Living abroad can be a little daunting at first. I am lucky this time around because I have a little experience under my belt, but the first time around…. The first time it was a little scary at first. My first time at the field school was as a student 3 years ago, the summer of 2014. Up until that point I’d never lived much farther than about an hour’s drive from my hometown, even then I was only away for about 8/9 months of a year while I lived on campus at my university. You can understand then why I was a bit nervous to be so far away for the first time ever. My fears and my worrying were all for nothing. I was placed with a local family for the duration of my stay in Trim, Co. Meath who were so lovely, so warm and welcoming, I honestly cried at the end of my trip because I had to return home. I kept in touch with my homestay family and this time around when I returned to Trim as an intern for the IAFS I stayed with them again. If being a part of a homestay is an option available to you, if you are a student thinking about studying abroad, without a doubt it’s an opportunity you should definitely take. Participating in a homestay experience is one of the easiest ways to surrender to the new culture all around you and really immerse yourself in it. If you are not a student or for whatever reason a homestay accommodation is not available to you, while in Trim there are a few things to do that if you give it go will make you feel a little more like a local.
A Day at Kiltale Farm:
Luckily enough for me, the post-excavation intern Anna was staying with Liden family who run Kiltale Farm. At Kiltale Farm they offer a wide variety of farm activities for those young and old, as well as self-catering accommodation for those seeking a quaint, rural holiday. Some of the activities available like feeding lambs, kids (baby goats), and milking goats I was able to do on a Sunday afternoon. It was worth every second, the little baby goat and the little lamb that I had the chance to bottle feed were the cutest! To be fair, not all of the residents of Trim are farmers but a fair few are. If a rural farming community is very different from the hometown/city you’re used to a trip to Kiltale Farm would not be remiss.
Ice Cream (99er):
If you’ve been to Ireland and haven’t had a 99er you haven’t had the full experience. That’s a bit dramatic but, you know what, I’ll stand by it. A 99er ice cream is a simple vanilla soft serve with the inclusion of a Cadbury chocolate flake. But it’s simplisticity is it’s beauty. Enjoying a 99er in the company of friends while lounging in the grass at the foot of Trim castle is a great way to spend a summer sunny afternoon.
Sunday at the Market (Fairyhouse):
I’ve always thought of flea markets as a locals only type of thing. I’ve never known anyone to go out of their way to find a market unless you’ve moved to a new place. That being said going to Fairyhouse sunday market was a real treat. It was so much like the local market I’m used to back home; it was a comforting familiarity. If you are a fan of flea markets and you can make it out to Fairy house for the weekly Sunday market, while staying in Trim, you won’t be disappointed.
– Kelsey Gamble, U.S.A