Blog Week 1 – Sept. 15, 2014

First week completed in Ireland. I’ve scrimmaged with the team, successfully moved into a house in Swords with two imports (one from Spain and the other the US), visited my college I’ll be attending and I’ve gotten to know the team pretty well. The coach and the team were all very welcoming from the beginning, both on and off the court, and the people around here are pretty nice as well. Public transportation is my new best friend, specifically bus number 41C. This would technically be my first time living on my own and it’s certainly a wake up call but I guess you’ve got to learn one way or another.

So to fill you all in, I’m playing for the professional team the Swords Thunder in Dublin’s Premier league, which is the top league out here; and I will be attending Griffith College in about a week to begin my Masters provided by the team, and I will play for the college team out there as well. There’s only a few imports, one guy from Poland, one from Spain, and three from the US, myself included. The rest of the guys are all Irish natives and ages range from about 19-34. Our first game is October 4, and in the meantime we are just playing in preseason tournaments and practicing, so I’ll keep you guys posted on games when that time comes.

So, living on my own was definitely a shock to get used to, but on top of that there are a few others that i am trying to balance. I have to adjust to using the Euro and realizing that the US Dollar really isn’t worth as much here unfortunately. The accents are another thing, I’m doing pretty well so far but every once in a while, especially the ones with thicker accents lose me mid-conversation. That’s an acquired thing, though, so I’ll give it time. And the whole driving on the wrong (left) side of the road and the wrong (right) side of the car is really throwing me off. But like I said, I’ll give it time and hope it becomes natural.

I’m writing this blog as I sit in Immigration with my American teammates trying to get our student visas approved. And let me tell you, this is an awful experience when you don’t know what to expect. We got here this morning at 7:30am to find a line wrapped completely around the building that took about 2 or so hours to find our way inside for 30 seconds; only to find that we have to come back, or wait around for 6 hours when our number was called. Not the most enjoyable wait, but luckily once it’s done we won’t have to be back here any time soon.

So, that about sums up my first week in Ireland. I’ll be sure to keep this as updated as I can on my journey playing professional ball and completing my masters. Until next time.