us decided it was finally time to give in to the urge to sleep before dinner/tea time at 5:30. I was not one of those sleeping people, instead we went with 3 of the volunteers into the town of Ballycastle to look around and see the beach. FYI the water on the northern coast of Northern Ireland is FREEZING!!!! oh and it is only about 60 degrees here as oppose to the 90 degrees we have been use to back home. After walking the mile into town and back we arrived back to be welcomed to a nice steak dinner and some fruit spongcake dessert!!
Tomorrow starts off with lunch at 1 and then off to orientation and then Giants Causeway!!!!(A.K.A the 8th wonder of the world)
Sunday, August 22, 2010
All has been packed, including my toothbrush and some extra socks. my suitcase has officially be weighed, and the total is now comes to is 50.2 pounds. i sure hope that the people at check in are not sticklers about the weight or i might be paying extra or trying to fit an extra pair of jeans into my carryons. speaking of carryons... they are busting at the seams. they consist of two over sized backpacks that are carrying an extra 20 pounds of "stuff" in each. things include, passports, food, shoes, wool sweater, khaki pants, folders, 2 books on ironman racing(i may be a little obsessed), and 1 stuff animal(insert being made fun of here).
Today would be Sunday and so far today i have seen my mom, dad, sister, grandma, and girlfriend all cry as i left my house with my girlfriend to go to her house because it is closer to school. the only person who did not cry would be my dog, and she was more worried about my mom crying and where her bone was than actually about me leaving.
after spending the evening at my girlfriends i am excited to get to school tomorrow! There is the sending ceremony at 12:30 at the peace thrones on campus(all are invited) and at about 1:30 we load up and head out. we will fly from Dayton to Newark and then stay in Newark for about an hour until we leave for Belfast at 9:30 PM and arrive at 9:00 AM. that is going to be one long flight!! although i say that and have done almost the exact same flight twice before going to Scotland and London. After that it is a 4 day orientation at the CorryMeela Retreat Center and off to our homestays.
i probably wont be able to post until we get to our homestays or even later so this would have to be a goodbye for now. but trust me, i will live to blog again! just next time it will be in NORTHERN IRELAND!!!
Monday, August 16, 2010
4 wool sweaters (recently purchased at the Salvation Army!! Chyea)
3 dress shirts (never know when you need to look classy)
slacks and "trousers" (in Ireland pants are what your refer to if you are talking about underwear)
2 pair of khaki shorts
3 pair of workout shorts (gotta stay in shape for track in the spring/plus maybe a marathon in Dublin?)
lots of socks
shoes 2 pair
man i feel like i am even forgetting stuff in this blog, even more than i feel like i am forgetting in real life.
The official weight( i before e except after c, and when its "eh" as in neighbor and weigh. my dad just taught me that second part.) of my suitcase is 49 pounds. they are only allowed to be under 50 pounds so i am in the clear on that one. so everything else must go in the two backpacks i am taking as carryons. including another pair of shoes, some clothes and other random objects that are necessary for me to be able to function for the 4 months "across the pond". alright so maybe i just wanted to say that.
as of right now, in one week i will more than likely still be on a plain over the atlantic ocean heading to me knew home for 4 months in Northern Ireland. SO EXCITED!!! saturday is my last day of work, sunday i leave for ohio to stay overnight at my girlfriends house because she lives close to school and i want to spend time with her family before i leave. and finally, on monday afternoon it is off to Bluffton to attend the sending ceremony at the Peace Thrones. then from there it is off the Dayton to Fly away. I can't wait!!
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Now you may be wondering why i am packing. in fact, i am leaving on the 23rd of august for a semester abroad on the Bluffton University Norther Ireland program(http://www.bluffton.edu/xcultural/nireland/). It has been a goal of mine to study in another country, actually it is more of a wanting to live in another country. so now as i sit in my living room watching my parents TV show as they both sleep in their respective spots on the lazy boy and sofa, i am starting to freak out as i realize, oh boy, i am about to say it, i only have a week and 4 days until i leave!!!!! oh man, all i got right now is the dog to try and stir up and freak out with and even she is sleeping on the couch which is why i am on the floor.
For me, the future is actually a really scary thing to think about. i don't even like thinking about tomorrow as much as thinking about next week, or the months i will be in Ireland, or my last two years at Bluffton or what i am going to do after school. usually i just think far enough ahead to my next race. and since i am not doing cross country this fall due to being thousands of miles away in Ireland, i have been looking for new things to look ahead to. The crazy thing is all i can think about is how i need to pack so i can repack and pack again to make sure i have everything. i have lists of answers and have gotten so much advice from people who have been on the "experience" and all i can think about is questions i still have, but when i go to try and write them down nothing comes out.
So i guess what i am trying to say is that i am both excited for what is certainly going to be the most memorable and interesting experience in my life, and am most definitely scared because it is venturing into the unknown. But I need this. i need adventure and i want to experience life, especially because this has been one of my goals for a long time. I am excited and i can't wait to leave.