And yet another day waking up to sunshine and happy smiling faces at breakfast.

Today was a class day and the penultimate of our ILE 2013 Program-hard to believe we only have one more class day to go then holiday time in Killarney and Galway! Woo hoo!

The kids started the day with a healthy breakfast in which all main nutrients were represented through the choice of Cheerios, Corn Flakes, Weetabix, and toast.

Classes kicked off at 9:00 AM and the kids were pretty tired after such a great day yesterday at the Giant’s Causeway, but the lovely sunshine gave everyone a boost. Angie covered the poetry of Patrick Kavanagh, reading and explaining the poems “Stony Grey Soil” and “In Memory of My Father.” She also finished the section on James Joyce with a riveting story about the Martello Tower and a reading by the kids of the first three pages and last two of the masterpiece Ulysses. Amanda said the class was awesome and that she couldn’t believe tomorrow was the last class day.

In Irish history class Dan taught the kids in the Fionn MacCumhaill Class about 1916 and the Irish Civil War and with the Cuchulainn Class he taught Parnell, Home Rule, and the First World War. Dan was impressed that the kids knew that the First World War started in 1914 rather than 1917, as so many others believe! Patrick said the class was great and really enjoyed learning about 1916 and the Civil War-along with the role of Michael Collins and Eamonn De Valera.

In Irish American history, the kids learned about how Irish Americans succeeded in the 20th Century and were showed a video clip of an Irish comedian called Dara O’Brien. It showed how Irish people handle adversity by slagging the bejaysus out of each other. Caroline told us that this was her favorite part of the class, as Dara was so funny.

According to the kids, Taryn’s class today was so much fun. Taryn developed a wonderful episode of Irish Jeopardy-tried and tested and completed not very well by the ILE Staff the night before. Reports claim that the kids faired much better in their scores than the ILE Staff-in particular Angie-how shameful is that!

The wonderful sunshine continued until lunchtime and we had a very special visitor join us at lunch. Casey from Tenon Tours arrived today from Boston and will be with us for the next week, coming on tours and chilling out, while getting to know the kids.

This afternoon, the kids had free time and Scones also taught a Tin Whistle Workshop-the last workshop of the ILE Program. Awww! The kids learned how to play “My Heart Will Go On” on a traditional Irish instrument and Scones is planning to teach them how to sing it in Gaelic before the end of the trip-that should be a nice treat for all you parents and siblings watching this space when your little darlings return home. All the kids loved the workshop and the ILE staff listened to it through the open classroom window and agreed that every student without fail plays the whistle much better than Angie and Dan!

Laundry day tomorrow and this caused unprecedented excitement! All the kids loaded up their laundry and trotted happily to the office with their heavy bags over their shoulders, in the knowledge that by tomorrow night they will no longer be recycling dirty clothes and will be smelling of detergent and fabric softener.

After dinner-delicious fish and chips today-the kids rushed to their rooms, jumped in the shower, blow dried and curled their hair and put on their make up-and that was just the boys! All in preparation for the Gaiety Theatre and Riverdance. To see Riverdance in the city where it was born is really something quite special and the kids were so excited. “It was spectacular,” said Seth and Kat said it was a “fantastic mix of different types of dance.”

The kids who opted not to go to see Riverdance went to see a movie- World War Z-and said that Angie frightened them more than the movie, because every time a zombie appeared she let out a screech, an expletive, and Nacho nearly jumped out of his seat. Poor Jimmy had the misfortune to be sitting beside her, but said it was great craic altogether. The kids at the movie also had their first experience of traditional Irish ice cream-the delicious Twister lolly made famous by Taryn’s addiction to them and need to buy one everywhere we go.

Clara called in to office just before bed check and her aura was so yellow that Angie has promised to read her tea leaves as she has the gift. As we type this Clara is beside herself with excitement.

“And so ends another cool, wow, and awesome day,” said Katie.

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Trip Dates: June 30-July 24, 2024