I first visited Ireland in 2019 during a long weekend with my husband. We went to Dublin and Galway. We loved it instantly because of the kindness of its people and the beauty of its landscapes. We also loved the culture immediately.
I visited the French Institute in Galway during this romantic trip in 2019. My husband and I fell in love with the place and the city. Back in France, we decided to buy the school and started to look for ways to finance the project. I already was a French teacher and owning my own school was a big achievement to me. Then Covid-19 started and our project had to be delayed until August 2021 when travelling was authorised again.
This is my first Christmas in Ireland this year and I heard that there is a tradition to have a swim in the sea on the 25th of December. I don’t know if this is true but I would love to see it; I probably wouldn’t be brave enough to enter the water though!
I moved to Ireland in September and it already feels like home!
This is not necessarily a Christmas tradition but we will definitely do the Epiphany on the first Sunday of the year. For Christians, this is the day when the Three Kings visited Jesus for the first time. In France, we prepare the Galette des rois: this is a pie with almond filling and we put a bean in it. The youngest person, usually a child, goes under the table and says to whom each piece goes to. The person who receives the bean is the king/queen and has to select its king/queen from the assembly. The bean is supposed to bring fortune for the coming year to the person who receives it.
I have not been in the school long, but all my students have been very welcoming and supportive so far. I can’t thank them enough for the trust they put in me and their support.
What is your favourite place in Ireland?
My favourite place in Ireland is probably Galway. I haven’t had much time to visit so far and Galway is dynamic and very enjoyable as a family
Who is the person you admire most?
The person I most admire is my mother. She’s so strong and always sees things on the bright side. No matter how difficult life can be she’s always positive. She’s very inspiring.
What three words do you associate with Ireland?
Outdoors, pubs, culture. Outdoors for the beautiful landscape and the opportunities to enjoy outdoors activities. Pubs because it seems to be a good part of the Irish way of living. Culture because Irish people have such a strong identity through music, language, songs, etc. This is a great legacy.
If you could relive one Christmas from your past, which Christmas would you choose?
I loved all my Christmases when I was a child. I was very fortunate to have strong bonds in my family and it was always magical and fun to gather with all the uncles, aunts and cousins at my grandmother’s.