Ireland: A Primer

Here we are in Ireland and doing well. Jordan is enjoying his Latin program - but it's hard work (more than I think he realized). We spent the first 6 weeks away from home in Paris and touring France a bit - which was absolutely lovely. So when we arrived in Ireland, it was nice just to settle in and call somewhere home for a little bit.

We haven't yet seen a whole lot of Ireland since Jordan has class 6 days a week, but we're getting to know Cork very well (grin)! I was just thinking yesterday that I think I'll finally start posting again, but it'll be all Irish recipes for now. When we got here we bought a 'Taste of Ireland' cookbook and it's been fabulous to make all these great Irish dishes. We've certainly learned that 1. the Irish are proud of their own (almost everything in the store and market is marked 'made in Ireland' or 'make sure it's Irish - we do'.) They have spectacular selections of meat - pork, chicken, turkey, rabbit, beef, lamb - you name it, they've got it. It's all very fresh and very very good. Of course, the potato features prominently in everything but I was surprised to know that the Irish have an abundance of produce as well - it's a fairly mild climate, not necessarily warm but mild nonetheless.

The weather, for me, has been fantastic. The most interesting are the days when the sun shines brightly and fiercely for 45 mins or so, then it clouds over and rains for 20 mins then the sun comes back out in vengeance for another hour and then it rains again. It's nice to have such variation! But, we can almost always count on it raining at least once a day! We've heard how hot it's been there in LA and I'm just glad it's so much more temperate here. The wind was a surprise though. I hadn't realized that it would be so windy, but it often is.

Reagan and I spend our mornings playing (while I try to do a little work for the business online) and going to the park. Jordan and Rachelle (a girl from Jordan's program in Claremont who is also doing the Latin course and staying in our apartment with us) come home around 1 and we eat lunch. Then we walk around Cork and often go to the English Market - a huge food market downtown where you can find everything from gooseberries (did you know they're green?! I had always pictured them as dark purple/blue) to roast duck. It's fascinatingly beautiful. We have a lovely dinner and read and play more while Jordan and Rachelle study and then off to bed. It doesn't get dark here until 11:30pm (just like home in Canada) so Reagan usually doesn't get to sleep until well after 9pm - and then only because we drop the blinds and try to convince him it's late enough. "Iss not late yet" he says. chuckle.

It's a good life and it's nice to enjoy the slower pace of Ireland. The Irish apparently believe in sleeping in - nothing opens before 10am. Even Jordan's class that starts at 9:30 is considered the early early class. And all the stores close by around 6 - which means you get your shopping done and then go home to the family. I think it's a spectacular routine. At home we seem to be so crazy busy rushing here and there and out doing errands until late at night (because everything is open late) that I think we miss out on a lot of that family time that just naturally happens here.

The branch is great; they've been very welcoming and have put us to work right away. I'm playing the organ in Sacrament meeting and both Jordan and I have already taught in Relief Society/Priesthood -ha! They have about 60 members in church every week, but it seems to change week by week. There are actually quite a few Americans here - either stationed here for work or here for studies or passing through on vacation. It's a very good little branch and the members and sweet and sincere; it's good to be here.

We'll be exploring Ireland a little more in the coming weeks - there's a long weekend ahead and the last two weeks of Jordan's program are only 5 days a week so we'll have Saturday to explore. Stay tuned!

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