View of Dublin Port from Bull Island

I guess I’ve been a bit obsessed with the house hunt recently (ya think?). Thought I’d take a few minutes to share some other things going on with our transition to Ireland.

In no specific order:

Méabh hates Mozart:
Last week Liz mentioned that she has sung the Alphabet song to Méabh 3 times & twice she cried. So I gave it a shot & sure enough, by “k” she was in tears. (I was driving, so I looked back around “d” and she as fine…it’s not like I tried to make her cry…no really) My first thought,  “perhaps she hates learning.” Sure it’s a fun song, but they’re trying to teach me something. But then we tried Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star…same thing. Our best guess at this point is that Méabh hates Mozart.

Leaving the US:
Last Monday night, Hannah, Erin & I flew to Ireland. Actually, they flew to Ireland, I flew back home.  Three weeks prior, when it was Liz, and Brenna & me leaving, we spent a lot of time talking about what it felt like to leave…why are we doing this…when did it hit you that we were leaving…stuff like that. But as I headed back with Hannah & Erin, that’s where they were, but I was focused on just wanting to get back…Have everyone together…see Liz, Brenna & Méabh…I wish I’d have been a bit more sensitive. I did apologize for that.

Erin did get me back though…30 minutes into the flight, I was already sound asleep, and I rarely sleep on planes. However, she woke me up so that we could watch the Hunger Games together. “I thought you wanted to watch the movie with me.” And then once it was over, she fell fast asleep.

Why We’re Being Particular About Where We Live:
For the past year we’ve talked about moving to and staring a church in Clontarf. After being over here for a month, we’ve stretched that out a bit to include the Raheny  area. I wrote a post a couple of months ago talking about wanting to start neighbourhood based communities of faith. Which is pretty different from what we did in Ithaca. And one of the key ideas behind this idea is, we actually need to live in that neighbourhood….among and with the people we are serving. There is still a lot that I think will unfold for us as to what this new church will look like. However, this is something that’s been clear from the start. So, while it does complicate things a bit…and Clontarf and Raheny are a bit pricier than other neighbourhoods…we’ve committed to living where we are planting.

Méabh walking along the water in Clontarf

School Starts Next Monday Week:
(or for those of you in the States, School starts next Monday). Brenna needs to be there with a parent on Monday, August 27th, Erin a day later. And then classes for both start on Wednesday @ 8:40 am. One of our big tasks for this week is buying text books (they are not provided here).  It looks like Brenna will need a lot…Erin, because she is in transition year, not quite so much. Still feels a bit confusing though. Part of the problem is we aren’t even really sure what classes they are taking (which makes it difficult to know which books to buy)…and most of the staff has been off for much of the summer. This will be one of our big projects for the upcoming week.

My Braces are Off:
Just realised I never mentioned that my braces are off. However, according to my orthodontist, my teeth are only about 95% of the way to where they need to be. So, I currently have retainers, and in the next 4-6 weeks, I’ll be getting Invisalign braces mailed to me from my Orthodontist in Ithaca.

Arriving in Dublin:
So when Hannah, Erin & I  landed in Dublin Tuesday morning, the first thing we needed to do was clear customs. This was the first time I was coming into the country with my GNIB Stamp 4. In addition, the girls still don’t have their Irish Passports, so I had to hand the immigration officer their citizenship certificate. I had no idea what to expect.

I don’t think she had ever seen the citizenship certificates, and handed them back pretty quickly. Since Erin is under 16, as long as I have a Stamp 4, she is eligible to stay in the country with me…even if Liz hadn’t had citizenship. Hannah was another story.

She kept looking at Hannah…who was wearing a baseball cap, and dark clothes. And then began asking questions; “Has he been in the country before?” “Is he…?”

“Um, she’s a girl.”

At that point the officer laughed, and became much friendlier. She took Hannah’s picture, and told us that she needed to register with immigration within the next 30 days. Beyond that, we had no issues. Until baggage. If you remember, last time through I picked up the wrong bag.

This time we had all of our bags except one…most people had left although a couple dozen were still standing around. We waited about 15 minutes while the same 20 bags went around the conveyor belt. Eventually Erin said, “isn’t that our bag?” “No, our’s doesn’t have that piping around the edge.” Except it did. In fact, it looked exactly like 6 of the bags we had already pulled off the belt. I guess I should let Liz & Erin be in charge of baggage claim from now on.

We did take Hannah to register with Immigration on Friday, however they told us she doen’t need to…since she is a citizen…however, she should get her passport asap. He also encouraged us to fight to convince Trinity that we shouldn’t have to pay international rates since Hannah is a citizen…however, it is pretty clear on their web site that you need to be a citizen & resident for 3 of the past 5 years to get, not likely an argument we’d win.

Guess that’s about it from here…Thanks for checking in.