The excitement all started on Wednesday the 18th of March. We were all eager to meet our Spanish host brothers and sisters that we had been contacting since we found out about the exchange. We had laid out a table of snacks and drinks for the students, since we assumed they would be hungry after all the travelling. They arrived at half past six and we rushed outside to meet them. They were all smiles and we laughed as we greeted each other.
We brought them inside and everyone was introduced to each other. We sat and talked and ate for a while and then we went outside and sat in the sun. We sang songs from our countries and played football and basketball. Eventually, the excitement died down and we all went home around eight to introduce the Spanish to our families.
Over the next few days, we all became very comfortable with each other and learnt a lot more about the culture and language of each other’s countries. Outside of school, we all met up and went bowling and to see each other. Some went to the cinema and others went to the beach. Either way, everyone went out of their way to make sure that both Irish and Spanish enjoyed their eight day visit.
During school, we did the Céilí to teach them about traditional Ireland and we taught them different dances as they did the Flamingo. There was a lot of laughing and it took time and patience but somehow seemed to end in laughter. On Sunday, we went to Ailwee Caves and to the Cliffs of Moher. It was a long drive, but we made it fun. The Spanish loved the cliffs overall, and everyone took lots of pictures. They loved the views… and the cows!
On Tuesday, we took them on a day trip to Galway city and we intended to show them the Cathedral and the Spanish Arch and a walking tour of Galway. However they got a taste of what Ireland typically was like and it rained on us. We improvised by bringing them to the shopping centres and they bought presents for family and friends back home.
On the last day, there was an emotional farewell and we all look forward to visiting them again in Spain.
by Aleanbh Heffernan and Katie Roche