A Travellerspoint blog

A lot of new firsts!

View Volunteering in Ireland on lmckenn6's travel map.

Ok, so the internet has been down for a couple days. Here’s the plan. Maybe once a week I will log on and tell you what is going on. I feel awfully guilty borrowing someone else’s computer, even though I suppose I shouldn’t, but I’m going to take some time to get you all up to speed.

So all of these farm animals I have never worked with before. I milk cows, feed pigs, feed chickens, and get eggs from the chicken coop. That’s the everyday barn stuff (even though I already probably told you that). Three times a week we sell the eggs, milk, and meat at different markets. So this past Saturday we went to Cork for a market. I was able to walk around the city with Anne and Anna (the other volunteers). I helped out with the selling, but I am awfully bad with the currency, even though it’s extremely straight forward. A woman gave me 20 euro for something like 3.50, and I gave her 26 euro back in change. And I thought I was good at math.

Sunday I went to Kilarney, another town/city about an hour and a half drive from the farm. In the depths of the woods, in the middle of a quarry, there was a selling and buying of rare hens. It was the weirdest location ever, and the birds were so unlike anything I’ve seen before. I’m terrified of chickens, but they were all in cages, so I could breathe. From there we went to see a castle and an old historic house (both gorgeous), and we took a long walk through a national park. After that we took a drive through the Irish mountains which were BREATHTAKING! I was in complete awe. I took some pictures too. There were sheep all up in the mountains and along the side of the car.

By the way, the person who took us around is this guy named Franci who works on the farm. He’s about 45 and has this awesome thick accent, and he’s completely nutty. He likes to drop the F-bomb all the time, and I always giggle. He told me my relatives (McKennas) are gypsies from the north, that like horses (selling them), and they’re mad (crazy). Apparently they’re trained fighters (boxers), too. I got a kick out of that! Anyhoo, Franci is a hoot, and he mentioned that there is the largest horse fair in Ireland on Sunday. We might go, because apparently my crazy fighting relatives will be there… along with 1000 horses or so (YAY)!

Today was a first for so many things. I milked 2 cows BY MYSELF today. The girls also sent me up into the chicken coop BY MYSELF to retrieve eggs. I was breathing so heavy cause I was so scared, but I managed. I still have yet to reach under a chicken’s butt to retrieve eggs, but I was able to get some. I also saw my first rat and just about cried. Seriously. I also cleaned pig pens today for the first time. The smell was so awful that I gagged and dry-heaved once. Wasn’t afraid of the pigs though! The most exciting part was moving the cattle. We herded them out of the field, into the road, and down into a shed. There were at least 50 of them. That was really cool. The bad part though, was that they were being moved to be selected to sent to the slaughter house. Ten were sent off and 5 each were jammed into 2 different trailers that are smaller than trailers that can only carry 2 horses! Seeing that happen made me really sick to my stomach, but I can’t do anything about it. That’s life. We also herded sheep for the same thing.

I’ve been to 2 pubs since I’ve been here. I had Bulmer’s, the Irish hard cider and I had my first Guiness last night at the highest pub in Ireland. That’s about it for right now!

I really don’t know when I will be able to post pictures. They might have to be posted after I return home. Or, if I can get to an internet cafe, I will do that then. I miss everyone terribly. I am sorta homesick because some of these jobs are mentally really challenging for me (seeing as I’m afraid of almost every animal here). But, I am here for another month, and as much as it is challenging, I am happier that I am here. I still actually can’t believe I’m in Ireland. It’s like it’s too good to be true.

On a completely different and random note, I saw fake boobs hanging from the staircase in the main house today. No one else saw them, which baffles me, but not as much as why they are there. That shall remain a mystery!

Posted by lmckenn6 08:23 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

Quick Post!

View Volunteering in Ireland on lmckenn6's travel map.

Ok I’ve arrived at the farm! I really can’t talk long because I am borrowing someone else’s computer. I will definitely have to figure out how I can communicate with people. As of yet, my cell phone does not make calls out and I have only 2 bars of service here. People can call me though, so if someone needs to talk to me they can definitely try!

I will write a longer, more detailed post later (at some point), but right now I am working with farm animals. Milking cows, feeding pigs, going into chicken coops to pull out eggs… all stuff I have never done before and stuff that freaks me out! I am definitely confronting fears. This morning I let piglets out by accident and we had to Chase them around. Dogs tried to eat them, they squealed. It was a mess. I sorta learned how to milk a cow today, but I defintely wasn’t successful.

We definitely rough it here. We have to start a fire to get hot water, for instance. I am happy to be here, but I miss being able to tell people what I am up to. I feel like they’re worrying, so hopefully this post will help. I will try my best to figure out a better way of contact! Stay tuned!

p.s. Pics may not be able to be posted until I get back to the States, or until I can get to an Internet cafe or something. I don’t want to hog a computer that’s not mine!

Posted by lmckenn6 03:54 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

And we're off!

This will be my last time online for I don’t know how long (hopefully not too long!). In about 13 hours I will be taking my first plane on my trip to Ireland. It’s only from Rochester to JFK, but it’s still the first leg! I will be having two 5-hour layovers on my way to my destination. The first will be at JFK, and then another one once I get to Dublin. I am just now realizing that I will be waiting 5 hours in Dublin just to take a 50 minute flight to Cork. Traveling by train would actually take less time! Oh well, not being a Pessimistic Patty, but I would probably get lost if I did that, so plane is more than likely the best way to go.

Once I arrive in Cork, that’s when all of the crazy stuff will begin to happen. Crazy is the word I have decided to apply to the things that are bound to take place because, quite honestly, I have no idea what I am to expect. Don’t know who I’ll meet, what I’ll be doing, what the place will be like. I have the vaguest idea! I’ve told people it doesn’t help me to expect anything. Great things could happen (and I certainly want them to), but also not so great things could happen. My goal is just to ride the waves and try to soak it all in.

So I am just about packed and ready to go. Just finished showering, and now I am all shaved and plucked (sorry if that is a TMI for anyone). In a little over 24 hours I will be in Ireland. I’m very curious what my initial expression/thoughts will be once I arrive. I don’t know how I will be able to contain my delight when I hear everyone speak in an accent I love so much. I would not be surprised if people look at me oddly as the girl who can’t stop smiling. I am also curious as to whether or not anyone will think twice about my name being completely Irish.

We will see! I hope that I can get on the Internet quite regularly. This is where I plan to keep everyone posted, so look for more entries. In the meantime, has anyone been to Ireland before? I am hoping to travel on the weekends. What are some must-see places?

Posted by lmckenn6 15:38 Archived in Ireland Comments (0)

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