Tag Archives: students

Walking tour & welcome meal

Our Monday morning started in a leisurely fashion which was good, as 3/4 of us had trouble falling asleep (Reed did not). The kids and I had lunch in as Reed met his students and Tony for a Book of Kells tour at 11:30 (the rest of us will see it when my folks arrive). When they were done, they came by the apartment and got a quick tour…we want them to feel welcome here (they’ve designated themselves as our other four adopted children, at least for three weeks). 🙂

We all departed to meet up with Tony and our tour guide for the afternoon, Sean Finnegan. (A highlight for me was getting to meet Tracy Dicks, the London-based AIFS staffer who set up both this and the Cape Town program!) Sean is a lovely older gentleman who knows a lot about Dublin. As he works for the tourism office, he promised to tell us no lies while on the tour…he had quite a wit about him and often tried to stump us with questions about his city. 🙂 Our 60-90 minute walking tour ended up being about 150 minutes, and we didn’t even travel much distance! We strolled from Trinity down to St. Stephen’s Green, which is only about 1/2 mile away, and back, stopping frequently to hear about the sites. It was interesting most of the time, but everyone grew tired by the end of it. The kids (all six!) handled it well, and we were proud of them.

We had some time to return “home” in the afternoon before our welcome dinner. We met the students and Tony at the front gate of Trinity and headed toward Temple Bar around 7:00. We were ushered up two sets of stairs to a nicer restaurant setting at Oliver St. John Gogarty’s, which I didn’t expect (I thought it would be more of a pub setting, which the first two floors are). We had a lovely dinner, complete with duck for Hannah, lobster for Jamieson, steak for Kayla and Tony, sole for Jamie, pork loin for Jackson, Irish stew for Reed, fish & chips for Abbie, & veggie lasagna for me. We sat there long enough to make room for dessert, so it was a fun celebratory type of meal. We heard about the students’ home stays, which are going well, along with other things they’ve done to explore the city, both together and separately. They are a really great group of individuals, and we are so glad each one is here with us!

We returned home around 10:00, still fairly awake…it doesn’t get dark here until about that time, so our clocks are a bit shifted. We all slept well (I am writing this Tuesday morning), and are ready for another Dublin day!

Home stay switcheroo

A brief report this Saturday from my coffee shop hot spot at the Cavendish Mall…Jen and Kym had a few issues arise at their home stay this week that left them feeling unwelcome. 😦 The GHS staff supported us in switching their home stay Friday. I went along to oversee the transition, and I found their host mom to be a bit chilly, and even kind of pouty (probably hosting students from other countries isn’t the best fit for her, just sayin’).

I am happy to report that they now reside with Courtney and Crystal and the “home stay hostess with the mostest” Sabine (and her husband, Yul, two young daughters, the girls’ grandpa, Erica the maid, and two [?] dogs). I hope and pray this works out for the remaining two weeks…I think it will be far better than where they were. When I SMS’d them last night, they sounded good. My host, Sheila, has offered up her spare room too, so it’s good to know we have options and nice people here to help us. We appreciate your continued prayers…despite all the “girls” having very good coping skills, this is still quite a stretching experience!

The rain continued off and on much of Friday, but today is looking better, though still some showers. I went with Sheila and another friend, Donna, to the shops at Kalk Bay and lunch toward Simon Town…it was a nice outing. Tonight I will be watching the big rugby match between South Africa and England…go Springboks!!! I look forward to seeing the girls tomorrow for our Hermanus whale-watching adventure…