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Amanda's Summer Trip

Amanda Wellcome, the 17 year old daughter of Dale and Cheryl Rhynard Wellcome (granddaughter of Loren and Ruth Rhynard) was privileged to spend a part of the 2005 summer with a host family in Ireland.  Other than board and room, her time was her own.  Here is her report.

I stayed with the Walsh family in a suburb of Galway (which is on the west coast) called Moycullen.  They lived on the top of a big hill that you had to walk up if you were coming back from town by bus, (the road leading up the hill was only big enough for Europe's small cars).  They had three kids, two girls around my age, Rachael and Michelle, and a boy around 12 named Ciaran (Kier-ron).  They had a HUGE and very green backyard with a horse!  They also had very energetic little dog that liked to bark a lot.  I never quite got its name, it was either "Mister" or "Misty".  I couldn't tell, because of their accent, and I felt a little silly asking what the name of their dog was when they said it about 100 times a day.

About halfway into my stay, a boy around 12 from Spain named Ion came to stay with us as well.  This was about the same time as when the girls left for America to stay with some relatives, so all I had in the house were two 12 year old boys!  The funny thing was though, that Ion and I probably got along the best out of everyone, despite the fact that he really didn't speak much English.  We could communicate a little through the Spanish-English phrase books and hand gestures.  We were both going through the same thing, which is why I think we got along so well.

For those of you who were wondering, it is true.  Potatoes are to the Irish as rice is to the Asians!  Potatoes are pretty much a staple in their daily lives.  I can't think of very many meals I had without some sort of potatoes!  Other than that, their food was pretty much the same as what we have here.  I mean, I didn't have to eat some strange part of a goat for dinner or anything.

When I wasn't around the house, I was on tours or in town.  I must admit, getting used to the euro was a bit of a currency aneurysm on my brain at first, (seeing a price in euros, trying to convert it to American dollars, and then proceeding to go WOW, that is expensive) but I had to forget about it if I ever wanted to be able to buy anything.  There are many quaint little shops in Galway, and there were always musicians playing on the street.  It was totally awesome walking around on the streets all by myself, just taking in all of the foreignness.

Lastly, I went on some tours to places like Kylemore Abbey (http://kylemoreabbey.com), other counties, and my favorite of all, the Cliffs of Moher.  I was lucky to get to see them on one of Ireland's few sunny days (in fact I think I remember it actually being hot!) and they were absolutely spectacular.