Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Submit to Ireland

After visiting Ireland and meeting “real Irishmen” it was evident that the Irish people hold their history dear to them. As a group, we went on many tours and we were met with the same charismatic, knowledgeable, and proud Irish person everywhere we went.
I think the Irish identity is something that has only gotten stronger with time. The Irish are proud and resilient. Throughout history, the Irish have fought countless battles to secure the rights of their people, and although they were often unsuccessful, the Irish never gave up, they never wavered, and they always came back stronger than before.

While in Dublin, the mark left by the leaders of Easter Rising was shown almost everywhere. When we met at the Spire, we stopped at the General Post Office which was the site the rebels declared Ireland an independent republic. We were able to see the bullet holes on the pillars, and also the proclamation.

Mural of Bloody Sunday
Another event in history that left its mark was Bloody Sunday. In Northern Ireland, "The Troubles" were a turning point in their history and are remembered across the city of Derry. As we were walking through the Bogside, we were able to see the various murals on the sides of buildings depicting scenes from Bloody Sunday. There were also various flags, plaques, and memorials to commemorate the lives lost and battles fought.
 In Derry, I could still feel a divide between the people. There was an awkwardness to the community as if everyone was walking on eggshells, but at the same time displaying their views aggressively enough to warrant a similar behavior on the other side.

A reoccurring theme in our class readings is that the Irish people are extremely hospitable, and I definitely saw that in both Dublin and Derry. Even our servers at restaurants were extremely kind even though they didn’t have to fake it just to get tips, and the people at the stores we shopped in were welcoming and helpful.
I was expecting people to not be so fond of Americans, but the whole time I was there, I never encountered someone that treated me poorly. Robert Bell speaks of the Irish hospitality in Document B when he says, “Such a visit, so far from being deemed an intrusion, gave pleasure to every individual of the family, who were not only impelled by their natural feelings, but conceived themselves bound by a kind of sacred duty, to perform those acts of hospitality.”

Another personal example of mine is when we hiked to the top of Killiney Hill and I managed to come into contact with stinging nettle. I was honestly freaking out and so scared I was about to have a major reaction to it, but then a local man offered his help.
He stopped what he was doing and began to search through the brush for another type of plant to help the pain. Instead of just pointing it out, he got me the plant and helped me try to stop the burning. That just shows how kinds and selfless the Irish are and how willing they are to lend a hand.

The thing that stuck me the most was the history. Our country is relatively young, so to be able to see buildings, churches, schools, and castles that date back 1000 years, it was amazing. We cant get that here.
When a few of u went into the church Christ cathedral, my jaw dropped as I stepped in. I’m not a very religious person, but the sheer beauty of the building and its contents was almost bringing me to tears. I’ve honesty never seen anything like it.
Overall, I'm obsessed with my experience on this trip and I have so much respect and love for Ireland and its people. If I had a word of advice for future students going on this trip it would be: Submit to Ireland, experience all it has to offer even if it scares you. This trip has given me a gift that I will forever cherish. I was confined to my American bubble, but now I feel more aware of the world we live in, not to mention I've made such wonderful friends.

 Now that I’ve been to another country, I’m addicted, all I want to do is travel more, experience more, and see more. where shall we go next?

No comments:

Post a Comment