Wednesday, August 31, 2011

And so they all returned safely. . .

This is a long overdue post and if anyone even reads this anymore, hi and thanks for bearing with us during that slightly longer than expected intermission we had over the months of July and August. I'm back from my gallivanting in South America and England and have been home about 2 uneventful weeks. It's been so odd being home and overwhelming trying to see all my friends in different parts of the country that I've gone a bit AWOL and haven't seen the light of day much. 
Even though I haven't been home for so long and I've been dying just to be home, relaxing, I thought it'd take me some time to get used to it again and realise I am home. But it hasn't. 
It's like I never left! I arrived home without any fanfares or trumpets. I got off the bus in my town and expected my family to be waiting. In typical Murph fashion, they were half an hour late! We went straight up to my old secondary school to collect my sister's Leaving Certificate results. I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate the little genius and wish her all the best as she starts her career as a Nurse! 

Some of this duvet-day behaviour was down to getting Erasmus papers in order [nearly ready to go!], my Co-Op report done [handed in already] and my FYP research started [still *ahem* working on this one] but really, I've been a bit lazy. Sorry to all my friends reading. I swear, for the next 3 weeks I am here, I will do my utmost to cater to you, particularly those of ye who are fecking off to France a bit earlier than I am to Austria. 
Though I did have a pretty good time out at the "Decades Festival" in Cork with Megan and Dee. We danced to "Mack the Knife". And certain people insulted a local Radio   DJ. Scarla'.

Some of my hermit-like behaviour is down to missing the intense lifestyle I had in England for 5 weeks. The same thing happened last year too. In a job where you work with a tight 25-strong staff, 300 kids, 16 hours a day, 6 days a week, it's a little claustrophobic so when you do have the opportunity to be free in the open air of cities, away from the madness, you begin to miss it. I love teaching, I really do, so I miss my classes. I had some great kids this year. I taught kids from all over the gaff; from Turkey, Germany, Italy, Spain, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russia to Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan [yes, this is a country. I did not know this either],China and Sweden. We'd some great classes like a whole class on the meaning of "Imagine" by John Lennon, Scavenger Hunts and a film review class on "Mean Girls" [forgot about all the swearing in that film. Probs a mistake, that one]. There was mighty craic during the activities like a water balloon fight, fancy dress [soy loca como un ... cheetah?], a British fete where the kids had the opportunity to throw wet sponges at me, an "Egg Drop", a bin bag Fashion Show, a World Cup Football Tournament, the many Talent Shows - one kid played a song on his teeth and I won a marshmallow-in-mouth competition [17, oh yes]. The discos were probably enjoyed by the staff more than the kids but the atmosphere was pretty fun and nothing made it more worthwhile than seeing the kids making friends with kids of other nationalities. The below picture illustrates how we needed to be aware of different cultural traditions and customs - this sign was for the benefit of a 30-strong group of mental Chinese kids, aged between 7 to 13. 

They were adorable. One night, we heard a noise in the hall and went out to investigate to see that all the tiny little Chinese kids had gone and washed their school uniforms in the showers! The local pub was made home and I spent an extortionate amount of money there but in comparison to Ireland, twas' cheap as chips. There was cake fights and bush running and cat pushing and drinking games galore - necessary behaviour to ensure the craic factor was upheld. Being Irish was a benefit as the kids understood me quite well but some of the other staff members did do the usual "Irish banter" rigmarole. Thus I was dubbed "Potato" - by staff and kids alike - and this became my theme tune, played at every possible opportunity. 

  Catchy, right? Ireland's oh so wonderful run of losses in the pre- Rugby World Cup matches really helped too! Mind you, sweet revenge was had by inflicting upon some of them classic Irish slang such as "class" and "grand".
  I got to see a lot of the country on free trips to London, Bristol, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Gloucester, Cheltenham and Cardiff. Oh and Stroud. That mecca for all things cultural. Other events included having spinny chair races, watching "Come Dine with Me" drunk, hiding in bushes, jumping over fences, making fun of our resident Justin Bieber look alike, having a Chinese take-away on a stage with lights and dub-step and making "Total Eclipse of the Heart" so much better by adding the word "f**king" at regular intervals. Craic illustrated through the below snaps.

 Now, this isn't as exciting as Ciara's rogue adventures around California but I have neither the word space or energy to detail the end of my Argentina adventures. Ara, sure there'll be enough time for that. Except this weekend, as I am about to do a "Ciara" on it and feck off to a festival. 
 The lucky field is Stradbally in Co. Laois where my brother and I will spend the next 4 days volunteering at Electric Picnic '11 and seeing the acts when we can. Pulp are headlining too so after Ciara's recommendation, they have been upgraded from "If we can" to a "We must". Looks like it'll be a muddy one so full coverage from that and the end of Argentina adventures stories upon my return. I will leave you with the above pictures of Inglaterra to brood upon and some songs of the acts I'm most excited to see at EP 2011. 
Auf Wiedersehen.


1 comment:

"We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far."
Swami Vivekananda


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