And so it's begun..

Thursday, September 2, 2010

The Wonderful Hills...... no, MOUNTAINS of Derry and the Little Things in Between

Well I haven't been on here in a while and I apologize but A.) We have had so much to do and B.) We don't have the Internet at our house..... ( and C.) I've been too lazy :D). But, since I've blogged last, a lot has happened. So I think it's best that I just start from the beginning.

In my last blog, I talked about our visit to Derry, which would be our home for the next semester. After visiting Derry on Thursday, we had an adventure planned for us for the next day. On Friday, we went to Carrick-A-Rede Rope Bridge.... and theres no beating-around-the-bush..... it is exactly as it's named. With an 80 foot drop below into the icy North Atlantic Sea, and wind gusts coming from ALL sides, the creaky rope bridge connects the main land with a smaller island. Looking at the bridge from a distance, it really doesn't look as bad as described but it's a different story once you're actually on it. I did, however, brave the bridge and mastered my fear of falling and left with no regrets. The island on the other side offered wonderful views that we wouldn't have seen without crossing. (I am having problems uploading pictures but I will do that as soon as I can).

After the rope bridge, Mervyn explained that we had enough time to check out a castle down the road (as far as the crow flies). The castle, which I am not recalling the name at this time, was in ruins after the North Wall and more than half of the kitchen fell into the sea below, taking some of the servants with it. I wish we would have had more time to explore, but what we got to sea was breathtaking enough. It got me thinking that nothing in the states is as old as the ruins that we were standing in... and of course, that would get any one's imagination going.

Later that night, we gathered some people and had a campfire on the cliff. We played the best round of screaming ninjas that I have ever witnessed in my entire life ;)
The next day was bittersweet as we said our goodbyes to our friends Sean and Owen and headed off to what was soon to be our new home.

Once arriving to Derry, our host families were there to welcome us. Roisin helped Amanda and I into her car and we separated from our group for the first time. She introduced us to our new house and our new dog Sparky :) and we found that it wouldn't take too long to find ourselves at home. That very same night, we got to meet her mother and father at a birthday party/ pub/ concert. Because of who her father is, I am not worried in the least bit about our safety here in Derry...... (if you want more info, let me know ;) lol).

The next day we ventured around Derry and familiarized ourselves with the easiest, and least Hilly, routes. We found some shopping centers that I reallllly wish we wouldn't have found.... cheap, cute clothes can really add up. And we discovered a few cafes that were worth returning to.

The next day started our first day of classes. The 3 hours went bye surprisingly fast for our first class so we decided to head out to Derry again for lunch, where we made another discovery...... an even worse discovery.... Strongbow. Later that night, we headed out to the famous Peadar O'Donnels. That was a fun night in itself.

Our days have been the same. Our routine typically consists of class, and then seeing what everyone else is doing. If theres nothing planned, we head home and watch Soaps with our host mom!

*Please keep us in your prayers. While there is no reason to fear our safety, there have been scares within in the past two weeks because of a dissident group that does not like the way things are headed. Security is heightened but as I mentioned earlier, because of who we are with, I am confident that our safety is not an issue.

***For additional pictures check out facebook! I give you permission to creep on my fellow Northern Irelanders pages!

Miss you and love you all!


Friday, August 27, 2010


Yesterday was an interesting day. We journeyed to Derry which will be our home for the next semester! Our first stop in the walled city was a stop to meet the Mayor of Derry. He explained to us some of the things he does and I was shocked to find that he was only 27 years old. After meeting the mayor, we took a walking tour on top of the walls of Derry. It was really interesting to see all the places that we learned about last semester. Our tour guide Tony made it even more interesting with the stories he provided to go along with the tour.

Once taking care of some house-keeping at the University of Ulster, we headed back to Corrymeela for a night of some fun. We had a real taste of Ireland when we went with two of the locals who are volunteering here at Corrymeela down to the Pub. I had my first PINT of Guiness. It actually wasn't that bad! Then I tried Magner's which is like an apple cider which was nasty. We also tried a pear flavored drink which ended up being pretty good as well. ** EVERYTHING WAS UNDER CONTROL! lol

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Giant's Causeway

Well yesterday was an interesting one... We went to what some people consider the 8th Wonder of the World called the Giant's Causeway. The Causeway was formed, scientifically, by a volcanoe that erupted and then hardened. But the story, which I will not do it justice, but the Giant from Scotland wanted to fight with the Giant from Ireland. The Giant from Scotland built the causeway all the way over to Ireland where the Irish Giant had devised a plan. He decided to dress himself in a diaper and sit in the lap of his wife to make it seem that if a baby was as big as a full grown giant, then his father must be even bigger.. For the rest of the story, you'll have to get it yourself :)

After returning to Corrymeela, we had team bulding games with Sean and Ruth. We had to make a pair of skies move without falling off, move a ball around a maze without it falling in the holes, and jump around stumps without falling off. After these, we played, or attempted to play, a very interesting game of volleyball which turned into talking about sex with sheep..... IDK either :)

After the game, I went around outside and saw the most beautiful sunset yet!

Welcome to N Ireland day 3

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Day 1 Part 2

We've only been here a day and it seems like we've been here for at least 3. But that's not in a bad way! After lunch, we walked into Ballycastle with a few of the Summer-Staffers here at Corrymeela.... It was really fun listening to their accents lol. It is a whole different world here.. No one is afraid to talk to you and make you feel welcome... But the sights and smells are a whole different story. It's so natural, and fresh, and wild here and the land does what it is supposed to do.

On the way back from town, we stopped by a water fountain where some children were playing...... It's not freezing here, but it is when you're soaked. We laughed at them playing in the water like it was their job. After, we stopped down at the beach and walked in the ocean. There are seven different currents from different places that run into it and it makes the water super dangerous to swim in... not to mention it really is freezing cold. It did feel good on my feet tho :)

I can't believe this has all happened already and it's only the first day! I love all the people in our group and I think we are going to have a great semester together.

I'm hittin the sack early tonight... :) 48 hours and 4 hours of sleep don't mix. So don't try it ;)

Until next time!


Well..... it's the first day... and I think it's safe to say that we're all a little loopy. Being 5 hours ahead, instead of arriving in Northern Ireland at 2;30 am US time, we gto here at 9am their time.............. So none of us are really in our right minds. But that is ok because this place is amazing. We are spending our first week in Correymeela and the housing we're staying in is right on a cliff overlooking the ocean... for those of you who know me, I will probably have a billion pics by the end of this week :)

We went exploring before lunch to stay awake, had some interesting looking ham, and then decided to update you folks at home before going out exploring again. So much has already happened and I feel like I'm missing something butttttt I guess its because im running on 4 hours of sleep within the last 48 hours..

Im running out of things to say, but I love you all and will keep you updated as much as I can!!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

And So It Has Oficially Begun!

WE had a sending service earlier today at Bluffton to get us on our way to NI! On the way, Rudy K lost his shoe somewhere in the airport parking lot and our flight may be delayed! But thats ok... We should get there, if all goes well, around 3 or 4 am our time! Wish us luck!

Friday, August 20, 2010


How am I EVER going to fit all I need for an entire semester into one suitcase?! I need a miracle!!!!!!!