It is hard to believe that we have already been in Ireland for eight days! Our morning began with the normal class schedule. The students learned a few Gaelic phrases from Scones including, “Tir gan teanga is tir gan anan” (A country without a language is a country without an identity.), “Nil aon tintean mar do thitean fein” (There’s no place like home!), and “Tus mith leath na hoibre” (A good start is half the work.). Scones then taught the students how to say some colors, red yellow, green, and blue-along with right, left, hand, and foot in Gaelic. The students couldn’t figure out why she was teaching them these words in Gaelic until she pulled out Twister! We had four games of Twister and each student had an opportunity to play. There were some pretty talented Twister players; Brendan, Emily, Rocky, and Stephen all won their matches and made it to the final match! After a tough battle between the semi-finalists, the ultimate 2014 Gaelic Twister champion was, drum roll please…, ROCKY! We asked Rocky what he was going to do after becoming the Gaelic Twister Champion and he excitedly responded, “I’m going to buy some Crunchies! (Rocky’s favorite Irish candy.)

After classes, we had our last lunch in Newtown and finished packing for Dublin. We all had to say goodbye to our favorite Irish lads, Eddie and James. We were all sad to leave them, but we are hoping to see them again during our trip! Although they were upset to leave Eddie and James, the students were buzzing with excitement to make the journey to the Big Smoke. Once everyone was on the bus, many of the students took advantage of the opportunity to get some extra sleep and slept for most of the two hour trip to Dublin. The students were happy when they arrived to their new home in Dublin, King’s Hospital. The girls are particularly happy that they have their own bathrooms in their rooms!

The students were given a quick tour around King’s Hospital and went to drama and dance. In drama, the students began working on their drama presentations on their assigned influential Irish figures. They worked feverishly-highlighting information and planning out their skits. After drama, Counselor Casey had another amazing dance class. The students practiced the Walls of Limerick and did an exceptional job of remembering their first Irish dance. Casey then taught the ILEer’s a group circle dance and a beginner’s Irish jig. The counselors were impressed with how well the students are doing at executing their Irish dance steps! Next stop-Riverdance.

The last activity of the day was Counselor Kate’s kickball game. It was Alex’s first time playing kickball, but he did a phenomenal job and was an asset to his team. Once the students told Alex that the rules for kickball were just like the rules for baseball, he was very eager to play and was the star of his team! The game ran relatively smoothly with the exception of a few arguments from Kate’s ump calls. Stephen had a little trouble running the bases as he rounded second base and went straight to home. We were all laughing hysterically as Stephan had to quickly sprint back third base. At the beginning of the game, Team 2 had a tough time with a score of 4-0, but had a strong comeback and won the game with a score of 10 to 7. Aaron, Alex, Ana, Brendan, David, Eme, Emily, Keely, Megan, Molly, Rocky, Sarah, Miley and Ninny were on the winning team. Sarah excitedly exclaimed, “It’s nice to have the underdog make a comeback!”

At the end of our first evening in Dublin, Aaron, Emily, and Stephen showed us their phenomenal piano skills. The students had a fun time dancing and singing to the music. I think it is safe to say that our first night in Dublin was definitely a success!

***Editor’s Note: Taryn had some amazing pictures from this day. However, she was walking, eating beets (Her favorite.), and trying to take pictures at the same time. Unfortunately, she tripped and landed on the camera. When she was trying to fix it-all of the pictures from this day were deleted. Don’t worry-we have some amazing pictures of our students coming up in the next few blogs.***