Thursday, May 30, 2013

"It's a dangerous business going out your door." -Tolkien

Hello! Welcome to my blog. Most likely you found me because you're hoping to keep up with my adventure in Ireland. For your sake, I will do my best to post regularly and be interesting. :)

I suppose some of you might be wondering how this happened at going to Ireland. After all, I spent two years training to be a teacher, and two years teaching at the small private school that my church runs.

I guess my whole last year can be summed up as stressful. And I was well on my way to burned out. So I started looking for something else, and I couldn't help but remember how much I enjoyed Ireland when I was there two years ago for my friends' wedding. I thought briefly about contacting somebody to see if they (the Amish-Mennonite church here in Dunmore East) needed a teacher, and even told my parents that if they did need a volunteer, I'd rather work in the bakery than teach! But it seemed like a rather big dream, and I didn't pursue it. In the meantime, my school back home offered me a slightly different position, working with older students, and I knew I'd enjoy that. However, Something kept me from giving them my answer right away.

Then, maybe two weeks later, I got a text from my mom, telling me that an email was circulating that the bakery in Ireland desperately needed a volunteer for the bakery, starting in May! I asked if they were going to respond (as the email was addressed to my dad), and she seemed surprised. She said she didn't know why she felt she needed to tell me, as she thought I'd be teaching again. I met with my parents and described my fervent longing to respond to the email and see how things played out. :) Before long, they were excited (but cautious) as well, and my dad composed an email and the waiting began.

It wasn't a long wait, but much praying fits into a short time when something so life-changing is on the brink of happening. I didn't even know for sure what I wanted the answer to be. I just told God that if He wanted me in Ireland, He would have to make it very clear, because I can be exceedingly dense! We got an email the next day, I think, saying that I was one of several applicants, and could my dad please advise them of my qualifications. Oh boy. More waiting. More praying. No more fingernails. :)

Just over a week from the first email, I was told I was in, provided that my references came back positive! Wow! Suddenly, I wondered what I had done! Thinking of buying a one way ticket to Europe sure has a way of putting life in perspective!

Suddenly, my whole existence was a blur of getting school wrapped up, getting my documents in order, and packing up my room. There were some things about coming here that I simply had to take care of before school was out, but everything that could wait, did. I forced myself to join my students in the end-of-school countdown, and didn't think about my days of preparation dwindling!

Before I knew it, school was out, I had spent my time there wrapping up permanent records and end-of-year reports, and I was home, packing. And meeting with friends. And just sitting in a daze on my bed looking around me at the mess!

This last day. My sister Sarah, her husband Michael, their sons, Isaiah and Gabriel, and my other sister, Hannah, all took me to the airport in Pittsburgh. We left early so we'd have time to go out to lunch and browse the IKEA. At the airport, I got checked in and sent my (overweight) bag off through the mystic portal. We said our sad goodbyes and I went through security with no problem. I found my gate and then re-traced my steps to find some dinner.

When it was time to board, they sent us out on the tarmac to what I first thought was a crop-duster! It's the Canada Air "Jazz" class. More like the "you not makin' it alive, foo'!" class. Despite my misgivings, the kite plane got all 20 of us to Toronto safely. Customs in Toronto took 2.4 seconds (approximately), and I was on my way through the rather stark and unfriendly airport to find my next gate.

My plane to Dublin was easily 4-5 times bigger than the first, much to my relief. It was a nice flight (again with Air Canada) but I must say I'm partial to Aer Lingus. It took 6.5 hours, after about 45 minutes of maintenance before we took off.

Customs in Dublin took a little longer, maybe 5 minutes, but then I was off to collect my bag (good grief, who put rocks in it??) and meet Regina, the lovely lady that rode all the way up on the bus, just to turn around and ride back with me. I was nervous about finding the right bus and getting off at the right stop, so this was such a blessing.

The bus ride to Waterford took about 3.5 hours, and then we drove from Waterford to Passage East, where she dropped me off at my apartment, showed me around, introduced me to the other bakery girl, then commanded me to get some sleep!

Coming next: Pictures of the apartment, bakery, and details about my first day at the bakery (which was today).

1 comment:

  1. Rebekah this is Irma Kuhns. I came across the prayer card you gave us before leaving OH and for the first time noticed the blog address!! so on checking it out I found some interesting reading! Thanks for doing it and please post more!!