Yesterday was very cool. We went into Derry and walked around a little, went to the Tower Museum and learned about The Spanish Armada wreck nearby, the history of Derry, and a local ghost story. We went and saw a play about the ghost story, which was kind of interesting, but kind of boring.
Then we went out to the pubs with all the JMU girls and the UMASS kids (they got here a couple days ago) and John McCourt, a former IRA fighter who has started working for the peace process and is the man! He worked as a bouncer in the Derry pubs, so he knew EVERYONE. He also knows how to have a blast! This guy was picking up keg shells and putting them on his shoulders, taking shots with the birthday girl (Kelly), and warding off sketchy homeless guys who tried to follow us to the bus. People were getting pretty wild and crazy on our first night out with everyone, it was a lot of fun with a lot of crazy stories and pictures. We also ended up staying up and talking until 4 in the morning, which didn’t help when we had to get up at 9 AM. Oops haha.
Today we heard from a professor from the University of Ulster, a former British military member, and our Center Director’s daughter who teaches the Irish language and taught us some. We also went to the IRA graveyard in Derry and this 3000 year old fort on the top of a mountain:
I took more pictures of Irish mountains beside water, which might bring my grand total up to somewhere around 50 of those kinds of pictures. Still trying to capture the beauty of this place in a camera lens, don’t know if I ever will.
Tonight we just hung out and drank casually at Inch House chatting and learning about new friends here. Tomorrow is a very busy day, with meetings with the Derry Police, an Irish Parliament member, and hopefully Nobel Peace Prize laureate John Hume. Still having a great time and loving Ireland!