Thursday, November 24, 2011


Once again I spent Thanksgiving here in Cork with a huge group of international students, and once again, it was awesome! It's getting a bit late here and I have to catch a bus at 7 am tomorrow, so this will be a short post, but I wanted to make sure to get the pictures up!

Sarah with her cute matching hat and scarf :)

Food! All 3 pies are pumpkin (made from real pumpkins, not canned) and then some yummy fresh fruit and then stuffing in the background.

More food that has yet to get a spot in the kitchen. Can you guess which bag of food on this table came from me?

Starting to fill up! We've got the pies, fruit, stuffing, cranberry sauce, Spanish omelet, carrot cake, and the square one is my green bean casserole :)

More food on the stove. The big pot is kind of mashed potatoes...but with a load of other stuff in broccoli...and red bell peppers...sounds weird, but actually kind of good.

And look, more food! We've got the turkey, rolls, and on the plate is a "traditional Bavarian dish" that no one could explain in English. It was delicious, but I have no idea what I was eating.

And more food! This is a chocolate cake with wild berry filling and all of those cute decorations are made of marzipan and there is a layer of marzipan underneath the frosting. And one of the girls made all of it herself! SO GOOD.

Sadly, I didn't get picture of all of the food. From what I can recall there was also a cheesy rice veggie dish, sweet potatoes with marshmallow topping, Austrian stewed red cabbage, salad, mashed potatoes, 3 types of bread, mint chocolate chip ice cream, and cupcakes. I feel like I'm forgetting things, but you get the idea.

Eagerly awaiting dinner.

So much excitement!

Finally, dinner! On this plate (this was round 1 of dinner): mashed potatoes w/ veg, green bean casserole, roll, Spanish omelet, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, turkey (dark meat, yes!), and the Bavarian surprise :P

And round 1 of dessert! Pumpkin pie and carrot cake!

Relaxing a bit after the dinner marathon. Left to right: Keely, me, Brooke.

Had to get a picture with our lovely hostess, Emilyy.

The only Irish person in attendance, GearĂ³id!

Me and Keely.

Melanie and I.

Me, Liz, Sarah.

People were still picking at the food. As we explained to all of the international students, Thanksgiving is all about eating until you're stuffed, and then going back for more!

Dessert round 2! This is actually in my fridge right now because I think that if I had tried to eat it, I would have been sick. But now I have something to look forward to tomorrow night!

The lovely baker cutting the cake :)

So that's just a bit of the Thanksgiving festivities over here. We definitely had a great time and all of the international students seemed to enjoy the holiday. I must say that before actually going to the party I wasn't really looking forward to it (I had been in the lab for 8 hours and had to take a test, then had to rush home to shower and make the casserole before moving the whole production over to Emilyy's house), but I am so happy that I got to spend such a great evening with so many awesome people!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

"And we've arrived at...another cemetery?"

That was pretty much the expression of the bus driver on our field trip on Friday. As far as we can tell, he knew that it was an Archaeology field trip, but didn't know that it was for a Mortuary Theory course. He seemed a bit put off by it, but he never actually said anything negative about it to us.

As I mentioned, this was a field trip for Mortuary Theory so the point of the trip was to look at the different ways that we commemorate the dead and how that has changed from the Medieval period to today.

Our first stop of the day was a Medieval cemetery in Castlehaven that has very few modern burials.

Candid shot of Fiona.

Meghan (brown jacket), Gereme, and Susan (red jacket) attempting to traverse the VERY uneven ground.

The remains of the Medieval church.

These were fairly modern (late 1800s/early 1900s) military graves.

This was a Spanish child that fell overboard on a ship in the harbour.

The harbour was right across the road from the graveyard. Beautiful location!

Zoe wandering around a bit.

Class picture! Left to right: Me, Fiona, Meghan, Zoe, Susan, Gereme.

Next stop was the Castletownsend 19th century Church of Ireland that kind of took over the Castlehaven area.

Barra being a tour guide and pointing out the scenery.

There was some really beautiful stained glass in this church.

This is the Castletownsend graveyard. Beautiful.

So, since it was supposed to pour that day (which it apparently did in Cork city, but we had beautiful weather in West Cork) we all (for the most part) wore wellies. When Barra saw this he asked if we wanted to go on a "real" Archaeology field trip. Of course we all agreed. Now, in Ireland, a "real" Archaeology field trip involves trespassing and climbing over at least one wall or fence. In this case we had to climb over one electric fence (depicted in the picture below with Fiona holding the fence down (there is plastic there for this purpose so that the farmers can get over the fence) and Gereme climbing over it) into someone's pasture, then over a gate onto someone else's property.

All of our hard work was worth it! This is Brian's fort.

And it has a lovely view of a tower house in the distance.

We found the entrance!

There was a Christmas tree growing on the wall!

Fiona caught me taking pictures. The whole day everyone was complementing me on my sneaky picture taking. Every time we got back on the bus everyone would insist on going through my camera to see what sneaky shots I had gotten.

One final view of the fort.

We had one more quick stop just outside of Castletownsend to see the Catholic cemetery. See that mound of earth behind the graves? That would be a ringfort. So cool.

On the way to our next stop Barra suddenly stopped his car in the middle of the road (he was driving ahead of us) and came and got us all out of the bus so that we could once again trespass (this time we climbed a wall) so that we could get another class picture with a gorgeous background. Left to right: Me, Susan, Gereme, Zoe, Meghan, Fiona.

I'm pretty sure that this is my favorite picture of all of us so far. We're calling it our "Osteo Family Portrait"

So beautiful!! That tower house down there is the same one that we could see from the fort.

Another shot once we were back on the bus and were passing the tower house.

Next stop was Myross cemetery. This cemetery is on a cliff overlooking High and Low Islands. It contains burials that are from the post Medieval period to the present.

By this point in the day I wasn't as sneaky with my picture taking.

Someone built himself a pyramid. Not that surprising considering his name was "The O'Donovan"

Barra giving his talk about the cemetery in the freezing cold wind.

We decided that this picture looks like the cover of a boy band album...just with girls.

Seriously, how great is this location?!?

Next up we stopped in Skibbereen for lunch.

We didn't know this going in, but Barra decided to treat us all to lunch, which worked out in our favor since we all got amazing deserts in addition to our other food. I got the Jameson and Bailey's Creme Brulee! It was so amazing that even the dish was smiling ;)

Our last stop of the day was at the Abbeystrewry cemetery just outside of Skibbereen.

The reason that we came here was to look at the Famine memorial that was very politically charged.

You can still see the rows of Famine grave trenches.

By this time we were all thoroughly exhausted so we headed back to Cork. This was definitely the best field trip that I've been on in a really long time. But that's to be just cant go wrong with a tour of West Cork arranged by Barra :)