Long ago in a far off land, my grandmother lived in the quaint, little town of Claremorris, Ireland. My family derives from Claremorris, which is located in County Mayo (Irish spelling: Contae Mhaigh Eo) which is one of the 32 counties that makeup Ireland. In 1960, my grandmother left Ireland and flew over to the states where my mom became the first in our family to be born in America.
When my mom and uncle finished school each spring, my grandmother would bring them back over to Ireland for the summer. Growing up, my mom was exposed to her Irish heritage and the new life my grandmother had made in America.
I was only seven years old when my grandmother passed away, so I did not get to know the wonderful woman she was. In the fall of 2004, my family set out for Ireland for a memorial mass in her home parish in Claremorris. I met so many of my family at a very young age and in a very short time. I was only seven, but that did not stop me from remembering my time there.
Three years later, my mom and grand-aunt brought my brother and I back over to Ireland for another visit. This time I was older and able to remember more. One of my most vivid memories from both visits is having tea in the city center of Dublin at the Gresham Hotel... and the sugar cubes. When we were served our tea, we were handed tea cups, a pot of hot tea, milk, and sugar. This was not a bowl of loose sugar but rather sugar cubes! My eyes were in awe at what I was seeing, a child only hears whispers of such things never do they actually experience a real life encountering with sugar cubes. We were given a miniature set of tongs to pick up our sugar cubes and plop them into our tea cups as we pleased, but of course mom gets the final say as to how many you can actually put into your tea. I assume she did not want a sugar/tea crazed child running around the lobby of the Gresham Hotel.
If you were to ask me why I picked studying abroad in Dublin, the short answer is because I am Irish, but that is not the whole story nor my favorite response. I am second generation American and my family traces back to Ireland. What this means is my family is still “very new” to America and that much of our family is in both America and Ireland. I am fortunate to have grown up around family who have spent many years in Ireland but have made their home in America, so I have been surrounded by Irish culture and stories my whole life.
Victoria K. is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO Blogger in Dublin, Ireland. She is currently in her second year studying Marketing and Accounting at the University of Southern Indiana.
Victoria Krug is the Fall 2016 CEA MOJO Blogger in Dublin, Ireland, and is currently studying at University of Southern Indiana .