My family and I have been back from our wonderful winter vacation in Ireland for almost a week now and we’re busily trying to get back into “real life”. My husband and I rented a house in Ireland. We took our three sons (age 8, 5 and 1 1/2) and my grandmother traveled from the US to meet us there. It was a wonderful time and a great way to expose to yet another different culture and different ways of doing things. It was also a way to experience the “Christmas feeling” that we miss by living in Morocco, a country where most people do not celebrate Christmas. Here are some of the things my family learned/experienced during our trip:
1.) British/Irish English – Many of our fellow expats here in Morocco are from England or Ireland, so we are used to this dialect, but being surrounded by this daily for 2 weeks gave me a better understanding of where the differences between British English and American English lie. It was fun to see signs that said “Take Away” instead of “Takeout” and “To Let” instead of “For Rent”, and to hear 8:30 described as “half 8”. As I am teaching a UK curriculum this year, this reminder of the vocabulary differences was very important for me and I am trying to be sure to include both sets of vocabulary when I am working with my students.
2.) Short Days – To truly understand the concept of how short a day is in the northern climates, you must truly be there. Since we were in Ireland during the winter, the sun didn’t come up until 9:30 a.m. and it was completely down by 4:45 p.m. The lack of sunlight has an effect on you, but I would love to go back in the summer when I was told that the sun comes up by 5 a.m. and doesn’t go down until almost 11 p.m.
3.) Driving on the Left Side of the Road – Not only the driving, but also realizing that the side we drive on is also the side we walk on and the side we of the stairs we go up. I often found myself walking on the wrong side, especially when going up the stairs.
4.) History is amazingly interesting! I love exploring old buildings and cemeteries and Ireland was great for this. We explored castles, churches, cemeteries and even New Grange, a tomb that older than the pyramids! Here are some pictures of what we saw:
The money I earned from selling teaching resources on Teachers Pay Teachers helped us to afford this amazing trip. If you are interested in creating a Teachers Pay Teachers store for yourself – click HERE for more details.