New Life

St. Josephs Spanish Point

Letter home.

Sydney,

Australia.

20th October 2017

Dear Mam, Dad and the two dogs,

I’ve arrived safe and sound anyway. The flight was tediously long and physically tiring. All the way over on the plane I couldn’t stop fretting about what I was doing. I was always a home bird as a young child, never wanted to leave the comfort and familiarity of you, even to go to a sleepover back the road, and  now I was on a plane to Sydney, Australia! Tears flooded my eyes as I was boarding the plane and I was still weepy turning the key to my new apartment. This change is dramatic, but is what I needed to do.   When I arrived in Sydney I immediately got into my taxi and headed straight to my new apartment. The weather was so different to home; hot and humid with a still air! All I wanted to do was change into shorts! I’ve got two  housemates, Derick and John. Well I kind of have three housemates since Derek’s girlfriend is constantly here. They’re great people. I can already tell them anything and completely trust them. I’ve showed them funny videos I have of Dad and they already want to meet him. They’re not just my housemates now, they’re my best friends. It’s so easy knowing I’m going home to people I actually like and can have a good chat with. We take turns  cooking but at weekend we go out to eat as we don’t want to waste time in a kitchen on our days off.   Work is amazing! I really didn’t think I’d make a connection with the students as rapidly as I did. I’m teaching Year 2,3 and 4 which would be equivalent of 2nd, 3rd and 4th class in Ireland. It was always my ambition as a student to be teaching students this age so it’s a dream come true. The students welcomed me with open hands. Their warmth and acceptance has made the transition to Australia more manageable.  I got welcome cards, chocolates and flowers. It made moving so much easier knowing that I’ve done the right thing. The other teachers are also so welcoming. My Irish accent is loved here and I’ve started teaching the children some Gaeilge. They love it!! One of the students came up to me after class and said “ I love the Irish we learn because my brother and I can speak it behind our parents back”. The kids are just so funny. Next thing I want to teach them is the tin whistle or the bodhrán. It will be funny seeing them all play… well trying to play! It’s great to be able to bring this Irish culture here. Don’t worry I am teaching them all the required curriculum but it’s good to have a mix of teaching and of course fun.   I’ve done lots of travelling and sightseeing. My housemates know all the best eating spots and can plan a sightseeing day very well.  The food isn’t much different over here but you’d miss the real Tayto crisps and most of all some Barry’s tea. The beaches are amazing though! The sand is so warm on bare feet. I swam with dolphins two weeks ago. It was the most incredible experience. I’d love to try swimming with other creatures now. It’s on my bucket list for sure.  I’ve been texting cousin Daniel. He was up to visit me last weekend.. He’s delighted to have family in the country now and I’m delighted to have him. We promised whenever we feel we need family time we will meet up. Daniel is in great form and we just have the best craic just like we did when we were young. He thought buying his little cousin a drink was very strange for him!   More importantly how are ye? I’m missing you, in fact I will admit I’m missing you a lot!. I Hope the house isn’t too quiet without myself and Cathal. Cathal is planning on visiting me at Christmas already with his family. Hows Nana and Grandad? I called them last week and Nana cried hearing my voice. It made me miss them and home. Well as you can probably tell I’m really settling in here and acclimatising to my new but wonderfully exciting life. I know how anxious you were about my move but all the stress is not necessary, I am truly content.  I’ll keep ye updated anyway. Talk later.

Love and miss you lots,

Your Catriona