Crazy Beginnings: January 20-22, 2017

Greetings, everyone! Hope you’re surviving the first month under Trump (Fight, fight, fight!). It has been, as the title of this post states, a crazy, crazy few weeks. We have been running around Dublin almost nonstop, trying to take in as much as we can, and we have also started classes,  which has added a whole new level of zaniness to our adventures thus far. To make this process a bit easier, I shall be narrating our travels via pictures.

Friday, January 20

Started out a little rough, both due to the knowledge of Trump’s impending inauguration and because I managed to flood the kitchen with soapy water (tip: don’t put dish soap in the dishwasher). After breakfast, the group of us made our way to the Fumbally Exchange, where our Reinventing Ireland and internship courses will be taking place. We met up with Seona and Alessandra, who are our guides while we’re here in Ireland and have treated us remarkably well, and we had an introductory/orientation meeting welcoming us to the program. After lunch at a crepe and ice cream restaurant, we went to the Gaiety School of Acting for the first time and met Patrick, who’s the director of the school, and who told us how the school was started by Joe Dowling, the artistic director for the Guthrie Theater back in Minneapolis. It turns out this program has been many years in the making, so it’s very exciting to know that we’re the first group to be a part of it.

Our evening event was quite exciting, as we didn’t know where we were going but were told to dress up, and when we arrived, we discovered that Seona and the others had booked a private candlelight bar, and the event we had just shown up to was a welcoming party celebrating of the start of the program. Fish and chips was served, and we all had a lovely time gabbing the night away. (I don’t recall who took the last picture, but I feel I should inform you that it is not mine.)

(From left to right: Ethan, Ruth (program coordinator), Seona (program coordinator), Kyler (sitting), Elina (myself), Dylan, Natalie, Jack, Tori (on floor), Erin, Sam, Jessica (study abroad adviser), Alessandra (program coordinator), Conor (Reinventing Ireland Instructor)

Saturday and Sunday, January 21 and 22, 2017
 
Saturday was remarkably busy, starting off bright and early with a bus tour of Dublin. Our first stop was the Garden of Remembrance, which is dedicated to those who gave their lives for the cause of Irish freedom. It’s remarkable that I knew absolutely nothing about Ireland’s occupation by Britain before we came here, or about how recently their revolutionary period ended. The statue is the Children of Lir, and it shows three fallen figures rising as swans.
Our next stop was Merrion Square Park, which features quite possibly my favorite statue we’ve seen so far.
Of course, it’s Oscar Wilde.
 
After Merrion Square Park, we went on to Phoenix Park, which was stunning but absolutely freezing. The view made it all worthwhile.
However, the most exhilarating event of the day came afterwards. I’m sure you’ll all recall that January 21 was the day of the Women’s March on Washington, and we were all thrilled to learn that there was a march taking place right here in Dublin. So what did we do? We joined in, of course!
t was epic. You could feel the power behind what we were doing.
 
Well, to finish off an incredible day, we participated in a literary pub crawl, which was a walking performance done by two actors who led us around to pubs of – you guessed it – literary significance. These were places where writers like James Joyce and Oscar Wilde used to spend their time. It was a very enjoyable night.
Sunday started out as a lazy day. We found out we had roof access, which was a thrilling revelation to all of us. 
The biggest event of the day I didn’t think to take pictures of, because it wasn’t exactly expected. Us ladies – Tori, Erin, Natalie, and I – traveled to the north side to find an Aldi, because they have insanely cheap groceries (we would later discover that there’s a Lidl not five minutes from us). Well, we left the store all carrying very full bags of groceries and realized we weren’t sure which way to go back. We asked a bouncer, but he seemed to point us in the opposite direction of where we were sure we’d come from, so we decided to go our own way. Things were going alright until Natalie’s bag broke, so we redistributed her items and continued. Then Erin’s bag broke, resulting in the tragic loss of a jar of honey. Again, we redistributed and continued on. After a great period of walking in an area that didn’t seem familiar to us, we stopped again and asked for directions. We were told we were going the right way, but to be sure we stopped in the next bar, and the bartender told us we needed to go in the completely opposite direction. That was when my bag finally broke. So there we were, four girls standing helplessly on a street corner in northern Dublin with three broken bags and a helpless look on our faces. Then a miracle happened. A cab driver spotted us and came to our rescue, giving us a lift back to our apartment in the exact opposite direction we had been walking. In hindsight, it may be one of the most hilarious things that’s ever happened to me.
 
I shall try to have the next posting up much sooner than this one was, especially now that I have a bit more time on my hands. Until then!

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