A few days ago seven AMU students left our sunny, SW Florida campus to head to Ireland for Spring Break. Little did they know that they would be greeted with a winter storm that would shut down the country and leave them stranded in an airport! Our Study Abroad Ireland campus at the Emmaus Centre came to the rescue and the stranded students were welcomed by our Study Abroad students with shelter and fun!
Read the account below:
We survived Winter Storm Emma! It has been a winter wonderland here at the Emmaus Centre in Ireland this weekend, and the Lord sent us a few surprises.
The storm was perhaps small by US standards, at least as it affected us here in North Dublin- perhaps 6 or 8 inches of snow fell, mostly melting as it came down. Nonetheless, this kind of weather is very unusual for Ireland and sent the country into a dither. Public transit, including taxis, shut down for two days, the airport cancelled all flights and closed entirely, and a “red alert” was declared, requiring people to stay indoors from 4 pm on the afternoon the storm hit until 4pm the next day.
We were very cozy at the Emmaus Centre- we never lost power except for a few hours during the night, while we were sleeping, and the staff here made sure we were well fed. Ms. Julie Cosden, Director of the Centre, actually moved in for the weekend to follow the storm’s progress and make sure everything at the Centre was okay. Especially memorable was our smoked salmon salad buffet during the peak of the storm. Has a cold salad ever tasted so delicious? J
While we weathered the storm in comfort here, being little affected since we have our classroom and professor on-site, we soon learned that some other AMU students were not having such good Irish luck with Emma. The arrival of the storm here in Ireland aligned perfectly with the first weekend of AMU’s typical Spring Break back on campus in Florida. Although this break for us took place a few weeks ago, as we’re on a different academic schedule here at Study Abroad, ten AMU students from our Florida campus had elected to spend their Spring Break week here in Ireland, and they were now markedly delayed by the nasty weather.
Learning that these friends had been delayed for nearly eight hours in the tiny Icelandic airport of Keflavik, and then that they would certainly miss their train to their arranged lodging on Ireland’s West Coast here, the Emmaus Centre staff went above and beyond to give an Irish welcome to these stranded students. Beds to rest and breakfast on the house- rest and nourishment to send them on their way for the next morning’s train- were a welcome relief to the AMU girls who finally arrived to us here at Emmaus at 2 am, after over 24 hours of traveling and delays.
I guess now we’re AVE STRONG in Ireland, too!
THANK YOU to our dear friends and hosts at Emmaus for making us all feel so loved!
St. Patrick, pray for us!
To learn more about our Study Abroad Ireland program contact Kateri.Allen@avemaria.edu