what has happened

I am at a bit of a loss for words at the moment. I have been in Belfast for a week now and am both completely settled and completely not settled at all. The photo above is my front door – and my room, actually, as that window is my room – of my new house. I have met almost all of my housemates and we are quite the international crew. I have made friends and acquaintances. I have begun the process of reconnecting with all the favorites from my past Northern Irish life. Settling into life as a QUB student is going haltingly, mostly because that is how QUB appears to operate. This has afforded much time for adventures, though.

In a strange way, I feel as though I never left as I dander down the streets. There are a few stores which have gone out of business, but Donegall Place is essentially the same. My old Belfast haunts are still here and the air smells the same. My soul knew it the minute I saw the countryside – this place is home.

In the week where I traded in one home for another, much has happened. International orientation was a whirlwind of both useful and useless information. There were awkward icebreakers, redundant power points and other staples of such events. There was also proper stew, Irish dancing, free food, new friends, great conversations and much tea. The next two weeks is still orientation activities – more pub quizzes, cocktail parties, free stuff fairs and perhaps even getting to know my advisers. I’ll be sure to keep you posted as I sojourn forth.

In the meantime, know that if the blog is silent, it’s because I’m wandering the streets with a smile on my face and a giggle in my heart getting reacquainted with my long lost homeland.

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Author: kristen

msw, mdiv (baylor university): phd (queens university belfast) : researcher, social worker, human resource director: focus on intersection of gender and religion: wife, daughter, friend, banyan tree

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