Friday, November 23, 2012

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I must admit it felt strange to be here, knowing that everyone was celebrating back home, but I created my own little festivities here. I brought two cans of pumpkin with me, and used it to make pumpkin bread on Wednesday and a pie on Thursday. The teachers loved the pumpkin bread, and it was my host family's first time eating pumpkin pie, which they really liked. I have been thinking about pumpkin a lot lately, and I found myself scraping every last bit of my bread batter out of the bowl to eat - such a delicious and familiar taste! The food here is not that unlike home, but the flavors seem just slightly different. My list of foods I look forward to eating when I get home is growing...

Once again it is so interesting to see the United States from an outside perspective. At our school assembly on Wednesday, one of the speakers mentioned that it would be Thanksgiving in the United States on Thursday, and the principal said, "And we have an American teacher here," prompting the whole school to turn and look at me. Quite a few people have asked me if Thanksgiving is "bigger than Christmas" at home, and some have asked what Americans do on Thanksgiving. When I was talking to the junior infants about typical Thanksgiving foods (turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce), one little girl said, "and beans on toast?" Not exactly...

Some other highlights since I last wrote:
~ Seeing the Christmas lights in Dublin. Since they don't celebrate Thanksgiving here, the Christmas season starts right after Halloween! There are holiday decorations all over the stores.

~ Visiting Kilkenny last Saturday - I spent a lovely day touring the castle and wandering the city with a couple of my new student teacher friends. We especially loved these little duck houses on the River Nore.

~ Attending a service at the beautiful St. Patrick's Cathedral last Sunday.

~ A fun and successful art lesson with the 4th class (even though this iguana doesn't look too happy). The kids did oil pastel and watercolor resist paintings of colorful creatures.

I can't believe we are coming to the end of November already! I only have three more weeks of school, and then I will be joined by my dearest friend for a final week of Irish exploration before I come home. I am going to make the most of the rest of my time here by visiting more of the country and enjoying the rest of my time with the kiddos at school! I'll keep you all posted here.

Slán leat!

P.S. A correction from my previous "Thoughts & Noticings" post: In the phrase I mentioned, "What's the crack?" it is actually spelled "craic." Just in case you're ever spelling that out for anyone. :)

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