Time flies! The school language course in Ireland has come to an end so quickly. The Maria Regina students are already on their way back to the Dublin Airport. They said goodbye to their lovely host families at 5.30am this morning. We wish the students and their teachers a pleasant flight back home to Austria. It was lovely to meet them all. Many regards from the H2 Team Ireland – Jackie, Lucy, Colin, Michael, Jack, Paul, Gina, Mary and Lisa.
Sunday – time to sleep in a little longer and to enjoy / try a typical Irish breakfast with beans, sausages, toast, eggs, black pudding and tomatoes. Some families took their students to the nearby beaches of Fountainstown or Myrtleville and others went for a walk in Crosshaven. Some just enjoyed a relaxed morning with their Irish host families. At around midday the students were picked up again to go on their final actitivity – a trip to Blarney Castle. The more than 600 years old castle is famous for its „Blarney Stone“ – anyone who dares to lean back on top of the castle and kisses the stone will receive the „gift of the gab“ (the ability to speak easily and confidently). There are also many more things to see in the castle grounds, such as: the poison garden, the fern garden and the wishing steps (a wish will be granted when climbing up the steps backwards and with eyes closed). The area is also abundant in beautiful flowers, especially now at this time of the year.
It is the last day of English lessons and the students will be given their certificates. Our teacher Colin was teaching instead of Lucy today and he brought his guitar. He studied the song „Jumbo Breakfast Roll“ with them which is a funny song about a typical Irish breakfast and its impact on health. As a grand finale some of the students presented their skills in playing the piano or dancing. All our teachers, Jackie, Lucy and Colin confirmed what a great „bunch of students“ they were!!!! Well done to all the students for their efforts, motivation and contribution.
In the afternoon the students were picked up by our bus driver Jack and off they went to the beautiful town of Kinsale. They met our tour guide Dave at Charles Fort, from where they enjoyed the wonderful panoramic view onto Kinsale. Dave gave them an overview of the eventful history which included a battle in 1601, pirates and a „White Lady“. They strolled along the narrow streets and colourful houses, passing galleries, cafe, restaurants and also the former house of the „Giant of Kinsale“. Later on the group enjoyed some free time, i.e. to go to „Dino’s“ (a nice Fish & Chip Takeaway) or to go for some coffee and cake in one of the many little cafes dotted around town. The final stops for the day were firstly the cliffs at the „Old Head of Kinsale“ (with stunning view onto the wild Atlantic Sea and the coast of West Cork) and secondly the sandy beaches in Garrettstown. Thankfully the weather was ideal for an excusion like this – with warm temperatures, blues skies and sunshine!
During the last lesson of today’s English classes, our teachers organised a typical Irish Pub quiz – they arranged round tables in the class room and gave out cheese & onion flavoured „Taytos“ (typical Irish crisps) and a fizzy drink (a favourite drink of many Irish kids). The had various rounds of 10 questions each, relating to Irish topics and some challenging true or false questions. The team „Two-and-a-half-Asians“ won the table quiz – well done to the boys! The students are now on their way to Crosshaven – a lovely village at the Cork harbour. They will have a walk around – looking at the sailing boats and will buy some delicious ice cream or have some fish & chips at the bistro „Chish ‚N‘ Fips“. They might walk back home to Carrigaline along the lovely river walk or take the public bus. There is a little bit of drizzle out there (what the Irish call a „soft day“)
In the evening, some of the students went to the Greyhound Races at Curraheen Park. They met Jerry, a dog owner, who told them about the racing dogs and what to look out for when placing bets. It is very exciting to see the dogs chasing a (fake) rabbit on the tracksall this happing in less than a minute. After a short drive of about 15 minutes the students arrived to the H2 School in Minane Bridge. They met Lisa from the H2 Ireland Team who introduced them to the English teachers Lucy and Jackie. After a short placement test with multiple choice questions and a written assignment the students were split into 2 smaller groups. Out teachers have prepared lots of quizzes, role plays, questionaires, debates and many more tasks in order to learn English in a fun and interesting way. They will also speak about the different pronounciations and words used in the English and Irish world. Soon the English lessons will be finished and the group will be picked up by the bus again. The first activity for the afternoon will be a guided tour around Cork City. Cork is referred to as the „Real Capital“ by Corkonians and is know as the Rebel County. You can have a look for yourself here.
The next stop will be Mahon Point Shopping Centre where the students will have time to walk around, have some ice cream or coffee and cake, or a snack and time to go shopping. They will all meet back at the Omniplex Cinema to watch „A Dog’s Journey“ which is a lovely film about friendship.
At apprx. 6.45pm, the group of 19 students and Profs Gruber and Kreindl arrived at Dublin Airport after their journey from Vienna. Our bus driver Paul was already waiting for them outside the building. It was a nice sunny evening, a pleasant welcome to Ireland. The group then headed off to the beautiful County Cork where they met their host families in Carrigaline. We wish everyone a pleasant stay here, and hope that they collect a lot of good memories.