I’m hereeeeeeeeeeee: way far away across the ocean!!
Aside from heavy traffic on the way to JFK, there were no big hitches in my entire take off/landing (thankfully)! It was so hard saying goodbye to Mom, Dad and Shan, but I’m not sure the distance and time apart have hit me yet… I’ve only woken up from a nap a little while ago; I realized I’d been up for over 24hrs straight, besides small naps on the 5&1/2 plane ride. Aer Lingus was awesome to travel on, everything was taken care of and they were more generous with headsets, pillows, food, etc. than most of the other airlines I’ve traveled. Once I’m able to upload pictures, I took a really neat one of the plane map flying directly over Oxford, CT which is perfectly labeled! I looked for my house but no luck seeing it from 30,000ft. I sat next to an adorable Irish woman from the Dublin area on the plane and enjoyed chatting with her (when I could understand her accent). Mentally feeling exhausted; I’m not sure why, but I always get paranoid walking through security and all that airport stuff (for no reason). Maybe the guy doing the x-ray machine is judging the fact that I have Gushers stowed in my purse or an embarrassingly big book of 500 Sudoku. Between checking my bag at JFK and arriving at Shannon airport, somebody in the transfer process decided it’d be fine to completely smash one wheel of one of my suitcases, which was a lovely surprise as I picked it off the carousel. Luckily, the nice RA carried the 45lb bag to my room when I arrived at Kilmurry village (my apartment-style dorm). The Irish side of customs was not exactly the friendly welcoming I’d heard it would be, but they let me through all the same. A coach bus ride brought all the Limerick students from two flights past little city centers, farms, and random castles on the way to the campus. We have a formal bus tour Friday, I think.
After attempting to unpack for 15minutes, I realized with a shock I hadn’t eaten in 10hours. Another study abroad student from CT, Jeremy, and I went looking for food like two lost, hungry American wolves. We don’t have anything formal for orientation today or tomorrow, so we’re on our own for food and everything. Unfortunately, with no tour guides to lean on today, we had to fend for ourselves with a poor excuse of a map and our even more poor sense of directions. A 45minute lunch break turned into almost three hours of accidental, aimless wandering the campus. The buildings here are all a semi-modern style with lots of wood, a little bit of a change from the Springfield College brick. After 5minutes, all the buildings looked the same to us, and we had a heck of a time finding a place to eat, and navigating back. While I pride myself on common sense and critical thinking, map work and directions are not my specialty. Even with a GPS at home, I sometimes get lost. Probably 4miles later, I was exhausted. I slept for an hour and a half and was woken up by Irish roommates moving in downstairs and across the hall. They seem nice so far, just kept to themselves mostly. Although my individual room is almost reminiscent of my Springfield freshman year single, it has a sink, mirror, and big wardrobe. The common area is fairly nice, and I’ll share a bathroom on this second floor with two others, with another bathroom downstairs for the other three.
Seeing as I have a fully equipped kitchen, but no food, I guess that will be my next mission! Keep in touch, miss you all!