Top of the mornin’ to ya.
A lot of people have asked me about my trip to Ireland with my graduate program cohort. Unfortunately, when I’m asked how it was or what we did, I have a hard time putting into words all of the stops we made, or what it specifically was that we learned about. Primary reason being we experienced a lot and we learned a lot.
I constantly found myself being quiet (at peace) through out our trip, because of all of the inspirational people and stories we encountered. These were people we met during tours, interactions at a pub, and designated learning sessions.
Ireland, as a whole has been through so much, yet they are the most positive and collective group of people I’ve ever had the pleasure of interacting with. The peace I felt during my time there, was similar to the feeling you may have gotten when you leave a really good sermon at church. A sermon that just struck you to the core and got your attention; or the feeling you get when you’re open to hearing and experiencing new opinions and insights – a total state of learning.
If you’re at the pub grabbing a pint, they immediately know you’re not from there and will make sure you leave feeling welcomed.
Their music and dance culture is amazing.
and yes, their Guinness does taste different, better.
So with that, this is my attempt to summarize my 8 day trip with some of the most amazing and motivational people I’ve ever met.
Everyone who knows me, knows I am NOT a morning person. BUT, I got it together this week (for the most part) and was really excited when we hit the Irish ground (I immediately started taking photos, hence the photo from a moving bus).
Our first stop was Monasterboice Round Tower and High Crosses.
Crumlin Road Gaol
Our next stop was the Crumlin Road Gaol (prison), (I’m not going to go into the history lesson of this, you can click the link to read more about it). BUT it was cool, and had a really positive spin on their atrium of the prison.
This next photo kind of got me. Our tour guide took us into a room, which was the final living quarters for a prisoner who was sentenced to death. Prisoners who entered this room were never seen coming out of it.
They would spend weeks in the room secluded with stationed guards until their execution day. The room had a trap door built into it and when that day came, the guards were able to flip the prisoner around, strap them to the noose, and then they would drop to their death, all within seconds and no warning.
Mediation Northern Ireland
The next day, we got to spend time with some professionals in the CM industry. Picking their brains in the peace process following The Troubles, the role of the community during the process, as well what family mediation looks like from the Irish perspective.
These walls border the Protestant and Catholic neighborhoods. If you want a really good info documentary look up the Art of Conflict on Netflix. It provides a lot of good context about these murals and their possible future.
This mural is a reminder of those who were involved in the 1981 Hunger Strike
I can’t really put into words how SMALL this place made me feel. I could have sat here all day long BUT, it was raining and very wind/ cold… AND we had other places to be, so I couldn’t literally sit there all day long. 😉
If you are ever in Derry – this museum is a MUST.
This man, was able to speak to us about his personal Bloody Sunday experience, without any hatred or upset in his voice. He had so much positivity that he made you want to hug anyone who had ever done you wrong.
So, hopefully this gives you some idea of the experiences and stops we made in Ireland.
“and the rest of the day to you”.