Journal Entry – Week 9 & 10

April 7 – 13

It’s Monday and we’ve just gotten back from our Northern Ireland trip. Today we visited the Knock Shrine, which I surprisingly found fascinating. Since religion isn’t a huge factor in my life right now I didn’t think I’d take much interest in this, but I did. In the basilica, there’s a mosaic with over 1.5 million pieces to it. Supposedly at this sight, it’s the only place in the world that witnessed an apparition of Mary, Joseph, St. John the Evangelist, a Lamb and cross on an altar at the wall of the Parish Church.

Tuesday we had our final literature class. Now I just have to type a paper and it will be over. Wednesday we were back on our tin whistles! I am still having trouble switching my fingers this fast, but I’ll keep practicing. Thursday we had our final history class. We spent the majority of the class finishing up Irelands more recent history; but got to share our iMovie for our professor and directors. We were all worried that our professor wouldn’t like it or could be offended since we tried to make it humorous. Luckily, she thought it was hilarious and wants to show her colleagues. At the end of class, both the class and our professor exchanged gifts as it was our last time seeing each other. I genuinely hope she is able to come back in the following years for other UNK students because she had so much knowledge and was very passionate about us learning it. Thursday night, 9 out the 10 of us went to Galway to celebrate being done. This was our last night in Galway and it makes me sad to think I won’t experience it again. Us girls had uncoordinated planning wearing the same few colors: yellow, black, and olive green. Sunday through Wednesday we were traveling through southern parts of Ireland.

April 15 – 19

Sunday we left for the last excursion of the entire trip. The end is approaching fast and I am not sure how to feel about it. Sunday we visited a number of places. Starting with the Kerry Writers Museum, followed by a sheepdog farm, famine cottages, and a blasket centre. At the sheepdog farm we got to feed donkeys, hold baby lambs, and see sheep get heard by dogs. I found it amazing how well the dogs were trained to listen to their owner and heard the sheep. Growing up family friends had Border Collies as dogs and I always would see them “herding” balls but this time I got to see Border Collies herding an actual herd. This is was my favorite part on this excursion!

Monday we drove the Ring of Kerry. The Ring of Kerry is a 100 mile scenic view. While we were driving the route, we got to experience rain, rain, and more rain. While meandering through the very windy roads we were able to see mountains and lakes. The weather was a bit of a damper but the views were still amazing and I would recommend everyone to take this drive. The fog setting over the mountains made it very ominous.

Tuesday we took a spontaneous trip to the Ross Castle, as our lovely bus driver recommended it for the views. I can assure you that it did not disappoint. Following we visited the infamous Blarney Castle. Of course I had to kiss it for good luck. The Blarney Castle was – thankfully – much easier to maneuver around than any other castle we’ve been to. Wednesday we left Cork, and went to the Rock of Cashel and a workhouse. The workhouse was a very humbling place to visit.

Thursday we had our final music class. We all believed we had mastered the song Galway Girl, from the movie PS I Love You. However, after hearing the recording of us playing a few days later, I don’t think we actually came anything near mastering it. Friday, the weather was beautiful, so all the cottages took advantage and had an impromptu day party! I even got sunburnt – so don’t let anyone tell you you can’t get sunburnt in Ireland because I’m living proof. Everyone came to our cottage for the day where we listened to music and shared stories with each other.

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