In this week's post, Casey shares how she overcame homesickness and celebrated Thanksgiving in Dublin with activities by CAPA and Griffith College Student Union. She also reveals what she's grateful for during this semester of adventure.
It has been a long, emotional, and fun week here in Dublin. Homesickness settled in as Thanksgiving approached. It was the first time I wasn’t home for a major holiday, and since Thanksgiving festivities aren’t celebrated in Ireland, I had to go to my internship and class. While that was unusual for me, the activities were a lot of fun.
A flyer for the Dublin culture night activities put on by CAPA and Griffith College Student Union.
It all kicked off on Wednesday night, when CAPA and the Griffith College Student Union worked together to put on an Irish-American Trivia Night. It was a night to learn interesting facts about each other’s culture and eat PB & J’s. Apparently, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are a strange concept in Ireland, but it’s something us American college students live off of. It was nice comfort food to enjoy during the trivia. Some of the questions included: “What were the first and maiden names of first ladies who claim Irish heritage?”, “Name this Thanksgiving movie”, and true and false Irish slang words. My team came in second place; we’re only a little upset about being the first loser, but it’s fine. We all got prizes of some sort based off the place we got and if we had any funny answers. My team won a container of candy, some souvenir Irish pens, and a CD with Irish music on it. We all had a great couple of hours enjoying the game and trying not to become too competitive. CAPA and Griffith College SU really know how to put an event on.
A CAPA Dublin Thanksgiving at 57 The Headline Bar.
Thanksgiving Day was very difficult for me personally. I’m not sure how everyone else handled it, but I missed my family for sure. Luckily, having to intern and attend class kept my mind preoccupied for most of the day. I was mostly waiting for it to be dinner all day, since that’s what I’m used to—just sitting in my living room and waiting for it to be done cooking. After our internship class we finally got to go eat. We went to 57 The Headline Bar. We had the whole upstairs to ourselves. It was cozy with 23 of us. CAPA members had brought friends and the CAPA staff was there. It truly felt like having Thanksgiving with my second family. Dinner consisted of turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, and broccoli (you have to eat your veggies, kids). Everything tasted amazing especially with a nice glass of wine. Dessert was as we all hoped—pumpkin pie. To give you background, none of us have seen anything pumpkin in Dublin since being here, so we were shocked that they had it for us. I’ll be honest, if there wasn’t pumpkin pie, I might have cried a bit because it’s my favorite Thanksgiving dessert.
Thankful for CAPA Dublin staff Susanne Bach, Hayley Ni Bhriain, and Darren Kelly.
During dinner we all passed around a notebook. We could draw pictures or write about what we were thankful for this year. It was a great way to express how we were all feeling while being away from home. I’m very thankful to my family and friends back home for supporting me while I’m studying abroad. I’m also thankful to CAPA because the staff we have here (Susanne, Hayley, and Darren) are like a little family that opened their house to a bunch of Americans for the semester. We all really appreciate everything they do for us. I’m also thankful for the people I’ve met here. My roommates and I have had our ups and downs but at the end of the day it wouldn’t be the same if we had anyone else in our flat.
A group photo from our CAPA Dublin Thanksgiving!
Overall, Thanksgiving was a success even though it was a difficult day without my family. It was an experience I will never forget, along with this entire adventure of a semester.
Much love to my family and friends!
Casey Rhode is an official CAPA blogger for fall 2018, sharing her story in weekly posts on CAPA World. An Interdisciplinary Studies major at Arizona State University, she is studying abroad in Dublin this semester.
Casey's journey continues every Wednesday so stay tuned.