Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Goodbye Kansas

It's been just four days since the elegant wedding of Mr. and Mrs. John Falk and here I am already beginning to learn the ways of the Irishmen. It took a while to get here, but the time was appreciated as it served to buffer the initial shock of arriving in an entirely new country. After saying goodbye to family at the Christmas party- Mom, Dad, Gage, and I headed to the airport. After a sad, yet exciting goodbye and one round of the phone game (the delay on the phone between the person behind the security glass and the one in the airport makes for a hilarious waste of time before take off...), I was off! Though I thought rest would come I couldn't help but sit wide awake, contemplating the journey ahead. From plane to plane I went, the longest ride being a 7 hour red-eye flight from Chicago to London. In between occasional shut eye, I conversed with the man next to me from Bulgaria about life and more so about Die Hard 2 which played on repeat throughout the flight (Die Hard 2 and Lion King...). The movie's pretty intense if you haven't seen it. Me and my new friend Vasil were PRETTY into it...

 ANYHOW- It wasn't long before they were making the call for breakfast around 10am London time (4am Kansas City time) and we looked down upon this...

London, England from an aerial view! This was the first stop in Europe where I feasted on some peanut butter pretzels (Thanks Dad!) and took a nap on some airport benches- exhausted from the day of travel. At this point I felt as though I was just watching myself go about traveling. Being so tired wasn't really allowing me to process the fact that I was about to move to Ireland for 5 and 1/2 months. I was basically going through the motions and not realizing the climax of it all. But it was when I saw this below me that I began to let my mind wander to the reality of the situation...

When the plane hit the ground I could see the terminal in the distance. If you squint you can see the yellow letters that spell Cork on top. I had finally arrived! We walked off the plane straight to the outdoors and into the terminal from there. A cold wind hit my face immediately, but the beauty around me numbed the burn. As I rode the taxi into the City Centre I was in awe of the view. Everything is SO GREEN here!! The taxi driver educated me a little on the history of Cork, the most interesting fact being that the River Lee is the main river that feeds into Ireland. The mouth of the river is at the cove of Cork and as it runs further in, splits into two channels (north and south). The two channels surround the City Centre and then meet again after a ways out. This lay out makes the City Centre of Cork and island within an island! Crazy huh?! I certainly thought so...but that brings me to where I'm living. I'm in Leeside Apartments next to the North Channel of the River Lee in the City Centre. I live with 4 other girls that are truly very kind and sweet-hearted. 2 of them are from Minnesota and the other 2 from Maryland. They have come with groups from their school that all travel together. That has made it a little hard for me to initially jump in because they already have a group formed, however, the more time that passes, the more I realize- to be apart from a group holds a lot more opportunities (in most cases). 

This is my bedroom which is the largest in the apartment! Lucky me! The window looks down onto Grattan Street, one of the many side streets that runs into St. Patrick's street- THEE main street in the City Centre. The second picture is our living room that actually has yet to really be used...I assume once we make more friends we'll begin to have socials in there : )

Lastly are some pictures of me on campus. One outside the university gates, another in the main quadrangle, and the last in my English classroom with my roommate Katie. I can't explain the skull and cross bones, but some funny history about the quad is that no one ever walks on the grass or on the sidewalks that intersect through it. In the west wing of the building is the registry office and the office of examination, and across the lawn in the other wing is the president's office. It was superstition that if you were walking across the lawn you had failed your exam and therefore had to walk to the presidents office to explain your failure and get permission to repeat the class or academic semester. Therefore, in hopes of avoiding bad luck- all students stay off the lawn! 

I am slowly learning the ways of the Irish and getting to know the city of Cork. This next week will be the first full week of classes. I am in the mean time trying to get involved with clubs and societies on campus as well as finding some volunteer opportunities that the Chaplaincy on campus offers. I am looking to find some Irish friends that can show me more of this beautiful country! 

Until next time, cheers!


  1. Yay Laura! I'm so excited to read your adventures these next few months! It looks pretty swell so far!


  2. Glad you made it to Ireland safe, and excited to see you'll be keeping a blog. Blogs are good fun, and kind of like pets. You have to feed them regularly but they provide lots of entertainment for you and your loved ones.

    Also occurred to me that you will be very close to Cobh, the Titanic's last port of entry, on the 100-year-anniversary of its demise. (Not to be too much of a downer, just thought that was interesting.)

    Love from KC,


  3. thatta girl with the blog!!! keep up with it so we can all learn "the ways of the Irishmen"! love you and praying!

  4. You can count on Lou for those pb pretzels every time!

  5. Hooray! Please keep updating this. I can't wait to hear about all your adventures. Miss you so much but love you more!

  6. Kate- Thanks! It is pretty swell! The beginning of new friendships is always a bit hard though, especially in an unfamiliar place.

    Luke- I'm aware! They're having a museum when the day comes around. Cobh was a pick up point for the last 120 or so passengers before the journey hit it's demise. I'm hoping to get down to the port somehow and check that out in April.

    Kara- thanks for the prayers. : ) You're my warrior.

    Jenn- you're so right!! PB pretzels all around!

    Emily- I'll update as I can. I know they will be fewer as I begin to develop more of a social life...haha- love you too and miss you as well!