June 2019 - Irish Life Experience
Stepping Into Day Two
Day 2: Breakfast by half eight, as the Irish say, was the beginning of our activity filled day. Next, the students experienced their first day of classes with the marvelous Angie Mervyn. The subject was Irish Literature and they covered some of the earliest Celtic legends and authors.
After the morning class session, the kids got to stretch their legs with a tour of Waterford Crystal and Bishop’s Palace. They got to see how each crystal piece was hand blown and cut to perfection. Some even took the chance of holding an invaluable masterpiece… Luckily no one dropped the ball this time.
Following the tours, Mr. Miles as the students call him, gave the students a quick walking tour of Waterford. Walking the streets, he briefly explained the history of the significant buildings such as: Reginald’s, the clock tower, and the site where the first Irish flag was hung. Miles even pointed out the statue of Thomas Meagher for Esme and Brynn-both from Montana, as Thomas Meagher was the first Governor of the Big Sky State.
To end the evening, Casey, our amazing Irish dance instructor, taught the students some of the basic steps to a traditional Irish Jig. Then for drama, the students split up into small groups to write limericks.
Arrival to the Great Isle!
Tired, hungry, and a bit jet-lagged, all 19 students and the 6 of us counselors joined together at the Dublin airport in our matching ILE T-Shirts. To beat jet-lag, we kept the students awake for the full day after jumping the 5 hour timezone change. It’s an exhausting day of travel, driving from Dublin to Waterford via bus, with a midway stop in Glendalough.
Glendalough Valley is widely known for being one of the sites where PS I Love You was filmed. Located in the heart of the Wicklow Mountains, we took a short day hike to visit one of the two lakes in the area. It’s a beautiful area of Ireland and rich in history. This stop allowed the students to walk around the smaller lake, stretch their legs, get some fresh air, and eat a packed lunch before getting on the bus to travel to Waterford.
Next, we ate dinner made by the lovely cooks at the Newtown boarding school, which will be our home for the next week. Finishing off the evening, we played a few ice breaker games and then off to an early bedtime.