On The Buses: College kids, Corkonians and American visitors on the 208

On The Buses: College kids, Corkonians and American visitors on the 208

Alison Todres and her sons, Benjamin and Desmond. Pictures: Denis Minihane

FROM Nigeria to Atlanta, to Galway and Cork, the Evening Echo spoke to people from all over the world by sitting on the 208 bus.

Alison Todres, was heading home from town with her two young boys, Benjamin, five, and Desmond, three.

“We just moved over three weeks ago from Atlanta, Georgia. My husband, Jonathan, is a law professor and he is doing research in UCC for the next six months.”

Alison said they landed on their feet when they got to Cork and the whole family is loving the Corkonian lifestyle.

“Everybody is so nice, the food is so good here, the restaurants are great and we got the boys in school. Benjamin is in St Fin Barre’s National School, and Desmond is in Cheeky Cherubs in City Hall.”

Alison told the Evening Echo they are living on Western Road and the boys love going to Fitzgerald Park in the evening. “We go there most evenings, to feed the ducks and use the playground and have a look around. It is a lovely amenity.”

Alison said her husband Jonathan is lecturing at the college and co-teaching with another professor and he loves the community vibe of UCC.

“We all love Cork we will definitely be considering coming back for holidays. We really like it here. We are kicking ourselves that we didn’t make it a longer stay.

“It is an easy place to move to, everyone is so welcoming, but it’s not going to happen any time soon. We have our whole lives back in Atlanta, we left our house rented out, just for six months.”

Alison said the one thing she misses at the moment is her car.

“The public transport is great but there are times when you pick up the kids from school and they are tired and you need to do groceries that you wish you had a car to just fly around in.”

The Todres family have been sightseeing around the local area, visiting Fitzgerald Park on a number of occasions as well as The Lough and last weekend the family headed out to Fota Wildlife Park.

“We loved it, everything from taking the train out there, to the animals, it was great.”

The whole family is off to Dublin in a couple of weeks for three nights and Alison said she and the boys are looking forward to seeing the capital.

“We can’t wait,” she said.

Next on the bus was Kate Ellis, from Connemara in Co Galway. Kate has been living in Cork since last July.

“I live in Bishopstown, near CIT with my boyfriend Jason Dowd. He is a graphic designer. I like living in Cork — it is like a very big Galway. There is a good subculture here.”

Kate is currently studying at the Crawford Art College.

Kate Ellis: art student.
Kate Ellis: art student.

“I love the Crawford, although I slipped on ice recently and broke my left wrist. I am left handed so I couldn’t really go back to college today.

“It should be better in a couple of weeks, I will be out of the sling in a few days and then I will just have a wrist support.”

Kate told the Evening Echo, back home she lives up the Twelve Bens mountain range.

“We live off the grid. Back home there are my parents, Bob and Verona, and my twin sisters, Robin and Sarah (16).

“My dad is a sailor, I was born on a boat and lived on a boat until I was five. I spent a lot of time sailing growing up and I was almost a qualified pilot, the person who parks boats in docks.

“My mom used to be a rally driver and now she works for a car magazine.”

Also on the bus was mother-of-two Rebecca Adu from Nigeria.

Rebecca has been living in Cork for the past 17 years. “I moved over with my first pregnancy for a better life.”

Rebecca lives in Bishopstown with her two sons Samuel, 16, and Micah, 13.

Rebecca Adu: ‘Cork is very friendly.’
Rebecca Adu: ‘Cork is very friendly.’

“The boys are in secondary school, 4th year and 1st year, they are getting on well. They play GAA with Bishopstown. They love their education and they want to go to university.”

Rebecca said she likes living in Cork.

“Cork is a lovely place. It is very friendly. People laugh from their heart.”

Despite enjoying her time here, Rebecca said she sometimes gets homesick.

“I go home to Nigeria when I can. I went back in 2006, 2008. I love the sun and miss my family and childhood friends. I would love to travel home again, but it is very expensive for me and my two boys.”

Maria McElligott from Cork was heading into town to meet some friends for a few drinks.

“We are going to Wetherspoons to have some food and drinks. I am currently taking a year out and I am meeting friends who are in college now. I don’t get to see them that often.”

Maria is spending her year out working in Penneys as well as doing some travel.

Maria McElligott: Works in Penneys.
Maria McElligott: Works in Penneys.

“I like working for Penneys, they are a great company. I couldn’t put them wrong. They are very good to me.

“I am taking a year out because I don’t know what I want to do. I am spending the year working and travelling. I am just back from Amsterdam, I went with a friend. It is a small bit lawless.

Finally, on the bus, the Evening Echo met Jim Ryan.

Jim was just back from Cork University Hospital where he was visiting his partner.

“My partner Agnes Higgins broke her hip, she is in a small bit of pain.

“I don’t know when she is coming home yet. I go to see her every day.”

Jim said he was going home and then heading out for a pint with his son Thomas.

Jim Ryan: Visiting his partner in hospital.
Jim Ryan: Visiting his partner in hospital.

“I’m going to the local, either Jack Forde’s or O’Cionnaith’s, I can’t decide which one yet.

“I hope to have my partner home soon. We have been together 20 years.”

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