Friday, October 24, 2008

Packing time!!

Don't worry... I'm not packing to go home. This week was our last week of class in NI! I am officially finished with my papers (maybe a little more proof reading) and have a 1 week holiday for Halloween! :) How great! I am currently not packing, but making a list in my head of what to pack! Carrie and I are traveling to Scotland tomorrow for about a week! At 9 in the morning we are jumping on a bus to Belfast and then from there we will catch a ferry to Glasco and then to Edinburgh. :) What an amazing opportunity!
This morning I woke up to my bedroom door wide open. I was in a panic because I was afraid I slept through something big. But I just shut my door and curled back in bed. About 3 minutes later the door opened again and I heard 4 little paws walk across my floor in search of anything to play with. I then leaned up and saw Sparky wagging his tail waiting for me to wake up. However, spark is not allowed upstairs... so I proceeded to use a stern voice to tell him to go down stairs. (When I really wanted to pull him on the bed and cuddle). The sun is beautiful today. The rays are shining bright and making the city glimmer. What a site! Sometime I forget to just stop and look at this place. The days go by so quickly that I move right along with them.
When we get back from Scotland, Halloween will be upon us, and I have no idea what to dress up as. It is a huge celebration in Derry and if you dont dress up you are out of the loop. So.. if you have any suggestions, please feel free to let me know!

This past week people are getting sick all over. Colds are popping up as well as headaches! No worries, Carrie and I are getting regular vitamin C and staying away from the sick people! :)

I was able to talk to a few people from home last night! What an opportunity! It is good to be able to chat with them online and hear what they are up to.
You sometimes forget that you are away from them, until you hear their voice!

Well have a wonderful weekend!
I will write more from Scotland! :) :)
Peace and blessings!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


There are many things that I want to talk about today. I'm not sure whether or not they will be of any interest, but within the past few days of working on my papers, I have been reading about the Conflict resolution that has been going on within Northern Ireland. Yesterday we took a trip to Belfast with the group and did a lot of 'tourist' things, but we also got the chance to go to Stormont which is where the parliament of NI takes place. During that we hand the opportunity to talk to two differnt men involved with two different political parties of NI. The DUP (unionist party) and Sinn Fein (republican party). These two different men had a lot to say about the backgroud of their party, as well as their bias opinions of how the government is running (or not running) at the moment. NI's politics are the backgroud of the conflict that has happened, so it was interesting to hear the different points of views.

Going along with the conflict, I am now writting my paper for Mervyn's class, which the topic is based around conflict resolution and whether or not it can resolve conflict, or just provides temporary solutions to the troubles. This paper looks as if it is going to be one of the most difficult things for me, because I myself don't know how I feel about it. Of course in a perfect world, I would love to say that conflict resolution is going to solve all the problems, and even right now I would jump for joy if it is possible. The one thing that I think it does do, is open up the eyes for more underlying issues of the problem.

The best thing about this semester so far is that I can question things like that. And although it drives me crazy not knowing my own answer, i am able to stop and think about what is challenging myself as a person.
Ireland has been one of the best experiences that I have had in the last 20(1) years of my life. I am able to see differences in people I came with, people I live with, and within my own country.


Blessings and peace! :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

What a feeling...

Wow.There is so much that I could talk about, but I am actually going to start with how I was feeling a few days ago. On Sunday, I took a hike over to the computer lab to work on my papers. I know, I know... the papers are all I seem to be interested in at the moment, but once I get them finished my homework for this semester will mostly be finished! :) But anyway. Sunday was a chillax kind of day. I'm not sure whether or not that was a good thing though. After I was in the midst of papers, I began to realize that I can't really go home for a while. After all of this amazing stuff that has happened to me, part of my mind is just wanting to curl up and find something that would fill me with comfort. I guess it was like that at Bluffton too, but being here in Ireland is a lot further away than the usual and feels a bit different. Church didn't seem to help the situation because it was one service where things just got too deep. I was so overwhelmed that I was lost to where to start. So my Sunday ended in frustration, and that was actually where my Monday began. One word of advice, is that I wouldn't go to bed in another country being frustrated. It does not help the process. Although I was stressed, I was able to find more people feeling the same ways. It was just like this is the halfway point in the trip where you want to stop and quit. There was a story once that Mervyn told us about a student who didn't like the program. He said that they should write a letter to their house and sleep with it under there pillow for 3 days. Then see if they really want to mail it. After three days they forgot about the letter because they were having a great time.
I need to be like that person. I need to push my way through this rough patch and find the joy in this hard, dark tunnel.
Today was better than the last few, and things are looking better! We go to Belfast tomorrow for a tour of the city with the group. It should be interesting!

I wish you all the blessings this week! :)


Sunday, October 12, 2008

10 things about Dublin

Ten notes about Dublin so far

1.) Its much better when its not raining.
2.) there's a funny noise that tells us when we can cross the street and it is terribly fun to imitate
3.) The signs are in Gaelic and English
4.) There are bike lanes and separate stop-lights for the bikes
5.) Current home of the Book of Kells, (the oldest illuminated Bible)
6.) Its warmer than Derry
7.) Capital of Ireland
8.) the people here are much easier to understand than in Derry
9.) The post office still has bullet holes in it from the various rebellions that preceded Irish independence.
10.) There's a kebab shop around every corner

Blessings :)

Anna and Carrie!

Sunday, October 5, 2008


Happy October already! :) I know it is the 5th, but time seems to be going by so quickly that I can't keep you updated all the time. This week the groups is going to be spending time in Dublin until Friday the 10th! How exciting!!
What has been happening you ask? Well... a lot! Everything happens when you don't realize it. (Plus the fact I am in another country) On Wednesday, we had two back to back classes to make up for missing a few earlier in the month. This was the longest day ever. ;) Who wants to have two 3 hour classes back to back? After class and some paper writing, the whole group gathered in one place for the first time in a long time. We all brought food and had a potluck. This was our time to stop and relax after all of the mayhem of the beginning of the week. There was more food then I imagined. Who knew that we could all cook something? :)

Thursday was a rainy day. Much to the suprise of all of the other ones. This past week, I was able to wear my new raincoat that I had purchased before hand (thanks mom!). That night for dinner, we (Carrie and I) were invited over to a friend from churches house. They are a family that was welcoming and opened their home for us to get away. We had great food, and fellowship, as well as a fire! This was a home away from home.

The weekend came once again with full force. Carrie and I got the opportunity to go and sit in on the Civil Rights Memorial that was held in the city hall in Derry. This was recognizing 40 years of the civil rights movement and had many differnt speakers! I was so impressed. I got to listen to the President of Ireland speak, Martin Mcguinnes the deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland and also many other people. This was a time for the community of Northern ireland (and others) to come together and focus on more than just the 'troubles' but also focus on where things are going. The direction that this place heading in! It was amazing.

I am so blessed and honored to be in this place with such great people. I was making a part of history yesterday being in that place as I was learning the history. It is strange to think about things like that, but incredible at the same time.

Blessings from Northern Ireland!
Love and Peace.