Stolen Phones & Wishing Stones

I was going to tell you that nothing exciting happened this week but then life ran its natural course. For starters, my Android phone was stolen at the Roost Thursday night, along with my friend Maddy's iphone. That jerk has both of our smart phones and my totally wicked beer phone case which I'm almost more upset about. However I rolled with the punches and didn't let that incident get me down. I still have my T-9 keyboard Irish phone and people here don't use technology nearly as much as Americans anyway. Teenagers don't have their heads stuck in their phones and I don't even have a TV in my apartment. There's something refreshing not having to deal with so many electronic devices and get back to that thing called face to face social interaction.

On a more boring note, I officially changed my major to Psychology with a minor in Biology. In my Anthropology of Food class we are learning about McDonald's, whats in the food, and how they prepare it. Lets just say the chicken isn't even chicken, so I'm glad I rarely eat fast food. My classes are getting progressively harder with more work but I guess that's what I'm here for right? I'm getting into the grind of things and find myself not having nearly as much free time as I expected to have here. I see this as a good thing though, you really can't be bored here because there's always something to do or see. Every weekend we either have a planned trip through Saint Mary's or we plan our own travels within Ireland or to other European destinations.

I didn't hit up the bar scene much this week because I actually had a lot of studious things to do. Tuesday some friends and I went into Dublin and we met up with some ND students studying at the University College in Dublin. Going to Dublin has always ended with some good stories and I seem to be the only one who has successfully learned how to work the bus system. Thursday I made it over to the Roost and actually had a great time until my cellular device was swiped from me. I happened to lose my friends again throughout the course of the night but I befriended random Irish people which is always a grand time. I'm learning Irish culture from the source.

Friday morning a few girls rode the bus into Dublin and we went to see the National Archaeology and History Museum. I am not big on museums but I was only there for the bog- people. I read about them before coming to Ireland and wanted to see them in person. A bog, if you don't know is this natural swamp- like pit with peet and mud and it is harvested by machines to dry- out and sell. There are a hundred of these bogs all across Ireland and been here for thousands of years. Recently in the early 2000's there were bodies found inside the bog that were very well preserved because of the lack of sunlight and oxygen, and preserving nature of the peet and mud. Some of these bodies have bone, skin, hair and nails all still intact and are dated to the BC's. The bodies in the museum were admittingly creepy but also unlike anything I've seen before. All of the bog- people were gingers, I'm not sure if that's a coincidence or not. Most of them were murdered and thrown into the bogs only to be found thousands of years later. Moral of the story: bogs are the perfect hiding spot for dead bodies.

Maddy and I took a stroll around Saint Stephens Green which is a park in the South edge of Dublin. It has lush gardens and a magical quality to it, bustling with couples and children chasing and feeding swans. We worked up an appetite and went on a quest for traditional Irish stew. We asked our favorite security guard outside of the clothing store, Vera Moda, and he directed us to a tiny local pub off Grafton street. It was fantastic stew to say the least and we also tried the Bailey's cheesecake which is a lot lighter than cheesecakes in the States but no less delicious.

Today we had another touring day with the Saint Mary's clan where we first went to Saint Bridget's Well. It was really cold and windy so I didn't catch all the facts but I do remember that she gave to the poor, even her own possessions, and would make them cross's out of grass (We attempted to make some). Mine was not right in the slightest but we dipped them into her well for good luck. She also was such a good role model for women that when knights and men would meet a woman they fancied with her qualities they would call her "Bridget" or "Bride" which has stuck around today!

We visited the grave of Wolf Tone who was a key Irish revolutionary figure, Saint Bridgets Cathedral where we touched a corner stone for good luck. I have discovered a common theme with Irish traditions and although most of the pagan beliefs and rituals surrounded good and bad luck, they were Christianized and widely accepted. So hopefully with all this luck and wishing Ill be in good hands here in Ireland and maybe bring some home. At another well, of Father Moor we crossed over stepping stones to bless and you know it, bring good luck to all.

Lastly we went to Donadea Forest, here there is a Church Saint Patrick built and also a 9/11 monument constructed for all of the victims including the Irish born firefighters. There is a plethora of cemetery's everywhere we travel as well because usually those who have passed away are buried directly behind their home perish. The Donadea Castle stands in the park (top picture) which has a roman architecture feel, and said to be haunted by Lady Aylmer. I don't have a lot of pictures because I used my american phone for that... all the old castles and cathedrals are stunning but also give me the creeps. This was the last of our tours through Saint Mary's for another month or two so now we have some time to explore these history- rich places ourselves! I have already made plans to visit Cork, Ireland next week!

Until next time,