This Is Goodbye But Not Forever

Everyone told me my semester in Ireland would fly by. I didn’t argue with them but I also didn’t understand really how fast it would go. All of my friends at UCD have asked if I am ready to go home. The answer is yes because I miss my family and friends and its almost Christmas! On the other hand, I am sad to leave all of my friends at UCD. I will miss the entire volleyball team and the way we laugh together. I will miss the whole group of Irish students who have studied at Purdue previously. Mostly, I will miss living in Belgrove with Jena, Fiona, and Jacie. It couldn’t have been any more perfect this semester living with these three beautiful and big hearted women I now call my lifetime friends.

Since I last wrote, I finished the week in Amsterdam and enjoyed every minute of it! I had my third final on the first Friday of the two week finals period and had an entire week to wait for my last final on the second Friday. After the first week of finals wrapped up, Jena took me to meet her family in Northern Ireland. I was completely in my element as I helped Jena’s aunt check the sheep and feed the new born lambs. She was also kind enough to show me their cattle and take me to a family member’s pig farm!

Coming toward the end of the trip, I was disappointed that I didn’t get the opportunity to see any pig farms in Ireland. I was so excited to meet this farmer and ask him about the way production works in Ireland. The truth is I think I asked him one question to every two he asked me, which is perfectly okay. I shared pictures of my summer in Pipestone with him and just talked about the different ways we raise our animals. I had to laugh when he didn’t understand what I meant by corn in the pig’s diet. I learned that maize is what they call corn fed to animals and corn is what they call sweetcorn human’s eat. We probably talked for 45 minutes out in the cold and spitting rain. He must have said ten times what a pity it was that I had to go home so soon because he wanted to take me to the breeding farm where he gets his weaned pigs. Wouldn’t that have been amazing?! He asked for my contact information for the day he comes back to the USA and I will be glad to show him around some day!

We then traveled about an hour to Belfast, Ireland to stay the night and get on the ferry to Scotland the next morning. The two hour boat ride was amazing! I had never been on that big of a boat before! The coolest part was docking in Scotland and seeing the herds and herds of sheep on the side of the mountains. Beautiful!! We then took a bus to Edinburgh and along the way saw seals on the shoreline and highland cattle in the pastures. I didn’t mind the long travel time on the way to this destination. I would have been disappointed if I missed it!

Jena and I had the joy of meeting Blair, a friend we met in Amsterdam a few weeks before. We went to the Christmas markets, the castle, and even walked to Arthur’s Seat where we saw a beautiful view over the entire city of Edinburgh, Scotland. The two day stay was cut a little short though. We found a library to go to and print our boarding passes. I was confused when the ticket said one hour until boarding. I thought we had 4 hours left!! Apparently I failed at reading military time after living here for four months. Jena and I caught a cab and gave Blair an abrupt hug on the side of the road. Jena was convinced we weren’t going to make it and I wasn’t so positive either. The cab driver earned his tip with us and we were so thankful for his help! We made it, almost magically, but we made it! Dublin bound!

Less than one week left in Dublin, Ireland and I couldn’t believe it. I had time to study for my last final and helped Jena move her stuff out on Wednesday. I then tried to ship a box of clothes home because the gifts in my suitcase were taking up a lot of room! The two days I spent were so stressful! Getting the box, finding tape, packing it to the weight limit, and trying to get cash to send the darn thing was way more drawn out than it needed to be! Thank goodness I got it shipped, I finished my last final, and I got moved out of Belgrove Residences safe and sound. Huge shout out to Emily for letting me stay in her apartment the night before my flight because the residences couldn’t let me stay any longer.Thanks a million!!

 This is Goodbye but not forever. I will be back some day Ireland! Thank you to all who have followed me along this journey and for all the good wishes and prayers. Thanks to the many people I have met and laughed with the last four months, you will be missed! But hey, that’s what Facebook is for right!? Merry Christmas everyone and have a Happy New Year!


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