Oct 31, 2012


The past few days have blurred together.  I think today is Wednesday.  My computer calendar agrees.

I remember that on Sunday night, I couldn't sleep.  I stole catnaps here and there and kept the music on.  (Please keep sending music.)  And since Sunday night, I've done nothing but sleep.  Why?  Well...my bed is safe.  My bed is warm.  No one dies in this safe, warm bed.

On Sunday night, I caught a few of my cousins on Skype, and we chatted some.  (They live all over the world, so someone was always online.)  The conversations weren't exactly cheery, obviously, but it still felt good to connect with them.  I know they love me.  I'm jealous that they got to fly to Bangalore from all over while I lay in bed on my left side and typed with my right hand...as if that might be enough.

Oct 29, 2012


If you're expecting another post about green hills and sheep, let me do you a favor and gently direct you away for now.

For those of you who haven't heard yet and are concerned, there's been a death in my family.
A few cousins and me.  The story goes that they used to put on plays and I wanted so badly to be involved...so they gave me the pink ribbons and let me run around.  Ladies and gentlemen, my family.
She's not in this photo, because I will cry if I have to see her face...but this is her home.  She is one of the most important people in my life.  I will not use the past tense, primarily because I'm not convinced that the past tense is necessary.  If you want more detail than this, ask.  And look, friends - I know this blog is supposed to be about my experience of being abroad, but this intrusion is now part of that experience.  So if you will, allow me a bit of flexibility, because things aren't following the rules I set out in August.

These words have been brewing since yesterday afternoon, when I crawled into my bed and decided not to leave until I was good and ready.

Oct 25, 2012

There's something about a hot shower...

My Endocrinology professor requires white coats for her labs.  I feel like I'm cheating, wearing this when my white coat ceremony isn't until August...but it does give me a thrill to see myself in it.  I'm choosing to view this as practice (yes, at wearing the coat.  August is mere months away, after all.)
Although I'm posting this now, I wrote it at noon, huddled warm in a library chair and dreaming of coffee.  It's been a tiring day.  (And to my Union pals: I have yet to find anything at the NUIG library that compares with the couch tubs in ours.  I never thought I'd miss the library - that's a laugh and a half.  You all may also be interested to know that this one closes at 10 pm on most days, unlike our oh-so-healthy 2 am.  Preposterous!)

Oct 24, 2012

Cork, Part IV: Moher and Moher cliffs

It's a little Hallmark (which I'm normally not attracted to), but I couldn't resist.
Our last stop on this trip was the Cliffs of Moher.  They're one of the more popular tourist attractions near Galway (at this point, we were about 90 minutes away from Gort.)
The view, just moments after I alighted from the bus.
And yes, that is real.

Oct 23, 2012

Cork, Part III: in which I crouch, climb, and dangle

I probably wasn't supposed to do this, but it felt necessary at the time.
As you can see, the Blarney Castle gardens brought out my inner child.  And yes, that's Blarney as in the Blarney Stone.

Oct 22, 2012

Cork, Part II: Jack, I'm coming!

There's really no eloquent or profound way to put this - at least, not as far as I can figure out - so I'll just say it.

I love "Titanic".
They said, "God Himself could not sink this ship."  With those dimensions and a nickname like "Queen of the Ocean", I wouldn't have disagreed.
"Titanic", friends, is the gem of Hollywood, the love story that trumps all others, the story that never fails to bring me to tears.  Every.  Single.  Time.

Oct 21, 2012

Cork, Part I: a tour

I found this in downtown Cork City.  Right on!
Some Irish wisdom, straight from the backs of the sugar packets.
I'm back from Cork, friends!  This weekend trip was packed with things to do and see...but I understand the difference between "good" fatigue and "bad" fatigue, and this soreness along the soles of my feet is of the "good" variety.

Oct 14, 2012

Dropping anchor

Today's one of those days when all I need is this:

Over the past six weeks, as I've explored what it means to live abroad, I've been on the lookout for reasons to be thankful.  Gratitude (when I can manage it) has an "anchoring" effect on me; when I don't make a conscious effort to embrace it, I'm liable to spin off in a thousand chaotic directions.

Oct 10, 2012

Kerry, Part II: the quaintest little town...and some more churches

On Saturday, a few lone seagulls joined me as I watched the buoys bobbing at sunset.
Back when I was looking at colleges, my mum took me on most of the campus visits.  (Ironically, I ended up at one of the three schools that I visited with my dad...and the first time my mother saw Union was the day I moved in.)  We had a joke, Mum and I, that grew out of the similarities between all of the Connecticut colleges.  (When I say "all"...I should explain that I applied to eighteen schools, and visited more like twenty-five.  I've since become a lot less insecure.)  One afternoon as we drove through central Connecticut, it occurred to us that our experiences were all beginning to blur together.  Each college town seemed to have cobblestone streets and vintage streetlights.  Each campus seemed to have identical sets of verdant lawns and an easygoing, peaceful vibe.  One, in fact, called its academic requirements "General Education Expectations", as if it would be just fine if a student didn't finish all of his coursework before graduating.

And then I ended up in a program choc-a-bloc with requirements and limitations and rules.  Figures.

Oct 8, 2012

Kerry, Part I: lime trees and turrets

That's right - they added a door at Bunratty Castle just for me.
I'm back in Galway again, friends, after another weekend trip.  Pardon my absence, if you would; there were many moments this past week when I wanted to write, but sensed that what I needed was to be still.  Indeed, I've been wondering lately whether, in fact, I should be spending these months (i.e. this time away from friends and family) learning how to be still...how to be silent...how to rest.  I am easily overwhelmed by the loudness in silence, but press on nonetheless.

Oct 1, 2012

Me, a waitress?

It's true - I waited tables today.  It looks like no two days at CROI are going to be the same...

When I got there this afternoon, the building was positively bustling.  In the sea of staff rushing to and fro, the first thing I noticed as I shed my raincoat was the wall to my right, where two tables sagged with the weight of many, many plates.  And each plate had a slice of cheesecake on it.  Hang on there; isn't this supposed to be a cardiovascular health charity?  (I would later find out that the "cheesecakes" were posers - the caterers had had some Bailey's whipped cream on hand and decided that a little creativity was in order.)

Dublin, Part III: locks and tombs

Here’s my last post about Dublin, friends.  It’s a little overdue, but better late than never.  A few quick updates before I begin:
  • I’ve decided not to switch apartments after all.  (Again, if you haven't heard the details yet and would like them, let me know.  It's probably for the best.)
  • I’m not sick anymore.  My voice is still irritatingly rough-sounding, but on the whole, things are much, much better compared to how I felt last week.
Back to business, then.  Saturday was spent touring/exploring Dublin: