Ghostie-Bop

Haighea a chairde,

Bhí mé ag iarraidh cúpla pictúir a thaispeáint dóibh… seo iad na maisiúcháin a chur mé suas san árasán s’againne. Mar a fheiceann sibh, taispeánann Jonathan go hiontach cad é mar a dhéanann duine an “Ghostie-Bop,” damhsa sróine a dhéantar an tráth seo den bhliain le Ghosties déanta as Kleenex. Mura bhfuil a aithne agat ar an damhsa seo, ba chóir duit é a fhoghlaim. Agus rinne mé brioscaí mar mhéara caillí, ach ar an drochuair bhí siad róramhar as an sorn. Ah, bhuel.

Beannachtaí agus seafóid,

Amanda

Hey guys,

Just wanted to show you a couple of pictures… these are the beautiful decorations I put up in our apartment. As you can see, Jonathan brilliantly demonstrates how one performs the “Ghostie-Bop,” the nose-dance that is done this time of year with Kleenex Ghosties. If you don’t know about this dance, you really should learn it. I also made witch-finger-cookies but alas, they came out too fat out of the oven. Ah, well.

Blessings and silliness,

Amanda

Cumhaidh an Fhómhair / The Nostalgia of Autumn

Haighea a chairde,

Bhuel, tá na tuismitheoirí uilig sa bhaile arís i Massachusetts, agus tá muid ar ais inár bpatrúin rialta… ranganna Dé Máirt, Dé Céadaoin, agus Déardaoin, an margadh álainn Dé Sathairn, cúpla seisiún ceoil anseo agus ansúid. Tá an fómhar anseo cosúil leis an fhómhar i Massachusetts (leis an fhuacht ag teacht agus an solas ag imeacht de réir a chéile), ach níl na dathanna ar na crainn mar an gceanna ar chor ar bith, agus cronaím na dathanna geala oráiste, buí, agus dearg a bhíonn tharainn i gcónaí sa bhaile i MA.

Le himeacht ár dtuimitheoirí, tá mé ag tabhairt fá deara ar athrú an tséasúir, agus mothaím go bhfuil cumhaidh orm ó am go ham. Ar dtús shíl mé nach raibh rud orm seachas ár dtuismitheoirí a bheith fada uaim, ach ansin fuair mé pacáiste galánta ó mo chara Carrie sna Stáit Aontaithe. Déanann an bheirt againn rud éigean le chéile don Oíche Shamhna i gcónaí, agus caithfidh sé a bheith gur léigh sí m’intinn mar sheol sí pacáiste domh le rudaí éagsúla don Oíche Shamhna… rudaí beaga, mar bhrioscaí a rinne sí (i múnlán mhéara na caillí) agus rudaí seafóideacha le cur orm mar chulaith. Bhí sé chomh speisialta, mar phíosa beag álainn ó mo bhaile agus na traidisiúin a bhfuil mé cleachta leo ansin, agus thosaigh mé ag caoineadh ar feadh bomaite, agus mé ag oscailt an bhosca seo. Ansin léigh mé a litir, agus chuir sí focail foirfe ar na mhothúcháin a bhíonn orm (agus ar daoine eile, is dócha) an tráth seo den bhliain. Bíonn cinneal cumhaidh orainn san fhómhair, mar is cuimhin linn go bhfuil deireadh na bliana ag teacht agus tarlaíonn rudaí áirithe roimhe sin. Cé nach bhfuil muid uilig ag obair ar fheirm anois, agus cé nach mbaineann ár saolta agus ár n-ioncam le athrú na séasúr sa lá atá inniu ann, mothaíonn muid an t-athrú atá ag tarlú sa domhain agus ullmhaíonn muid féin don tréimhse níos fuaire, níos dorcha atá romhainn.

San Iarthar Massachusetts, is am machnamhach é seo, ach is am álainn agus ceiliúrach é fosta agus bíonn lucht an cheantair sin ag tnúth leis an fhómhair. Bíonn féilte a bhaineann leis an fhómhair ag tarlú san bailte beaga ar fud an stáit, agus tá páistí agus teaghlaigh uilig ag ullmhú fá choinne Oíche Shamhna agus Lá an Bhuíochais. Suimiúil… feictear domh go bhfuil teannas éigean idir an ceiliúradh agus an uaigneas/ciúnas a tharlaíonn an tráth seo, ach baineann an dá rud le traidisiúin a dhéantar. Sin an fáth a bhfuil cumhaidh orm anois, sílim… sin an rud a tharlaíonn i gcónaí, ach bíonn an ceiliúradh ar siúl de ghnáth sa bhaile, agus gan na nósanna sin anseo in áit nua, bíonn an chumhaidh níos láidre.

(Dála an scéil, is téarma suimiúil é ‘cumhaidh’ ar cúpla leibhéal… úsáidtear ‘cumhaidh’ i dTír Chonaill (baininscneach) agus ‘cumha’ (firinscneach) i gcanúintí eile. Agus ciallaíonn sé ‘nostalgia,’ mar a dhéanaim aistriúchán air thíos, ach ciallaíonn sé rudaí eile, fosta, a bhaineann le duine a bhfuil tú fíorchairdiúil leis/a bhfuil grá agat air/a bhfuil tú muintire do a bheith fada uait, agus tá a fhios agat nach féidir leat é/í a fheiceáil arís. Tá muid ag foghlaim fán chumhaidh i rang Béaloideas le Lillis, agus tagann an téarma agus an mothúchán sin suas rialta go leor).

Níl mé é seo a rá ionas go mbíonn brón ort do mo chás… Níl mé ach ag machnamh, agus tá rudaí éagsúla ar siúl an tseachtain seo a bhfuil muid ag súil go mór leo. Tá féile Oíche Shamhna ar siúl an deireadh seachtaine seo (Féile ‘Galway Aboooo’… cliste, nach bhfuil?), agus beidh mé gleasta mar Audrey Hepburn Oíche Shamhna í féin in Árus na nGael sa chiorcal comhrá. Agus seans go ndéanfaidh mé brioscaí don ócáid, fosta! Ar scór ar bith, bígí ag smaointeamh ar bhur dtraidisiúin féin san tráth seo den bhliain, agus bainigí sult astu, cibé áit ina bhfuil sibh!

Beannachtaí,

Amanda

P.S. Oh, dála an scéil, rinne muid agallamh ar an raidió agus bhí sé ar siúl inniu! Cuirfidh mé an nasc idirlíon anseo i gceann cúpla lá.

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Hullo, friends,

Well, all the parents have gone back home to Massachusetts, and we’re settling back into our regular patterns again… classes Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the lovely market on Saturdays, a few music sessions here and there. Autumn here is similar to autumn in MA (in terms of the growing cold and the light disappearing bit by bit), but the trees don’t have anything like the spectacular colors that we have in MA at all, and I do miss the bright oranges, yellows, and reds that are all around us home in MA this time of year.

With the leaving of our parents, I’m noticing the changing of the season, and I feel quite nostalgic from time to time. At first I thought I was just missing our parents after their visit, but then I received a wonderful package from my friend Carrie in the states. The two of us always do something together for Halloween, and she must have read my mind because she sent me a package with Halloweeny things in it… small things, like cookies she made (shaped like witches’ fingers) and silly things for me to wear as a costume. It was so special, like a beautiful little piece of home and the traditions that I am used to from there, and I actually cried a bit while I was opening this box. Then I read her letter, and she put the exact words to the emotions I’ve been feeling (and that other people feel too, I suppose), this time of year. We all feel a sort of nostalgia in the autumn, as we remember that the end of the year is coming and that certain things happen before it does. Even though we’re not all working on farms and our livelihoods don’t depend on the changing of the seasons these days, we all feel the change in the world and we prepare ourselves for the colder, darker period before us.

In Western MA, this is a reflective time, but it’s also a celebratory time and the people of that area look forward to autumn. Festivals are happening in all the smaller towns across the state, and children and families are preparing for Halloween and Thanksgiving. How interesting… it seems that there’s a certain kind of tension, or equilibrium, between the celebration and the loneliness or quietude that happens this time of year, but both things are concerned with traditions that are performed. That’s why I feel nostalgic at the moment, I think… that’s something that always happens, but without the familiar traditions and celebrations that I’m normally a part of, while I’m in a new place, the feeling of nostalgia is stronger than ever.

(By the way, the term ‘cumhaidh’ is very interesting on a couple of levels. Aside from some interesting grammatical elements between ‘cumhaidh’ (feminine, used in Ulster Irish) and ‘cumha’ (masculine, used in other dialects), it has a somewhat more complex meaning than simply ‘nostalgia,’ as I’ve been writing, that deals with a sort of sense of distance between yourself and people you are close to or love… cumhaidh is, therefore, a better term than ‘nostalgia’ for what I’m feeling at the moment, but there’s not quite the word for it in English, that I know of.

I’m not saying all of this so that you feel bad for me… I’m just reflecting, and besides there are a few things on this week that we are looking forward to quite a bit. There’s a Halloween Festival going on this weekend in the city (The ‘Galway Abooo’ Festival… cute, huh?), and I’m going to dress up as Audrey Hepburn on Halloween itself, I think, for the conversation group/party that will be there that night. Maybe I’ll make some witch-finger-cookies of my own and bring them! Anyway, be thinking about your own traditions and patterns that you do this time of year, and enjoy them, wherever you may be!

Blessings,

Amanda

P.S. Oh, by the way, we did a radio interview for Raidió na Gaeltachta and it went live today! I’ll put up the link to the recording of it as soon as it comes out. 🙂

Mí na dtuismitheoirí! Month of the parents!

Haighea a chairde!

Bhuel, tá mí amháin thart anois ó a thoisigh muid na ranganna. Mí iontach deacair a bhí ann, caithfidh mé a adhmháil, ach go mall tá rudaí ag éirí níos fusa, tá snas ag teacht ar ár gcuid Gaeilge, agus tá ár dtuiscint ag feabhsú fosta. É sin ráite, bhí muid ag comhdháil Gaeilge in Áras na Gaeilge Dé hAoine agus Dé Satharin seo caite, agus bhí an-deacracht againn aon chainteoir a thuiscint seachas na cainteoirí as Tír Chonaill… ar a laghad, thuig muid formhór rudaí a bhí ráite acusan, ach bhí díomá orainn gur dúrúin iad na léachtaí a bhí ag Connachtaigh agus ag Ciarraígh! Ah bhuel, tá a fhios againn go dtiocfaidh sé, ach tá sé deacair fanacht don lá a bheas muid ábalta na rudaí éagsúla seo a thuiscint.

Mar deá-rud, áfach, tháinig mo thuismitheoirí ar cuairt an tseachtain a chuaigh thart, agus tá tuismitheoirí Jonathan anseo fá láthair… cineál rás sealaíochta atá ann! Bhí sé go hiontach mo thuismitheoirí a fheiceáil, agus ár saol úr a thaispeáint dóibh nuair a bhí siad anseo. Bhí siad anseo Dé hAoine, Dé Sathairn, Dé Domhnaigh (agus chuaigh muid go hInis Oírr ansin), agus Dé Luain, agus ansin chuaigh siad go Dún na nGall ar feadh dhá lá nuair a bhí ranganna againn. Tháinig siad ar ais tráthnóna Déardaoin, agus chaith muid cúpla lá eile le chéile. Bhí sé go hálainn, rechúiseach, agus bhain muid an-sult as!

Ar an drochuair, bhí orainn slán a rá leo maidin inné, agus tá siad slán sábhailte ar ais i Massachusetts anois. Ach níl briseadh againn ó na cuairteoirí, mar tá tuismitheoirí Jonathan anseo anois, agus tá muid ag baint neart suilt as a gcuairt! Shroich siad go moch ar maidin Dé hAoine, agus déanfaidh siad rud cosúil le mo thuismitheoirí… rachaidh siad go Sasana Dé Mairt – Déardaoin, tiocfaidh siad ar ais Déardaoin, agus beidh siad anseo go dtí Dé Domhnaigh. Inniu, chuaigh muid go hAillte an Mhothair agus an Bhoireann, agus bhí sé go hiontach. Tá na hAillte feicthe agam trí huaire anois, ach ní chailleann siad cuma an amhra ar chor ar bith aon am agus a fheicim iad. Amárach, rachaidh muid go hÁrainn Mhór (don chéad uair dúinne), agus tá muid ag súil go mór leis.

Seo cúpla pictiúr de na heachtraí a bhí againn go dtí seo:

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Anois, ar ais go dtí an obair! Slán libh go fóill!

Amanda

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Hey everyone!

Well, a month has gone by now since we started classes. It has been a very difficult month, I must admit, but slowly things are starting to get a bit easier, our Irish is getting better, and we can also understand more. That said, we were at an Irish language conference at Áras na Gaeilge Friday and Saturday, and it was horribly difficult for us to understand any presenter except for the speakers from Ulster… at least, we understood most of the things they said, but we were really disappointed that the presentations of the Connaught and Kerry folks were a complete mystery! Ah well, we know this will come, but it’s hard to wait for the day when this will all start to make sense.

As a nice thing, however, my parents came to visit last week, and Jonathan’s parents are here at the moment… we have a kind of relay-race going on! It was wonderful to see my parents, and to show our new life to them when they were here. They were here in Galway Friday, Saturday, Sunday (when we took a trip to Inis Oírr, one of the Arann Islands), and Monday, and then they went to Donegal for a couple of days while we had our classes. They came back Thursday evening, and we spent a couple more days together. It was fabulous, laid-back, and very fun.

Unfortunately, they had to go home some time, and we said goodbye to them yesterday morning… they’re safe at home in Massachusetts now. But there’s no break in the visitors, because Jonathan’s parents are here now, and we’re having a blast with them! They arrived Friday morning, and they’ll do something similar to my parents in that they’ll take off for England Tuesday – Thursday, they’ll come back Thursday, and will be here till Sunday. Today, we went to the Cliffs of Moher and the Burren, and it was wonderful. I’ve seen the Cliffs 3 times now, but they in no way lose their sense of wonder and mystery any time I see them. Tomorrow, we’ll go to Inis Mór (another one of the Arann Islands), and we’re really looking forward to it.

Here’s a couple of pictures from our adventures so far:

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And now, back to work! TTFN, Ta Ta For Now!

Amanda

Físeán as Béal Feirste/ video from Belfast

Haighea a chairde,

Má tá suim agaibh, seo an físeán nuachtáin ón fhéile i mBéal Feirste… tá píosa beag linn ag caint istigh, sa lár. 🙂

http://www.meoneile.ie/ailt/breithl%C3%A1-l%C3%ADofa

Lá gaofar, baisteach atá ann inniu i nGaillimh, agus tá muid lonnaithe istigh san árasán (faoi bhlaincéad i mo chás féin!) ag déanamh oibre. Tá cúrsaí ag feabhsú leis na ranganna agus ár gcuid Gaeilge, ach tá an t-uafás obair le déanamh againn go rialta, agus téann sé go mall mar glacann sé am go leor na hailt/sleachta a léamh i nGaeilge dúinn. Ach tá muid in ann níos mó rudaí a labhairt agus a thuiscint achan lá, agus tá sé go halainn go bhfuil an seans againn é seo a dhéanamh.

Ceann de na rudaí is fearr linn fán Ghaeilge in Éirinn… níl a fhios agat riamh cá háit a mbuailfidh tú léi! Chuaigh muid isteach go Dunne’s fá choinne pannaí nua a cheannach (bhí na cinn san árasán dona ar fad agus gan mhaith), agus bhí Gaeilge ag an freastalaí ansin. Agus bhí Gaeilge ag an phluiméir a tháinig chuig ár n-árasán leis an doirteal a dheisiú, agus ag an bhean istigh san oifig farantóireachta nuair a fuair muid taighde faoi turas go dtí na hoileáin Árann… tá a fhios agam gurb AS Éirinn an Ghaeilge, ach leis an éiginnteacht atá i gceist le stádas na Gaeilge, tá sé iontach deas bualadh le daoine a bhfuil Gaeilge acu agus a úsáideann í ó lá go lá.

An ndúirt mé gur lá baisteach é? Anois, tá an spéir gorm agus geal ar fad, gan rian den fhearthainn a bhí ann cúpla bomaite ó shin. Ah bhuel, athróidh sé go luath, leoga.

Slán anois,

Amanda

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Hey folks,

If you are interested, here’s the news video link from the festival in Belfast… there’s a small bit with us talking in there, somewhere in the middle. 🙂

http://www.meoneile.ie/ailt/breithl%C3%A1-l%C3%ADofa

It’s a windy, rainy day today in Galway, and we’re settled inside the apartment (in my case, under a blanket!) doing work. Things are improving with classes and our Irish, but we regularly have a ton of work to do, and it goes slowly because it takes us a while to read the articles/book excerpts in Irish still. But we’re able to say and understand more and more every day, and it’s wonderful to have this chance to do this.

One of the things we love about Irish in Ireland… you never know when you’re going to encounter it! We went in to Dunne’s the other day to buy new cooking pans (the ones in the apartment were awful and useless), and the young man at the checkout counter spoke Irish with us. And the plumber spoke Irish who came to fix our sink, and the woman at the Ferry Office when we went to get information about the Aran Islands… I know that Irish is, in fact, an Irish language (duh) but with the uncertainty that is present with the status of Irish, it’s really nice to meet people who speak and use Irish on a daily basis.

Did I say it’s a rainy day? Now the sky is blue and completely clear, without a trace of the rain that was there a few minutes ago. Ah well, it’ll change again, I’m sure.

By for now,

Amanda