Archive | September, 2012

My First Guinness

30 Sep

My Goodness, I would not mind a Guinness

My first real post! In my book, introductions don’t count! Usually I am not very good at follow up and I doubt this blog will continue to have daily posts, but I need to take a break from college application hell. Here is a well known fact about me: I hate paperwork.

Anyways, I thought I should start out telling y’all about the adventure that brought about this blog. When I finally arrived at my wee farm in Ireland after about 36 hours of traveling I was a bit shell shocked. When I met my hosts and my fellow WWOOFers I had trouble saying much, mostly I sat there silently sipping my tea with a stupid grin on my face.

To those who don’t know about WWOOFing, it is a great program wherein you get membership and then you can contact farms that are involved, once you find a place that you like and that  likes you, you buy a plane ticket, show up and work on said farm in exchange for a place to sleep and food to eat. IT IS AWESOME

Last January I decided to WWOOF in Ireland and I found a farm in Co. Mayo that welcomed me. To be totally honest, I went into the experience with no expectations and I would never have thought that it would have changed my life as much as it did.

My Farm!

 

Back to my story, my first night with Colin, Alison (my hosts), Ines (French WWOOFer) and Joe (Aussie WWOOFer) was rather rough. It was fine to begin with and then during dinner the homesickness struck and not even Joe’s glittery blue eyes could distract me. Once I was alone in my room, I broke down and spent considerable time thinking up multiple strategies for getting the f**k outta there. *PS by the time my trip came to a close I spent considerable time thinking up strategies for staying there* Anyway, the next morning I felt a bit better and after a day of futile digging under the feeble Irish sun in the garden I felt at home. The best way to get to know people is to spend a day outside digging up earth moving it 3 feet and then sifting through it by hand to pick out weeds and rocks.

For dinner that night we had roast chicken, my first meaty meal in 10 years (don’t ask what brought on me sudden conversion back to omnivore-ism, I don’t remember). And then we went into town and I entered my first Irish pub my my first Irish pint o’ Guinness and my first shot o’ Irish Whiskey. In the following weeks I would spend a great deal of time at the spectacular little pub, the Grainne Uaile.

After that first night my homesickness totally disappeared and I began to fall in love with Ireland. Joe left quite soon after I arrived, leaving me and Ines as the soul WWOOFers. Soon we became close friends and she will be a frequent character in my following posts, so keep posted to read stories of beer, chasing buses and generally good craic (that’s Irish for fun). and remember: you can have your cake and eat it too.

Joe, Me, Ines- The WWOOFers

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Introduction

29 Sep

Before I begin and before I even introduce myself, let me tell that this is my first attempt at blogging, so please, don’t be too harsh on me.

So, here goes:

My name is Sophie and I am 19 years old. I have many forms and am the epitome of Gemini (even though I don’t believe in that star sign stuff). I often enjoy a quite Saturday night in, drinking tea and watching Pride & Prejudice for the umpteenth time, but sometimes I like to go a little crazy and make a big fool of myself. All through High School I was characterized as a ‘Nerd,’ or a ‘Geek.’

I told ya I was a dork

Until recently I thought that my path in life was to go to a good college right after High School, then get my masters in something or other and then get a good job and work my ass off until I was rich and happy.

In High School I got good grades and joined math club and hung out with all the good kids. I applied to fancy schools and prepped like crazy for college interviews and as my senior year dragged on my stress level rose and rose. I lost 10 lbs. during finals and I finished the year a shell of my former self with nothing to show for it, but baggy jeans and a bunch of college rejections.

And still, I persisted in my dream. I thought, OK, I go to my last choice college and graduate early with rockin’ grades and then I could go to some fancy grad school.

AND THEN…I went to Ireland.

That doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, but it really was. I spent one and a half amazing months in Derradda, Co. Mayo WWOOFing (World Wide Opportunities for Organic Farming). I finally was able to relax and reassess my dreams.  When I came home I was able to make the right decision for me about my future, I called up my university and filled out the paperwork for a leave of absence  (for “personal reasons”). And now, I am starting a gap year and giving myself a well deserved break from homework, essays and exams.

In future posts I plan to tell some tales from my Irish Adventures, vent a little, update on my gap year and show  my most likely meager readers that sometimes doing something crazy and unexpected is OK, deviating from the norm is not always bad. Basically, you can have your cake and eat it too. 🙂

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