Monday, January 11, 2010

Sayonara Connemara

After a week of job searching, Curt and I decided that we deserved a little time away from the city. We booked a day tour to the countryside known as Connemara. It has been one of the coldest winters that Ireland has seen in recent times. Each year Ireland gets a few days of frost in the winter, this year it has been frozen for over a month! As a result Curt and I got to see a breathtaking side of Ireland that few, including locals, get to see.

If you so desire you can check out two movies that were shot in this Mountain/lake/fjord district of west Ireland: 1- The Field circa 1990 and 2-A Quiet Man circa 1952. Both movies show this Irish landscape, and both towns (Leenane and Cong) still try to profit off of their past minutes of fame. The Quiet Man Cafe, The Field Pub, The Quiet Man Public Restrooms :)

We stayed in a Hostel out in the middle of nowhere, overlooking the never ending fjord (Irelands only fjord) and resting quietly between two mountains. It was great to be away from people. It was just me, Curt, and Jordan the guy running the hostel in the winter. There was no running water due to pipes freezing, but that only meant no showers. We enjoyed taking the mountain path 6 Km into town to buy our groceries for the next day, hitching a ride back, and spending the two days reading, watching movies, observing the stillness of the nature outside, and making meals in such a serene and undisturbed setting. Today I am refreshed and rejuvinated, ready to attack the job hnt once again...

About that job seems Ireland's economy has been hit just about as hard as any in Europe. January and February are the months of the least amount of tourism nation-wide (or is it republic-wide?). What this means is that it is so cold and miserable that people just don't go out and consume as much, which means that there is much less demand for workers. To add on to all of these odds stacked against us, our work visas are only valid for 4 months. Our competition, Canadians, Kiwis, and Aussies, all have 12 month work visas. Nobody wants to hire people only to have them leave right before the busy season hits. These are things we did not necessarily anticipate.

There are other alternatives and I will only briefly talk about them as we are going to give the job hunt one more week and then re-evaluate our situation. We are looking into WWOOFing - World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Basically you volunteer for a certain amount of hours/week on an organic farm and they give you a place to stay and all of your meals as well as teach you a lot about their way of life. Many of these farms are also yoga retreat centers, bed and breakfasts, meditation clinics, etc. I think it sounds exactly like the type of experience that we came over here for, the only catch is that there is no pay. Right now though, room and board is about 90% of what we spend our money on anyways (I'll let you guess the other starts with a G and ends with uinness...). The other option is Help Exchange. This is a similar program but includes more hostel and accomodation type businesses. Some even have a little pay!

Welp, that is all I feel like typing at the moment. Enjoy the pictures, comment, and if you'd like me to give you a call soon email me an update and your telephone number. I use skype and it only costs me a few cents a minute.



Living in the Now said...

This winter is pretty much killing everyone!! I know here in OK, I've about had enough of it!! The pics are gorgeous and I'm super jealous!!! Good luck with the job hunt...something will work itself out!!

Susan Iverson said...

It looks like getting out of the city is a good thing. WWOOF!

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