Hello my avid readers! (because I know SO many people read this haha) Hope you're all doing well. It has been a fast week that's for sure. I feel like I just updated this!
The rest of last week was really nice. We had our LAST agriculture lab! Praise the Lord (literally) Passing that final is going to be interesting...The rest of the week was filled with class. Thursdays I go from 9am to 5pm straight which always makes for a very long day. I went out with my roommates Kevin, Liam and Allison to grab drinks on Thursday night and it was a really fun night. We got to talking about the major differences between America and Ireland and it really made me laugh. For instance, the differences in government, as in, they pretty much have none currently. Elections are in just a few weeks. I actually just wrote a paper for my journalism class about the political parties and the candidates who are running. It was really neat to research how their system works and compare and contrast the two. It was a lot of work, but I learned a lot in the end.
Friday morning I went to class and then hopped on a bus to go visit my friends Rachel, Sarah and Shana in Derry-Northern Ireland. It was a very long bus ride. My class got out late so I missed my first bus by about 5 minutes, which just pushed everything back. I took the bus from Limerick to Galway and then from Galway to Derry and got there at about 9 p.m. I slept for a lot of the bus ride which was really nice. I also met two hilariously drunk older Irish men who were on their way to the "Rubberbandits" concert. Now for those of you unfamiliar with this extremely awkward and strange group of men, refer to this link to see what all the hype is about over here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljPFZrRD3J8 They are also playing at RAG WEEK (more to come on that later) here at UL next week. Should be interesting! Back to the bus ride to Derry...my friend Rachel met me at the bus station and we walked back to her campus which was about 15 minutes away. She is at the University of Ulster. We dropped my stuff off and then met up with our other Etown friends Sarah and Shana at a club down the street. It was great to see them and the city of Derry is a great spot.
Saturday morning Rachel and I went to Belfast! What a neat place it was. We walked around pretty much all day just exploring the town and going in and out of random places haha. We went to the Ulster Museum (which had free entry, so that was a win) and it was HUGE. 4 floors that all held so much history about the culture and "troubles" between Northern Ireland and the Republic. I'm really glad I got to learn more about it because I've always been interested in the conflict of religion that exists here. Here are some pictures from the trip!
Saturday night we went to this great bar called "Bound for Boston." It had an amazing view of the whole city of Derry. I met a few of the Etown girls's friends who were super nice. Funny story. I met a guy named Damian who is from Derry. Keeleigh is in love with a guy named Damian from the band Celtic Thunder who is also from Derry! I thought this was hilarious so I had to take a picture with him, just for her. Here are a few also of my friends and I "on the town" as well.
Sunday morning I woke up and set off to find a church service to go too. Now since Norther Ireland is mainly Protestant, I was really looking forward to going to the Presbyterian Church which was only about a 10 minute walk from my friend's college. I set off on my journey but when I arrived it was closed! I guess the church had been shut down a few months ago because it was gated and abandoned. Thanks, Google. Maybe I should switch to Bing like Morgan haha. Anyways, I found an absolutely beautiful Catholic Cathedral only a short ways away so I ventured there instead.
Afterwards, Sarah and Rachel took me on a tour of the Walled City in Derry. It was awesome. We stopped at a great little cafe for breakfast and then did some shopping too. I don't know what my obsession with shoes is, but I LOVE them. I found the cutest pair of gray heels that were only 3 pounds! But, me being the saver that I am (although it doesn't feel like I am here because everything is outrageously expensive) I thought about how much I didn't need them...my shoe collection is a little too extensive as it is. Plus, I don't need more weight to add to my suitcase when I come home. But, I did get a really cute skirt and top for only 2 pounds! Crazyness. This was a 3 level store and is kind of like a Target type place, but better. I think I'll wear my new outfit on Easter when my lovely family comes to see me! Can't wait :-)
The rest of the day was spent walking the walls and it was beautiful. Here are some photos from the excursion.
Sunday night we ordered in Chinese and watched "No String Attached." It was a fun girls night after a long weekend of exploring and venturing out. I woke up early Monday morning (6am!) to catch the bus back and make it to my afternoon class, Geoscience. I slept for a large majority of the bus ride back which was really nice. I made it back with 10 minutes to spare thanks to the massive amounts of traffic and construction in Limerick City. What should have been a 7 minute bus ride from the city back to UL was almost 30! But alas, I made it back. After class I came back and did some laundry. I was much better at it this time! I got to Skype with my mom which was wonderful of course.
Tuesday I had my Folklore tutorial and then lecture. Story time, but not a happy one let me tell you. My friend Vanessa and I have our tutorial from 11am to noon and then from 1pm to 3pm we have our lecture. We decided to go grab lunch in the Business School which has a great little cafe. I wans't too hungry so I just got some tomato and red pepper soup--which was delicious--but being the clumsy person I am, I spilled the soup from the ladle onto my left hand while I was pouring it. Now usually, this wouldn't be too big of a deal. I've spilled hot water from tea on myself many a time. But this soup was literally BOILING hot and let me tell you, it hurt. I've never, ever (this includes the recovery from getting all 4 of my wisdom teeth out) been in this much pain in my life. I went to the health services to get some burn cream, but the nice lady at reception (who did feel pretty bad for me) told me that I had to make an appointment to see a doctor and there weren't any available until Thursday. Considering I didn't have much time before my class started (and you know me, I don't skip class unless I am dead or dying) I bought a water bottle from the same cafe and held it to my hand for the duration of the class. I somehow made it through the class and ran to SPARE (kind of like a WARA type thing) to get some cream. It helped a little bit and a few hours later my hand felt a little better. I am lucky to have such great friends here because they definitely helped me out a lot. It's feeling much better now. I really can't believe how painful it was, I'm kind of still in shock!
After a nice shower and some laying down, I ventured out with some friends to a "Black Out" party a ways off campus. My friend Morgan basically has all of the "in's" since she plays frisbee--she's actually very good from what I hear, maybe one of these says I'll go watch! It was a really fun time. Everyone wore black and there were Christmas lights (hello, win!) and I got to DJ for the last hour and a half too. Everyone loved my music and kept coming up to me and giving me hugs. I even got two text messages today asking me to come do it again haha.
All I had today was my macroeconomics tutorial, so I slept in a little bit this morning and then finalized some travels plans. I also checked out the UL Choral Society here. It was fun, but nothing compared to singing at Hill with my friends. My life basically revolved around chorus and singing in high school, and I think that since I had SUCH an amazing experience that anything will be extremely mediocre in comparison. Which is why I never joined at Etown either, but I think I'll change that next year. The practice was a nice time, just very different that what I'm used too. Mom told me to give it another go, so that I shall do. Music is amazing so I'll take whatever I can get.
Well, I am heading off to Cheltenham, England with Rachel this weekend to go visit our friend Vanessa! It should be amazing. We are going to go to the Cathedral where Harry Potter was filmed. Jealous? Yeah, thought so.
Until next time lads. Cheers!