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Kari: A wee update…

March 2, 2009

Where did February go? It’s been about a month and a half since my plane landed in Ireland, and I’ve experienced more in this time than I have probably in my entire life. Experience is probably why I have been slacking on blog posts lately, and for that I am sincerely sorry. I have been busy learning, studying (kinda), and getting to know more about this amazing island that I call home, at least for another couple months. I know that I have some catching up to do, so please bare with me as I try to pull out memories of the last couple weeks or so…

Week 4 of uni went by fairly quickly, for what I remember. Classes are starting to become more in depth and I’m starting to feel like I’m falling behind, but definitely learning something! It’s very hard to find the motivation to do school work here though, especially since none of the local students have touched a book yet. I have done some reading, and I’m starting to research a paper that is due at the end of March. I am, however, nervous about the grade points system. In America, we like to think that every student starts off with 100% and can lose percentages from that, but here, every student starts at 0% and needs to do enough work to raise their percentage. Also, I have been told by numerous individual to not to expect getting higher than a 75% or 80% on any work I do here. Promising. I guess I will just have to give it a go and see what happens. I am completely up for the challenge.

On Wednesday February 18th, I got to see my very first live rugby match. A friend of mine, Johnny Stewart, plays on UUJ’s rugby team and invited us to come see him play. I had absolutely NO IDEA what was going on, but it was good craic nonetheless. The part I enjoyed the most was when Johnny was lying flat on the field holding onto the other team player’s legs so they couldn’t run and get the ball. I flinched more than once or twice during the game and have come to the conclusion that I could not play rugby because I hurt watching them play. It was a really great time, and I can’t wait to watch their final game this Wednesday!

Friday, February 20th, I headed to Dublin with a group of 5 girls. I was meeting my friend Mike in Dublin, who is studying in London currently. On the train ride to Dublin, we sat next to an interesting gentleman named “Tin-Chin”. I am not making that up because you COULD NOT make that up. I should have took that as a sign for how the entire trip was going to be like. We arrived in Dublin around 6:30 PM, check into our hostel, The Shining Hostel. It was shady, but we survived.


The next morning, we all woke up, got ready and headed over to Dublin City Hall for a FREE (yes, I typed that right…FREE in Dublin) walking tour. It was actually a really amazing tour that

Week 5 of uni held the same as prior weeks, minus a couple of classes. I wasn’t feeling well Monday and Tuesday, so I reluctantly decided not to go to class either day. iCafe was Wednesday night, at which we were served pancakes and played numerous games of scumbag (a card game). I met two people from Germany who laughed at the meaning of my last name. (Look it up if you have no idea what my last name means!!!) Meeting so many people of other cultures have really made me want to learn about my homeland{s} more; Germany and Norway. That would be an amazing project this summer! Who knows, maybe my great-great-grandfather twice removed was the brother of the wife of a person who worked in a castle. I never know who I’m going to meet these days!

Saturday was quite the adventure to Giant’s Causeway! It should be the 8th Wonder of the World. It was such a beautiful day to see such a sight, and we were able to meet up with our friends from orientation who go to school in Limerick. We headed back to Belfast around 4:30 PM, and Baz and I headed right back to campus to lay down for a quick nap. A few girls and I all went out for some live Irish music that night at Whites Tavern. It’s the oldest Tavern in Belfast, at least that’s what they claim! It was a great experience and I can’t wait to go back and hear more amazing music!

Sunday was definitely a lazy day. I went to the gym with Baz, then went to church with the First Carrickfergus Presbyterian crew. It was youth service night, so we got to hear Charlie, Gavin, and Andrew play in the band. They are all so talented! We then headed over to Andrew’s house for some ice cream, nutella, toast and tea…very Irish! took about 3.5 hours to get through. We got to see all the sights and got a great overview of the history of Dublin. We met up for dinner that evening at a small restaurant in Temple Bar. After a loooong night out, we all got on the train back to Belfast around 4 PM, exhausted and ready to go back to our beloved country, Northern Ireland. We finally got back to campus around 7:30 or 8:00 PM.

Wow, that was a long post. I still cannot believe that it is March already. I feel like I haven’t been here that long, but I also feel like I’m getting used to this whole Northern Irish thing. I’ve been missing home lately, but I just look out at the ocean, or go for a walk on the shore and I fall in love with the scenery of this place over and over again. It’s been a blessing to be here and I thank God everyday for what I’ve been given.

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