Wednesday, 2nd October 2019
It is a sunny day – thankfully – and the English lessons are nearly over. Brian, Lucy and Jackie had prepared a typical Irish table quiz for the students and the winner of the quiz will be announced in a few moments. General knowledge question had been asked but also Ireland-specific questions
Tuesday, 1st October 2019
The second day of English lessons is over and the students are heading to the famous Blarney Castle. Blarney castle is known for its special stone on top of the fort. Visitors climb up the narrow staircase and lean back in 60 metres height in order to kiss the famous Blarney stone backwards (of course there are safety measurements taken 🙂 ). Anyone who dares to kiss it will gain the „Gift of the Gab“ – the ability to speak easily and confidently in a way that makes people want to listen to you. Some of our students might not need it as their Englishlevel is already very good (according to our English teachers). It is fun to kiss the stone anyway! Later on the students will have some free time to enjoy the castle grounds – walking through the poison garden and the ferns, passing the Rock Close with its „Wishing Steps“. Finally they can get more souvenirs at „Blarney Woollen Mills“ – apparently „the word’s largest Irish gift shop“
Monday, 30th September 2019
It was raining „cats and dogs“ all morning when the students had their first English lessons with Jackie, Lucy and Brian. In the first hour they were met by Lisa from the H2 team who introduced them to the H2 School and the teachers. A short placement test was conducted to split the group into three smaller groups and soon after the English lessons were underway. Jackie had prepared an interesting game called „Would you rather “ that sparked some very interesting debates around topics such as „Would you rather have more time or more money“ our teachers want to get the students talking and practising their English skills as much as possible. In the afternoon the group headed to Cork City for some free time to stroll around, to explore Ireland’s second biggest city and to shop some souvenirs. Later on they went on a guided bus tour with our tour guide Noel who showed them the various places such as St. Finbarr’s Cathedral and Cork University. Thankfully the rain had stopped a little bit during the afternoon
Sunday, 29th September 2019
On Sunday morning the students were allowed to sleep in. Thankfully the weather forecast was cloudy with spells of sunshine – no rain (or at least not much of it)! Some host families prepared a tasty Irish breakfast with baked beans, toast, sausages, black pudding, tomatoes and fried egg. Very nice! Around lunch time the students and teachers were picked up by our H2 bus who brought them to Kinsale. At Charles Fort they met our tour guide Barry who introduced them to the exciting history of this little fishing village right beside the harbour and the Atlantic Ocean. After the „historic stroll“ the students had some free time to wander along the colourful houses, cafes and galleries in the narrow streets of Kinsale. Later on they headed out to the beautiful cliffs at the „Old Head of Kinsale“ to enjoy the view from there. One can look as far as West Cork, the coastline and beaches nearby. The final stop for the day was the sandy beach of Garrettstown. The weather was sunny indeed and only one short rain shower came along.
In the evening the students met up with Fionan our Ceili Dance teacher at St. Mary’s School in Carrigaline. He showed them various dances that many Irish people dance at social gatherings. The dances have funny names such as: „Shoe the Donkey“, „The Walls of Limerick“ or the „The Battle of Ennis“. The dances are accompanied by Irish trad music and it is a lot of fun to follow the (fast) rhythms.
Saturday, 28th September 2019
Our second group of students from HTL Leoben arrived today! 35 girls and boys and their three teachers arrived to the aiport in Dublin and were picked up by our H2 busdriver Michael. They stored their luggage away and off they went – heading down south, to Carrigaline. The journey to County Cork went smoothly with one stop on the way down. At around 11.20pm they were finally welcomed by their host families and Gina and Lisa from the H2 team. Not long after most of the student were sound asleep – it had been a long journey and everyone was happy to get some sleep.