New York, Day 3

I woke up at 4AM EST unable to return to sleep. Gee, I wonder why. As I looked over at my wife and daughter sleeping, I was filled with admiration for them. Both have handled this stressful event very well. My wife remained quite calm during our ordeal at Dublin immigration, allowing me to speak to the officer. Perhaps he would have been more receptive to her. While my daughter showed some signs of the stress she was under, she kept her wits about herself, and frequently offered ideas and questions to ask the officer. Most I had already asked and some probably would not have helped very much. I was quite proud of both of them, and it was good to see some smiles and hear laughter from them as we went out into town yesterday. Thanks goodness for free wireless broadband in the hotel room; Denyce has been making ample use of it to chat with her friends back home. She hasn’t told them about her ordeal yet, though I’ve been in contact with her principal who also sent words of encouragement.

It’s hard for me to imagine what it must be like for her, having been raised and educated in such nurturing environments. Her teachers and our faculty are like her second family. Teachers greet the children each morning with a kiss on the cheek and sometimes a hug. I do the same with many of my colleagues. It is our way. It may seem shocking to people from the mainland or Europe that parents would allow this. I don’t simply allow it, I would be appalled if it didn’t happen. I expect it. It is our way.

Malia’s principal expressed her pride in how she is handling this, and that it is a valuable lesson in how things work in the rest of the world. I knew it was a lesson that needed to be learned, but it was painful to watch nonetheless. I am hoping that with lesson learned she will be able to soon experience the cead mile failte (hundred thousand welcomes) that is more representative of Ireland.

I’m still waiting to hear back from UCC ISO to see if they have had any contact with GNIS (Gardai National Immigration Service) in Cork to see if my plan to return to Cork alone to pave the way for their return is feasible.

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