Wednesday, January 13, 2010

First Impressions

Hey's amazing the day Kenmare is seeing right now after my arrival day of hard rain and gale-force winds. It's bright and sunny and absolutely gorgeous although some of the town and area are seeing the affects of a long couple weeks of snow, ice and rain that they are not necessarily used to here. The rain is normal for the winter, but it is finally just starting to get warm enough (average high 30s and low 40s) to melt the ice away. Today down Main Street I walked by a number of people pushing brooms and getting off the rocks they used like we would use salt and sand in New England.

Yesterday I arrived safe and sound after a long day on busses from Shannon Airport to Limerick, then to Tralee, then through Kilarney to Cork and back from Cork to Kilarney (not supposed to happen) and finally from Kilarney the 45 minutes down to Kenmare. It was a long story but let's just say I was very sleepy and may have slept my way all the way to Cork which allowed for about 3-4 hours longer of a trip then I needed.

Sheila Calahene, the lady and her family I am staying with are very nice. Although she has her full Irish accent she lived in New Jersey for 18 years (no wonder she moved back ;) ). I have followed my orders from many and took pictures of the place I am staying at and the town I am living in within the next couple days I will have them posted. The walk into the two main streets that make the town is about 15 minutes on a bad day and the school and everything else I need are within sight. The streets are lined with pubs and restaurants, little shops of all kinds and supermarkets; a lot for a suprisingly small town. I have heard different estimates at the population and I would guess that Kenmare is about 7,000 people...but Sheila told me the school I am working in which is the only Secondary School in the area has about 400 students. Seems like a great school and I will be going there to meet the principal tomorrow who I have been told like many teachers, is very young and nice and will welcome me like they have many Americans in the recent past.

My first night here, I walked into town which was somewhat dead at even 8pm. I picked one of the pubs, O'Murchu's and had a pint (not Guinness yet) and met Fin who bartends there and invited me back for poker and pool tonight (Wedneday). Fin has been to Boston, NY, Las Vegas and Los Angeles and like the people I have talked to here so far, knows a good amount about the States. Most pubs during the week are open to midnight even though it is the offseason. January and February are the slowest/coldest months and I have been told once St. Patty's day comes around, many different cultures of people come to Kenmare including Americans as it is a tourist hotspot. Actually last night I ate at the Taj Mahal, the local Thai restaurant. I was surprised along with the couple dozen pubs, Chinese, Thai and Italian restaurants also line the streets.

Ok so my posts will hopefully not be this superlong. That and also a couple things:
1. I cannot call much or text so this will be my main point of keeping along with Facebook (which will have most of my pictures).
2. I do not have internet at the house I am staying at but between the school, my phone and the few internets places at the different stores and post office, I will be able to get online daily.
3. Because of this Skype probably will not happen that much. But my username anyways is mattgoula if you do that sort of thing.
4. I try my best to make sense and revise my posts, but grammar and spelling mistakes will happen, a lot. Don't judge. More updates soon.


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