Sunday, April 11, 2010

These final weeks

Another week has pasted here in Ballyvaughan. I am having the time of my life right now- learning a lot about people, compassion, and self. It's been such a wonderful time. 

This week has been really relaxing. Normally a week before the end of the semester is the most stressful, chaotic, disaster one could ever imagine, but here, I have been taking my time, enjoying things, and spending some quiet time outside. 

Wednesday I had my final group critique, which I think went fairly well. I wish it were longer though- 20 minutes is not near enough time. 

Thursday night I went to set dancing with Brittney, Brian, Janine, and Steph. I truely love set dancing. It is what Ireland is all about. I had such a good time and I think I am starting to pick up on some of the dances. 

Friday was Irish Studies- which was horrible. I can't remember the last time I felt so frustrated and antsy- so I wont go there. Friday night I was at school though for quite a long time preparing materials, cleaning up a bit, and playing ball out in the courtyard: )

Yesterday was such a great day!! (Also it was Pat and I's two year anniversary) 
Everyone went to the aran islands (I stayed in Ballyvaughan) and Kelly and I went on such a fun adventure. We biked to the farmers market, then to Bishop's Quarter, where we had a great talk and some good laughs, then we hung out in this farmer's field. We were rolling down the hills, eating grass, looking for four-leaf clovers, and doing summersaults: ) We are such kids. 
After playing outside I went to school and made bread paper...which was interesting to say the least. At night was the america party- which was a bit of a let down- but nonetheless I had a blast dancing. Oh, and the green wig was back by popular demand. 

Today I have been walking around Ballyvaughan around the shore. I have had a good time kind of walking by myself. Tonight I am going to Kinjis for a MCAD burrito dinner: ) mmmm and I am bringing stuff to make orange floats. 

Monday, April 5, 2010

coming toward the end

an aside:
Before I even blinked my eyes, three months passed by. It is strange to think that in less than three weeks this wont be my home anymore, I will be somewhere else with a different agenda, and different people. The thing is- this place makes everyone feel alive, stress free, and at home. I am going to miss it terribly. 

The past week has been an amazing combination of adventure and play. 
I can't remember much about Monday or Tuesday, but on Wednesday was group critiques again and then the MCAD weekly meeting session. In the middle of looking over plans, a giant hail storm attacked the college; huge white pelts fell from the sky, and naturally every mcad student bolted outside and danced in the hail. No more than two minutes later, it was sunny, hot, and a cloudless day. True Ireland weather! Wednesday night I went to Galway to watch some performances at Live at 8. The event is put on by Anya, one of the teachers here, and it shows artists from all over, including a few from our school. It was pretty fun. 

Thursday turned out to be a gorgeous day. Suzanne and I left school and took a walk along the Burren way. We went down to the pier and I took off my shoes and went in the water. It felt so good and squishy between my toes. A swan came over to check out what we were doing, then viscously ripped seaweed from the ocean floor. Suzanne and I had a really good conversation the whole morning- it was wonderful. Later that night I went to church in town. It was a really nice service and the church was nice. The service was in English and Gaelic. 

(Looking out from the peninsula)
Friday was Irish Studies. We took a wonderful, five hour walk along the coast road. We walked up a mountain and along a path all the way down through the peninsula. On top of the mountain we came across a magical ice cream shop:) It was the best ice cream cone I ever had, and  in the middle of eating it was a huge hail storm, a rainbow, a painted rainbow, and funny dogs. It was so surreal and really amazing. Then we walked to the end, which was a spectacular site- I felt like I could see the world. 

(Ryan and I dancing in front of the castle)
After Irish studies was over I went to Marie's house for a little dinner. We made veggie rice curry and apple good. We were stuffed and sat around talking for a few hours: ) it was a much-needed, relaxed night. 

Saturday was the farmers market. I went in the morning and got bagels, jam, and a big piece of chocolate cake:) I'm bad. After that I think I went to school for a looonng time. I got home around 9 and then went out to Logues pub. They had a strange cover band there that night and the music was soo loud. I guess there was a party at my house afterwards- weird. 

EASTER SUNDAY!!!!! This was the best day of all. Steph and I woke up early in the morning and went to the craft fair in town, which still, was too expensive for me. Then we went to the Allowee caves (there was supposed to be an easter egg hunt there- but it was all a lie) Since there wasnt a hunt, we looked at the falcons and rummaged around the gift shop. By the time we left we had bought two incredible owl hats and a huge box of fudge: ) I did end up going to school for a few hours in the middle of the day, but i did homework while watching p.s. i love you. I was in the mood for a sappy movie. At night there was a potluck at my house. It felt so good to cook food with everyone and just enjoy each others company. It felt like a big family. We had so much fun eating, singing, dancing, hula-hooping, and everything else. After all the food was gone, a group of them went to logues, while ryan, alex, kelly and I cuddled and watched Sunset Boulevard. What a great Easter!

Monday, March 29, 2010

and again

Hi. The last week and a half in Ireland has been very challenging, but very fun. I have been spending a lot of time in my studio finishing up some works, (I woke up one day and I realized I hadn't really completed anything all semester) spending time blowing my nose all over, (due to my sinus infection) and spending quality family time with orchard house. 
This semester has been so wonderful and really helpful in understanding myself in relation to the people around me. In the first few weeks I was really unsure of the people I was living with; we were all such different personality, with polar interests, and too many personal habits. But over the corse of the semester I have realized how dependent we are on one another, our influences, and how much we have grown to love everyone. I am very appreciative of who I live with and I will miss them terribly when we are back home. 

Highlights of the week:

Last Sunday I went with Steph to the cake walk at the Hyde Gallery and had a delicious piece of carrot cake: ) mmmmm. Then we went on a long bike ride/date to the rhine beach and ate a brownie from the cake walk while our feet were buried in sand. What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon

On Thursday, I went to set dancing which is always my favorite part of the week. I am going to miss set dancing- I can already tell. I looked up places in Minnesota that I can continue classes when I get back to the states. 

On Friday I had Irish Studies, and we went to see Yeat's tower and house, Lady Gregories place, and this old church with beautiful stained glass. Seeing Yeat's house and stream, it makes complete sense that he is one of the most well-known poets of the twentieth century; anyone who lived there would have been inspired by solitude. 
My favorite place of the day though was definitely Lady Gregories place. She had the most sublime forest will lines of giant, skinny trees and fields of vines- it took my breath away. In the entrance of the drive there was a field of wild garlic leaves, and we all got down on our hands and knees and ate garlic right there and then- it felt really natural and great. In the back of her property was a huge tulough with cracked dirt and rock underneath. We spent time skipping rocks and splashing our feet. What a nice and fantastic day.  

Friday night we went to Monks for live music and dancing. It was pretty nice and I had some really good conversations with Suzanne. Oh, and Kellys bike broke and we had to carry it all the way home: (

Saturday was another Gort trip. I have mixed feelings about Gort as a place. It is sorta nice.....but it is in the middle of the day and its kind of annoying to spend 5 hours to get groceries. After the trip to Gort, we had a potluck at Kinjis house: ) sooooo much food and it was all soooo delicious. ah i ate a ton! and then I went to Logues and danced with my full belly. There was a 40th birthday party happening and so there was a live band- the Holeran Twins, who played 80 american music and I danced for hours. After being wiped out at Logues we took a stole to the pier and sang songs by the ocean. I am getting really excited for it to be warm enough to swim! I am going to jump right off the end of the pier. We took our time in walking back to the house only to find a giant PARTY! woo. lol. I had the time of my life dancing all through the night. 

Sunday afternoon we went back over to Kinjis house to eat the rest of the potluck food on his back porch. It was such a sunny and beautiful day and we got to talk about a lot of personal stories. It was perfect. 

Thursday, March 18, 2010

St. Pattys in Galway

On St. Pattys day, a group of us took a mini-bus taxi to Galway for the day/night. Let me just say, st. patricks day should always always always be celebrated in ireland. The spirit and excitement is not comparable to anywhere else in the world- absolutely amazing. 

We started on the day with the Galway parade, which was pretty cool. There were not a lot of floats, but there was belly dancers, bag pipes, storm troopers, and unicycles. I got one piece of candy- a foot shaped sucker, and before I knew it two hours has past and the parade was over. The rest of the afternoon consisted of walking around, eating a lot of food, and pear cider. I am glad that I went back to Galway (the last and only other time that I was there I had a negative experience and I didnt like Galway that much- but boy I underestimated that city)

After about 8 hours of walking around we went back to the hotel to prepare for the night of dancing. Hailey and I went to this dance club and spent the night having a blast! I sweat a lot, I got in trouble for set dancing in a club, and I met some perfect strangers- so funny. Overall, a really good time- oh yeah and I wore a green wig the whole day. 
Lots happened in between and around this synopsis.