A Donegal-San Fran Thanksgiving

Image of a blonde haired woman and brown haired man and their two children

The Donegal Diaspora has found its way into the Irish Consulate in San Francisco, servicing the west coast of the United States. The office provides consular assistance, issues passports, visas and citizenship. It represents and promotes Ireland at various official events and assists in coordinating official visits of Irish Heads of State and Ministers to its jurisdiction.

Donegal lady Sylvia Mc Laughlin, originally from Churchtown, Carndonagh, has the county well represented! Sylvia Attended St Patrick’s Girls’ National School, then Carndonagh Community School and graduated from the University of Ulster, Jordanstown with a Masters Degree in Marketing. Sylvia’s husband Gary Foley is a General Contractor and also a Donegal native from Lifford.

The couple have been living in San Francisco since 2003 and are loving it, enjoying both work and weather. There are lots of things to do and places to visit. With two young children Aaron (7) and Aoibhe (5) they are kept very busy with sports and other fun events. Gary coaches Aoibhe’s soccer team and Sylvia volunteers at the kids’ school.

They do, however, often miss Donegal, especially ‘the family get-togethers where everyone is together and having the craic’, but Sylvia admits that technology has really improved on ways of staying in touch with friends and family. The couple skype, facetime, email, text and phone family and friends. They even send old fashioned letters and cards.

With Thanksgiving coming up in America, Silvia and Gary look forward to having some valuable time off work and will be spending it celebrating with close family friends in San Francisco. The kids also look forward to the celebration as they get to take part in fun activities and lessons at schools while dressing up in costume. They love to have Donegal family and friends visit them to reminisce about home, the summers spent on the beach, going to the gaeltacht and having a proper winter Christmas.