Bon Qui Qui Goes Abroad

where I go, who I meet, and what I think in Europe

Sunday, August 16, 2009


I want to say thank you to a handful of people that have made this summer so wonderful.

My parents-you supported me financially for a large portion of this trip and for that I am so thankful. I really couldn't have paid for this trip all on my own. Also, thank you for raising me to be a person who is open minded and ready to try new things. You've taught me to be a respectful person and how to say thank you. This definitely helped me as a traveled around to different areas of the world. Also, thank you for your love, I felt in Europe.

Aunt Tamara and Uncle Yohannes- Thank you for your financial support. You allowed me to see things I may have skipped out on if i was on a money crunch. Thank you for your blog comments. It made my writing seem worthwhile, and I appreciate that a lot. You gave me a lot of encouragement. Thank you!

Aunt Maryann and Uncle Robert- Thank you for your financial support. I hope I spent it in a way you would approve. I bought great things that will help me remember this trip forever. I think you would be very proud of all the animals I took care of. They truly became some of my best friends this summer. I will mis them a lot. Thanks for allowing me to meet them.

The Anders Family-Thank you for numerable things! You housed and fed me for over two weeks. You treated me to meals and museums that you shouldn't have. You were overly generous and I thank you so much. I enjoyed all my time in Germany. I saw so much, and I loved hearing the language. You've inspired me to study a language and soon!

Justin-thank YOU for sharing your last days in your Paris apartment with me. I am so glad we reconnected this summer. It was wonderful to see you again, and I laughed so much with you. You are wonderful, and I will always remember my time with you. I hope to see you soon.

My Roommates-I enjoyed your package so much on the farm. It was an absolute treat; I never expected such a gift! I can't wait to see you.

Tom-thank you for giving me someone to write postcards to as I traveled the world. Also, thank you for entertaining me during the wee hours of the night on skype. I enjoyed our conversations more than I can express.

Jill-thank you for being such a wonderful travel partner. I had the greatest time with you. It was relaxing, wild, and just filled with memories. My weeks with you were different to every other aspect of my trip. I wouldn't trade them for anything. thanks for come halfway around the world to see me!

Thank you all the others that I may have forgotten. this was a perfect summer; I will never forget your generosities!


Here it is...My last blog of the summer. I can't believe I am home safely. It feels weird, but I have adapted quickly. I drove today which felt really good. There was one moment that I turned into the left lane of a road, and my mom was like RIGHT LANE!!! haha I never thought I would make that mistake.

The last few days in Ireland were grand. We had good weather. On Friday we went to Dublinia a museum about Viking life in Ireland. It also had a section on archeology which was very interesting. We went for our last pint at the oldest pub in Ireland. I thought that seemed appropriate. I finished first with a Smithwicks followed by a Guinness. Delicious!

I was so nervous to fly home. I just wanted to get home safely. I cried a bit when we touched down in NYC. I couldn't believe I was back in America. The trip was over. Bittersweet to say the least. We spent some time in JFK and then got our second flight to pittsburgh. We took a bus downtown and waited for Michael to pick us up at PPG square. It was great to see Michael. He made us a "Welcome Home" sign at the house which was so sweet. Thanks michael!

I really can say this has been a perfect summer. I never met any major obstacles or had an emergencies. I am so thankful.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bubblin in Dublin

One day down in Dublin. It was a nice day and relaxing because we got rid of our rental car which caused a significant amount of stress. My dad was truly a hero for driving so well on the left side of the rode and with a manuel which he hasn't driven in a long time. We got to Dublin without any accidents. However, there was a small dent in our door that we think happened in a parking lot. Of course, the rental company found it as an opportunity to charge us one hundred euros which was th maximum they were allowed with the insurance we got. Cha Ching! o well.

With that burden behind us, we skipped to the Guinness factory after a nice chinese lunch. My dad was in his glory. He was really enjoying learning about the beer and tasting. We loved our "free" pint at the top of the storehouse in the Gravity Bar. Did you know over 7 million pints of Guinness are enjoyed all around the world everyday!? I was surprised. This summer I have definitely learned my love for Guinness.

We relaxed for the remainder of the day in our very nice apartment. We stopped a got a few groceries. We bought the Quiet Man, an american classic, which we weren't all that impressed with but nevertheless glad we saw it.

Thursday, the big even today was seeing Riverdance! It's a show involving hard shoe and soft shoe irish dance, music, and singing. Only my mom and I saw it. The show was absolutely fierce! I felt so lucky to see it. We finished the evening with a pint at the temple bar area. Now the family is sitting at home watching television. We have only one more day in Ireland!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Karas time in Ireland

We have been a very busy family in Ireland. As I already mentioned my family came in a day late to the farm, but we've enjoyed each other's company since. Saturday morning, I showed them around the farm and said my farewells to the animals. It was especially sad to say goodbye to my goats. Then we got in the car around 11:30 and headed to Cork. We parked and walked to the market where I spent many of my afternoons selling food. Unfortunately, Leades House did not have much to sell for this market so they had already left by the time we got there. O well. We still enjoyed the market and i got to buy my Kinder Surprise.

Then we went to Blarney Castle. This was one tourist attraction I saved to enjoy with my family. We all kissed the Blarney stone, of course. It was pretty difficult to do and the man that instructed you was very rude, but with the gift of eloquence, I couldn't really cuss him out. hehe. We walked around the grounds, and I bought a Blarney Castle t-shirt.

Sunday, I had to say goodbye to Leades House. I didn't expect it to be so emotional. I cried saying goodbye to Anne, Sally, and Colin. It hit me how much I have experience at the farm and how much I will miss it. It's truly been amazing. I am so greatful for the experience. the rest of the day was a long day of driving, and my dad did such a great job. It's very nerve wrecking not only driving on the left side of th rode but driving on skinny Irish country rodes that often are shared with tractors and sheep. I played tour guide and took us to Mizen Head peninsula. It's a very scenic drive that ends at the coast. My dad had a hard time enjoying some of the scenery due to the stressful driving, but the rest of us loved it. We also made a stop in Killarney where my dad bought and authentic Aran was on his list of souvenirs to get himself. We ended up in Galway by 9:30 and enjoyed a Guinness at a pub. It was well deserved.

Monday, we woke up and had a great breakfast next door to our hotel. I ate lots of fresh fruit and a scone. Yum! We spent the day walking around Galway and taking in the local color. I took the family on a similiar walking tour that Jill and I took earlier this summer. Galway is definitely more crowded now. We had a big Irish dinner and ended up at a pub. This is a pretty typical way to end the day. This pub was great because they had Irish step dancers. It was the first time I got to see some traditional dance. It's simply amazing. The movement vocabulary is completely different to what I am used to. I would love to learn some one day.

Friday, August 7, 2009

My Family

For all those who were worried, my family and i had a wonderful reunion today in Ireland. They made it just in time for a big Irish feast courtesy of Leades House. It was so great to see them. They saw only a fraction of the farm, and I can't wait to show them the rest tomorrow. We spent the evening catching up, finding their bed and breakfast, and ofcourse drinking a pint in a pub in Macroom. A great reunion indeed.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

French Scouts

Wednesday Night was a lot of fun. There are currently French scouts camping in a field on Colin's property. They invited us to their evening campfire, so last night we went. Everything was in French, but the scout next to me did a pretty decent job translating for me. They sang songs and performed skits. I felt like I was back in Calvary Camp for a night. The campfire ended with a very extended prayer. We all kneeled in the circle. It was a little awkard because none of the farmers are very religious and these scouts were the extreme opposite. After the fire which never got very big, the leaders invited us back to their VIP area for beer and tea. Not too shabby. Their setup was very nice and all handmade from wood.

Bad news, my family didnt come today. Their flight got changed to a later time, and it didn't make sense for them to drive from Dublin to Cork at night and on the opposite side of the road on streets with no lamps. Fortunately, they got their flight changed again for free. They will be coming tomorrow now around 5 pm. We are all looking forward to seeing and meeting them.

Monday, August 3, 2009

What's up chicken butt?

So today I did something I never thought I would do. I killed a chicken. Now I can't say I took great joy in this act, but I had to do it. When on an Irish Farm do what the farmers do...

I was too afraid to kill it on my own because I didn't want to do it wrong and then leave the chicken in pain. It's supposed to be quick and painless. Basically, you hold the chicken by its feet and let it hang upside down. You hold its head at the nape of the neck. Then pull down and out. It should happen fast. Then the chicken flaps a lot!!!! and then its done. I have pictures of the end but I can't put them up because I can't find my camera cord. ugh