Today is our last day in Galway– cue the sniffles and tears. The kids had a full free day in the city, in the midst of the art festival. It was lively and extremely busy downtown, and the kids were soaking it all up!

Most of the girls went to the Thomas Dillon Shop, the original Claddagh ring shop of Ireland, and purchased authentic Claddagh rings. The ring shows two hands holding a heart which wears a crown. This motif is explained in the phrase: “Let Love and Friendship reign.” Culturally used as a wedding ring for over 400 years. Now days, many Irish woman wear them to represent their culture.

At 5:00 PM, we banded together at the apartments to get ready for our final banquet. We celebrated our time together with a lovely dinner at the Nox hotel restaurant. After our “Last Supper,” we took a drive around town while dancing and singing our way through Galway. As a general consensus, it seems that “Get Low” by Lil John is this year’s theme song.

Bringing back the memories, we showed a compilation video of all the pictures throughout the trip. Give or take a couple, the tears were flooding. Happy memories but sad to say goodbye. Within the small amount of time we spend together, some of the greatest bonds are created. My best friend to this day was a girl I met on the ILE in 2013.
Friendships like that happen every year on this trip.

The kids are given extra time tonight before bed check, allowing them to spend as much of their final hours together. The kids will return with more knowledge than they could learn in a book or classroom. As intended, the leave us being more culturally aware and open to what the world has to offer. Lifelong memories and friendships have been created– 2019 has been another successful year on the ILE.

Thank you for following along with our journey.

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Trip Dates: June 30-July 24, 2024