From Poland to Offaly - a change in my life experience


I SPENT some years of my childhood in a town outisde of Katowice in Poland and back then I couldn’t think of a better place to live, writes Julia Jastrzebska.

The idea of having all your extended family living in the same house as you might sound scary and loud for some people, but me however, I couldn’t be happier.

I always knew I would have someone there for me, and like most grandmothers mine is an amazing cook and the thought of her cakes and muffins make my stomach rumble. They were the best thing anyone could ever try. You knew whenever she was making something because the gorgeous smell would travel across the whole house.

I always looked up to my grandparents and always found my family history so interesting. Hearing stories about my great grandfather being a soldier during World War Two to just hearing my granddad talk about his job as a miner - they all always grabbed my attention. The one thing you could never be in that house is bored.

I loved waking up every morning on a summer day and going to the garden which always has been so colourful and filled with all sorts of fruits and flowers such as cherries, apples, pears, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, rhubarb and even peaches. By the time I would get called for breakfast, I would be too full to eat anything. I couldn’t think of a better place live and never imagined myself leaving it.

So when my parents decided to move to Ireland, I didn’t understand what that meant at first. After all I was only aged eight and back when you’re that age everthing is different, brighter and more peaceful. You think your parents are superheroes and the playground slide is the highest you have ever climbed. You think finding one cent on the ground will buy you a packet of sweets and going to bed an hour later than usual makes you feel like you’re an adult. I was so sacred of such a change but in the end I was all wrong because the change was for the better.

My first few months were very difficult especially because I had no idea how to speak English and that was the biggest struggle. I remember my first summer here I spent all of it trying to learn as much as I could. It took me a long time and a lot of work to get my English language to the level it is now at and still I think it could be so much better.

Making new friends wasn’t difficult and as the years went by I’m still very close to them all. Spending time with them is always fun and never boring. Even though there are times when I miss everyone from back home. I know that if I have stayed I wouldn’t have met all these inredible people and have an amazing opportunity to learn another language.

It took a while to get used to everything but I’m in this country for nine years now and I don’t think I could ever go back. I had an amazing experience and a fun nine years and can’t wait to see what else is ahead of me.

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