Thursday, June 24, 2010

Closing in...

Hi Everyone!

Michelle and I made it back safe and sound. Really, only one thing needs to be said: Ireland was wonderful. :) I really do think it was my favorite, out of the trips that I have gone on, simply because it was so simple, and so so beautiful. The weather was also spectacular the entire time we were there! I loved the city of Dublin - it reminded me of Prague, having lots of character of its own, just not quite as old a feel. There were so many fun buildings though, and lots of places to sit and eat or drink or chat.

Our favorite pub was one we found the first night that had two older men playing a guitar and banjo and singing old Irish diddies! :) But not only was the city great, the country side was absolutely beautiful. We took a 30 min. train ride south to Greystones in Wicklow County and then hiked up to a town called Bray. It was so relaxing and absolutely breathtaking. We had a bit of a stressful time finding the bed and breakfast we had booked in the town - it was a bit farther to walk to than we expected. However, it allowed us to meet lots of very nice Irish citizens who were more than happy to help us: "Oh, that's a lovely place! Back when I was a kid there were so many new houses built there..." and "You're very welcome, have a nice day!" *with the most amazing Irish accent you can imagine. :)

Anyway, it was just a lovely time and you can see more pictures from it here:

And I did add a few more pictures from the week before. We had a fun night helping with a promotion for a new hostel/restaurant called Mosaic House that some friends of ours just opened up. We all walked down into Old Town Square, did something called a "freeze frame" where you (and your group) freeze for 2 or 3 minutes scattered amongst a crowd (of tourists at the clock tower) and then they all start wondering what's going on, you un-freeze and then we slapped them all with slap bracelets that had discounts for the restaurant and invited them to come watch the opening of the World Cup with us. Maybe it doesn't sound as exciting here, but really, it was so fun! :) You can see those new ones here:

And then we also wrapped up our classes at school last week as well. We had the parents come in for a little presentation where we sang some songs and did a play with my second graders. It was fun and the parents of my first graders brought us some beautiful bouquets. Everyone expressed how happy they were with the program and how thankful they were to Michelle and I for teaching their children this year. It was nice. :) I was sad to say goodbye to the kids, but I am ready to move on to something new next year.

And then last night we went out to dinner with our community group - 9 women - who we've been meeting with from church for the past six months. It was such a nice time and such a reminder of how much God has blessed me with relationships during my short time here. Each of the ladies took turns saying what they saw in me, appreciated about me, or what they were blessed by (and also for Betsy and Jess, two others who are leaving next week) and it was just such a sweet time of blessing each other as we go our separate ways. It really has been such a short time of our paths being crossed, but they will always be friendships that are dear to me.

Like I said in the last post, I still have one last full day of work tomorrow - 4th gr. tutoring, preschool, D&L tutoring, and then a school dinner/party. But after that not a whole lot on the schedule. I'm looking forward to doing a few more things with Michelle before she leaves, having a few more coffee dates, and taking time to reflect and process things a bit more. All sorts of fun... :)

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