What is Carol contemplating?

After our session with Batt O’ Connor and Mickey Dunne, Dunne invited us out to Dolans Pub to listen to him, his daughter and some friends play traditional Irish music on their fiddles. All 11 of we girls bussed down Limerick’s City Centre to the quaint little pub on Doct Street.

As you start to enter, you notice the Celtic knot designs and nymph-like woman painted on the picture window. Inside, the walls are wood-paneled, painted a deep red or made of stone. Red Christmas lights line the window facing out into the street and decorate the ceiling beams in certain rooms of the pub. Vintage pictures and advertisements decorate the walls alongside old newspaper clippings about the pub. Low wooden tables with leather benches and short, upholstered bar stools provide seating for pub patrons and a corner of the front room is set up for musicians to perform, with a wood sign towering over them that reads “Reserved for Musicians.”

Musician's Corner- The Dunne Family playing traditional Irish music on their fiddles.

Tonight, the musicians are The Dunne Family. The father and daughter team play the fiddle beautifully. It’s so inspiring that when the music starts to drift across the pub to our table, I’m suddenly inspired to pick up my old violin again and work through my lack of natural musical talent. Towards the end of the performance, Laura is once again recruited to sing “Wild Rover” by Dunne.

Here she is again, delighting the music-making family and the pub patrons. Don’t mind the poor lighting conditions. It is a pub at night, after all.

The whole room joined in on the chorus, uniting everyone- if only for a few, short moments- as if we had all been great friends our entire lives. This is what life is all about.

Girls' night out at Dolans Pub on Dock Street- Limerick, Ireland.

Today was a beautiful day for traditional Irish music. After our first taste of it at Scholar’s Pub, we were certainly excited for more.

Though we were disappointed by our harpist and her husband falling sick, we ended up with two fabulous musicians giving us our own private concert in our small, stone-walled classroom at the University of Limerick. Batt O’Connor and Mickey Dunne. For simplicity sake, let me give a mini-bio of each man:

Batt O'Connor gave the class some background history on traditional Irish music and played the bouzuki, an Irish instrument with roots in Greece.

Batt O’Connor- a singer and muscian from Gleann Na nGealt, a valley in the Dingle Peninsula in Co. Kerry, in the South West of Ireland. Batt brought his bouzuki, an instrument with roots in Greece that was formatted to play Irish music. The look and sound of it reminded me of a cross between an acoustic guitar and a banjo. His personal website can be found here.

Mickey Dunne playing the Uilleann Irish bagpipes, also called "elbow pipes" because the flow of air for sound is controlled by both arms, as opposed to Scottish bagpipes, which are controlled by blowing air into them from the mouth.

Mickey Dunne– a musician who I’ve personally witnessed playing multiple instruments, including the Irish Uilleann bagpipes (the “elbow” pipes), the fiddle, the flute and the tin whistle. Dunne’s family hails from Limerick and he, along with his daughters, created a CD with great self-penned compositions and traditional music. Not only is he an excellent bagpipe player, but he also makes them.

O’Connor and Dunne told us that there are several types of traditional Irish songs. Here are just a few of them:

1. love songs

2. immigration songs.

3. rebel songs

4. praise of place songs

5. political/patriotic songs

6. drinking songs

7. children’s songs

Our very own Laura Johnson, who has spent most of the trip entertaining us with her beautiful voice and Irish pub songs, sang “Wild Rover” along with the musicians. Watch it here! I’d really like all of us to learn it and sing it together. I think that’d be great fun.

Laura Johnson, USF student and oral storyteller, via Irish pub songs.

At Scholar's pub on the University of Limerick campus, various musicians entertain students with traditional Irish music on different nights of the week.

Scholar’s pub, one of a couple on the University of Limerick campus, is a cozy, quaint little bar set up in the hub of student activity for the college. We were strongly encouraged by Dr. Rick to spend some time at pubs, as pub life is a very important part of Irish culture. As much as college students like to drink, generally speaking, pub life here is not just about the alcohol. It’s about socializing with your peers and listening to moving music.

On this particular night, a group of talented young musicians was playing in a corner of the pub, their respective beverages of choice bubbling up in glasses on the wooden tabletops. Two are recent UL graduates, two are soon to graduate. One is both English and Irish, one is Italian and two are American. All of them are friends, residing together in a house that is a fifteen-minute walk from the university. Though my experience with in other countries is limited to three- England, Ireland and my own United States of American- there seems to be a common thread of camaraderie and brotherhood amongst band members. These four prove that music rises above all geographical borders and unites people.

John, Carol, Torie and Daylina enjoy the traditional Irish music and some Irish coffee at the Scholar's Pub, located on the University of Limerick campus in Ireland.

The USF group sat back and enjoyed the music. The sound of Irish bagpipes, flute, guitar and fiddle floated throughout the tiny pub. I can only speak for the Americans there but the music was delightful and inspiring. We were so excited about being in Ireland and listening to genuine Irish music live, from people our own age, that we could only stop and tilt our heads to assist the exhilarating sounds into permeating every fiber of our eardrums and souls.

After the last call for drinks, we slowly made our way out of the pub, chit-chatting with the band as we went. Michael, Martino, Erik and Conal were very friendly and funny. They invited us back to their place to hang out for a couple hours and the night was quickly passed by exchanging music and intelligent conversation.

Possibly my favorite part of the night was when Martino made the comment that we were “where the history is at,” a reference to British transvestite comedian Eddie Izzard and one I got right away. After a high-five, we started over to their place for a little more conversation about the band’s music and life in Ireland.

This is just one example of how the culture differs here from the States and other parts of the world. While friendliness is not an a virtue limited to Ireland, the people are incredibly accepting and friendly here, particularly in more rural areas. As we have made our way from London to Dublim and Limerick, we have noticed a definite increase in the level of personal interaction. As in the States, the bigger the city, the more apathetic people are towards you as an individual. Here, in a college town in a culture that does a lot of its socializing in pubs with good music, food and drink, people are very interested in you as an individual, always willing to exchange life stories or tell you about that cousin of theirs in Boston.

Aubrey and Josh at Scholar's Pub, enjoying Irish music and the company of fellow USF bulls.

Torie and Lauren showing off their mad shamrock-creation ability.

Priya and Jessica sound off a "Slainte!" (pronounced "slawn-cha") at the Scholar's Pub on campus. Slainte is Gaelic for "cheers!"

I love this country.

Whether you regard yourself as a poet or not, you’re surrounded by poetry. Take a look at the world around you and tell me that you can’t see poetry in the trees, in the weather, in the ground you’re walking on and the cute, furry animals that cross your path. Or, if you’re a USF student, the squirrels that don’t hesitate to climb you like a tree for food.

You can’t help but to be a poet in Ireland. This country is inspiring, a muse that offers new experiences at every bend. I’m sure that the people who live here may not always appreciate it, just as I take my own country for granted at times, but the country is truly awe-inspiring.

Irish poet Patricia- Anne Moore. Photo from http://www.more2life.ie

In this morning’s class, we had the honor of being taught by Patricia-Anne Moore, a distinguished Irish poet. Essentially, we went over some of William Butler Yeats’ poetry, whom Moore regarded as “the touchstone for Irish poetry” but who is being superseded by a new generation of Irish writers. Yeats’ poetry encompasses many topics, including those that are relevant to all of us, no matter our race, ethnicity, religion or creed, like aging, dying and unrequited love. He also penned political poems like “Easter 1916,” about the 1916 rebellion in Dublin and all the great poets and writers who were executed for standing up to the English.

At the end of the lecture, Moore took us out to the “living bridge” that leads along the Shannon River. There is a subtle metal bounce with each footstep as you make your way to the other side but the view is stunning. There is so much vegetation and wildlife to observe. Moore asked us to make observations about the walk on the bridge that we could deveplop into poetry. Here are three poems from my classmates, John Sadler, Carol Mitchell and Torie Doll:

J

John Sadler showing off his picture with his Limerick barber, who is also a former bicycle racer.

A P.A. Recommended Walk

By John Sadler


The living bridge undulated

moved me up and down

while the breeze put me to sea

amidst cumulus clouds and canopy

touching me.

Our path was felt

like  a web we flew

spider-like across the

Shannon’s flowing depth

asking where to will I alight?

Suspended beneath the sun

I wonder, will this teaching moment

last me or shall I rapidly

return to scanner beeps and plastic bags?

The one and only Torie Doll.

The Secrets of the Trees

By Torie Doll


The trees stand at attention as I glide across The Living Bridge,

Slightly bobbing up and down from the gentle breeze.

My auburn-colored hair dances in the wind as the emerald trees

Sway to a rhythm only they can hear.

Who knows how long these trees have acted as soldiers,

Guarding the river Shannon.

Only one can imagine the secrets they have heard and the sights

They have seen.

White puffs of pollen travel through the air around me.

I imagine these are the secrets of the trees that are being shared

Throughout the forest.

If only I knew the language of nature,

For the secrets are falling on deaf ears.

But I am only a vistor and have to depart,

Leaving the secrets to remain only for the trees.

Presenting.... Carol Mitchell!

The Naive Melody

By Carol Mitchell

Far away from my known bay

I walk into rural beauty, overtaken by its naturalistic melody

The trees dance in the beautiful cool summer breeze

And birds soar within to join in this native dance

The bridge my feet are following on; starts to move with the birds and the trees.

These rural beauties know a melody these city ears never heard

I ended this walk approaching familiarity but in the distance the native flag still gracefully listens to a melody these foreign ears has

never heard.

It’s no wonder that some folks believe in faeries.

The Shannon River, which runs alongside the University of Limerick in Ireland.

Not if you’ve visited Ireland, anyway. The walk we took along the Shannon River today had a magical air about it. We were asked to quietly follow the path that leads along the river to an abandoned and ruined 14th century watch tower. The assignment was to imagine we were travel writers, gathering observations about our surroundings- sights, sounds, tastes, smells. I took down four pages of notes, which you can find here if you like.

Tiny insects flit around your ears, looking almost like strange miniature dragonflies with their quick wings and long bodies. It was very easy to suspend disbelief (the way one might do with a science fiction novel) and imagine they were tiny, mischievous faeries tugging at my hair and whispering into my ears. The sound of rushing river water and the fresh air is intoxicating. A light mist of rain falls most of the time, muddying up the dirt path and casting a dewey layer of water on plant life and our eclectic array of umbrellas.

Here, Lauren, Torie, Naomi, Daylina and Carol pose next to the 14th century watch tower. Photo by Dr. Rick Wilber.

The 14th century watch tower we encountered on our foot travels was both beautiful and treacherous. The remaining  walls towered high into the overcast sky and ivy crept up the sides as if to lay claim to the ruins. Some of us braved the crumbling stone steps and explored the inside of what was once probably a magnificent building, now a treasure of the forest along the Shannon, a relic of centuries come and gone. If only buildings could speak and help us write our history books.

On the way back, I pulled myself back from the rest of my group members to immerse myself in the experience, to contemplate the beauty of this country and to hear nature as if I myself were a wood nymph and she a patron nature goddess whispering words of wisdom to my soul.

On the walk back, something rustled very quickly through the foliage and my messenger bag’s strap yanked me backwards. My first, panicked thought was that I was about to be carried off by the faeries, The Stolen College Student.

Unfortunately, it was just a tree branch that my strap got caught on so I continued my journey back to the dorms and made spaghetti for some of my roommates, which is a close second to being carried off by Irish faeries.

Stairwell inside the watch tower. It was quite a climb to get inside but once we made it, the view was stunning.

This was taken inside the watch tower, from the other side. There are only two or three walls left so the tower is open to nature.

Here, most of the Bulls pose for a picture on a walk along the Shannon River. Photo by John Sadler.

As a self-professed nerd, today was a very special and exciting day for me. Today was the day we started actual classes.

Now, don’t get me wrong. The whole trip thus far has been educational. Dr. Rick and his wife, Dr. Robin have been giving us background history on the English and Irish culture and media the entire trip. But instead of a traditional classroom experience, we have been immersing ourselves in the cultures for the last week and a half. For me, the opportunity to experience countries I’ve never been to was more rewarding than sitting in a classroom in Tampa reading about the UK and Ireland in a  textbook and taking notes during a lecture. This is real life. This is what college is really all about.

But nonetheless, I was excited about the opportunity to sit down at a table and take notes in a more traditional format.  My fingers were itching for the feel of my pen on paper against a hard surface, as opposed to walking and  balancing my notebook during on-foot tours of London and Dublin.

The morning lecture was on professional writing and was presented by Dr. Rick. He gave us some neat background facts about Limerick and Ireland beforehand though and here are just a few of them:

  • Writers and artists do not pay income taxes in Ireland
  • There are currently 40-50 million Irish-Americans
  • With the .com bubble in the 90s, there were plenty of jobs for the highly-educated people of Ireland. But when it popped in 2007, the Dell Corporation shut down its company in Limerick and nearly 2,000 Irish were out of jobs
  • During the Kennedy reign in the U.S., more Irish than any other immigrant received green cards. Kennedy was Irish-American.

Professional Writing highlights

  • “A good writer makes reality more real for the reader than if they had been there themself.” -Dr. Rick quoting Ernest Heminway
  • Fiction is “lies to tell a truth.” We willingly suspend our disbelief to enjoy  fiction stories.
  • Different forms of fiction:   Novel (more than 40k words), Novella (20k-40k words), Novelette (10k-20k words) and short stories (less than 10k  words).
  • Different types of travel writing: 1. Destination story 2. specialized story and 3. Literary travel
  • The Writing Process= Idea–> Research–>Organize–> Write–>Revise, Revise, Revise–>Submit
  • Remember “sloppy copies” from elementary school and write your first draft without self-editing.
  • Editing: 1. Walk away 2. Change location
  • Use the “naive eye/tourist eye” to look at the world. This is your ability to appreciate places and things as if they were new; sensory reporting

The afternoon lecture featured Dr. Robin, who talked about finance and economics and comparisons between the U.S. the UK and Ireland. Here are some highlights from her lecture, which by the way, was tremendously enlightening, despite my general lack of interest in these topics.

Economic differences between Ireland, the UK and the U.S.

  • Life expectancy for both males and females is higher in Ireland than the U.S. or UK
  • The U.S. spends the most, between the three countries, on health but still has a lower life expectancy and higher incidences of death at birth.
  • The U.S. consumes more than it produces (no surprise) and Ireland imports more than it exports
  • Oecd.stat
  • Housing is more expensive in Ireland than in the U.S.; in Dublin, small, 2-bedroom houses average about 1/2 million Euros.

Observational differences between Ireland and the U.S.

  • There are recycling bins located in each University of Limerick apartment. It is not clearly marked with the international symbol for recycling, so it’s assumed that everyone knows where and what to recycle. At USF, from my personal experience interviewing environmental science students, there is a constant struggle at USF to get recycling into the dorms
  • In Ireland, not only do you have to turn on a light switch to illuminate a room, you have to flip a switch to get electricity to outlets. Heavy doors to rooms are also common because it allows each individual room to be heated and cooled without that energy leaking out to other rooms, which saves electricity and keeps costs down.
  • in Ireland, and also in England, you are typically charged 10-20 cents per plastic bag you get from a store for your groceries/items. This cuts down on the number of plastic bags being used and encourages people to bring their own reusable bags from home. It’s better for the environment and helps businesses cut costs so they can help keep the costs of their items lower for customers.

Stats on newspaper readership

  • U.S. newspaper readership (both hard copy and online) shrunk 30 percent between2007 and 2009
  • European presses are proving more resilient. Germany only shrunk by 10 percent and France by 4 percent
  • There has actually been increased readership in Japan, with 526 paid subscriptions per every 1,000 people. Norway, 458. Finland, 400 and Sweden 262 compared to the U.S.’s measly 160. Interesting enough, the first  four mentioned countries have high broadband penetration.
  • Specialized newspapers do better

After class, we headed to the grocery store on campus to stock up our kitchens and avoid spending the money on eating out. I ended up making spaghetti for a few of my roommates. Score one for Daylina.

Some of the food we stocked up on. Much cheaper than dining out every day.

We have a mini-fridge for our perishables and the milk/ OJ we are brought every morning.

Daylina Miller cooking spaghetti in the apartment's kitchen. Photo by Torie Doll.

Note to my group mates

August 3, 2010

Just a reminder to my newfound friends:

Feel free to submit blog entries and pictures for me to post up here, especially anything covering specific experiences or topics. Just email me what you have at dmmille4@mail.usf.edu

Thanks!

While not as big as London, nearly half of Ireland's 5 million inhabitants live in Dublin.

Here are just a few random observations that I made while in Dublin and out on field trips to Newgrange and Monostaryboice:

1. A lot of stores are situated on top of one another in two or three story buildings. You might see a sign for a tattoo shop directly above a door for a ground floor store but be looking into a grocery store or tourist shop. Then you realize that you have to go into the store and either up or down a creaky set of stores to access the other store.

2. The beggers on the street work harder for their spare change. A woman helped me, Carol and Torie figure out our bus route to the viking museum on the Luas station where you pay for tickets and then asked for spare change afterwards. It’s quite a good strategy, actually. Ireland is in a recession, just as the states are so while I haven’t seen anyone standing on corners with signs, I have seen the occasional unfortunate individual sleeping in one of the parks.

3. Most of the bathrooms lack paper towels and have hand dryers with very low settings. The toilets are also low-flow and rarely automatic. I’m not sure yet if they Irish here are frugal because it’s the green thing to do or if they are trying to save money because of the recession.

4. At Temple Bar, comparable to Ybor City in Tampa, street performers take their performance space seriously. A harmonica player had a brawl with a magician who had his mic turned up too loudly and was drowning out his harmonica.

5. You have to pay about 30-50 Euro cents to use most public restrooms. There is a turnstile that bars you from entering until you put the exact change in and often bathroom attendants or cameras are close by watching to make sure you don’t climb over it.

6. People don’t use the word “bathroom” here. Most the bathrooms say “toilets” and every once in a blue moon, “restrooms.” If you ask for the bathroom, you get a confused look and pointed in a direction that will not lead you to a  toilet. Bathrooms here are washrooms without toilets.

7. Dublin is a pedestrian and bicycling society. There are several streets that can only be accessed on foot or by bike and bridges built for people to walk over. We managed to make all our trips within the city on foot or by using the light rail system for 1.50 Euros.

8. Two observations about waitresses/waiters: 1. They won’t split checks. It must be some sort of cultural thing that one person in the group picks up the tab but no offense my new friends, I can’t afford to pay for all of you and I know you feel the same way. So it’s easiest for either one person to throw it on a card and have the table give them money or for everyone to pony up their share of the money to pay the single bill. Taxes are built in so the prices are generally whatever’s on the menu, plus international bank fees if  your bank charges those 2. They take their time. They are in no hurry and expect that you aren’t. Unless you go into the Mickey D’s, and I wouldn’t because I’ve spent too much money to come on the trip to eat burgers, you aren’t getting your food quickly. I’ve been lucky to have them take my order within half an hour of sitting down. They don’t check on your drinks that often and aren’t in a  rush to get you your bill. they’re very friendly, but a little too relaxed for my impatient American tastes.

9. The street lights are off to the side of the road and much lower. No cables run overhead except that of the light rail. There are also special green lights for pedestrians and bicycles.

10. Most of the stores seem to be small businesses, I assume family-run, and not chain stores.

11. The toilet handles are not where we always find them in the U.S. Sometimes you have to pull a long cord, sometimes it’s a button on top of the tank- it’s always a fun game of treasure hunt to figure out how to flush the toilet. Same goes for the shower faucets.

More to come as I spend time in Limerick, a town which, so far, seems more country than city.

Potato Famine Memorial for the victims of the potato blight in the mid-1800s.

Bridge in Dublin- designed to look like a harp, an instrument that is very important in Irish history.

Boiled cabbage and bacon on mashed potatoes. It doesn't get any more Irish than this. Fyi guys, bacon as we know it is not to be found here. It's all what we normally refer to as "Canadian bacon."

Who sang Irish pub sings for the heck of it.

They had a good laugh

and spent all their cash

and paid luggage overcharges because of it.

______________________________________________________________________-

Don’t judge me. I’m a journalist, not a poet 😉

We have finally arrived at the heart of this study tour- Limerick, Ireland. While here, we are staying in dormitories at the University of Limerick. We all have our own bedrooms and bathrooms within each apartment and a common area with a kitchen, living room and TV. We are certainly living it up. After we got situated in our rooms, the group met at the university’s pub, which stayed open later just for us to grab a bite to eat. They’re having an open mic tonight tonight and some students will be heading over to that while the rest of the group enjoys some well-needed downtime in their rooms.

Carol modeling her private bathroom on her dorm room at the University of Limerick in Ireland.

Torie is enjoying her unlimited internet access and private room at the University of Limerick.

Each apartment, which has about six rooms, also has a common area with couches, tables and a TV.

We have a full kitchen a cabinets stocked with glasses, dishes and eating utensils, as well as a mini-fridge.

Each apartment gets a basket of breakfast goodies each day.

Lauren, Carol, and Torie chillaxin' at the university pub.

Daylina Miller on the train ride to Limerick, already scheming for her next blog entry.

Downtime in Dublin

August 1, 2010

Trinity College- very prestigious and home of the Book of Kells.

Aside from waking up really sick (wipe the worried look off your face, Mom), today was a really great day. Unlike the previous week where scheduled events kept us on a tight schedule, we were able to enjoy a leisurely walk down to Grafton Street, a visit to the Irish National Museum, a stroll through Stephen’s Green and a visit to Trinity College, where we saw the famous illuminated manuscript of The Book of Kells and the Library’s Long Room.

Grafton street is a strip of cultural activity where the road is bricked and set up for pedestrians to walk and enjoy different street performers and exhibits. Some of the few I saw was a man making large, multi-colored bubbles that children were popping, a bagpipe player, two men making a sand sculpture of a dog, a comedian doing stunts like swallowing balloons and walking on broken glass and various assortments of other musicians. There was a flurry of activity in the area.

Daylina, Josh, Jessica, Mary and Aubrey on the James Joyce balcony of Bewley's coffee shop on Grafton Street in Dublin today. Photo by Dr. Rick Wilber.

After watching a few of the performances, I set off to look through several independent bookstores for a complete works of Yeat’s poetry and was unsuccessful. I wanted one published in Ireland and they were all published in London or the U.S. I’d buy it off Amazon if I wanted that. But I did find a neat blue-bound book with a silver fairy on it and the best of Yeat’s poems. It WAS published in Ireland. Yeats was known for incorporating a lot of Irish folklore in his poems. Here is one of my favorites, The Stolen Child.

WHERE dips the rocky highland
Of Sleuth Wood in the lake,
There lies a leafy island
Where flapping herons wake
The drowsy water rats;
There we’ve hid our faery vats,
Full of berrys
And of reddest stolen cherries.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wave of moonlight glosses
The dim gray sands with light,
Far off by furthest Rosses
We foot it all the night,
Weaving olden dances
Mingling hands and mingling glances
Till the moon has taken flight;
To and fro we leap
And chase the frothy bubbles,
While the world is full of troubles
And anxious in its sleep.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,
We seek for slumbering trout
And whispering in their ears
Give them unquiet dreams;
Leaning softly out
From ferns that drop their tears
Over the young streams.
Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than you can understand.

Away with us he’s going,
The solemn-eyed:
He’ll hear no more the lowing
Of the calves on the warm hillside
Or the kettle on the hob
Sing peace into his breast,
Or see the brown mice bob
Round and round the oatmeal chest.
For he comes, the human child,
To the waters and the wild
With a faery, hand in hand,
For the world’s more full of weeping than he can understand.

Trinity College was beautiful and as much as I love USF, I’d do just about anything to attend a semester here. You can feel the history in the air around you and underneath your feet. It’s a sort of energy that magnetizes everything. That was increased by walking through the Book of Kells exhibit and seeing the manuscript lying in its glass case. The pages are so ornate and tediously written and decorated. What a beautiful artifact. Even more breathtaking was the Long Room in the library of the college. There were two stories of books in the long room, all hundreds of years old and lining rows and rows of shelves. There were also busts of famous Irishmen of note and artifacts from Irish history, including the country’s oldest known harp, made of willow and ornately carved with Irish decor.

Torie writing her observations about Irish culture in her journal.

Dr. Wilber, as always, gave us some great background history on the Irish as we walked. He also gave us different assignments depending on the credits we are earning for this trip. Mass Comm and Society was asked to watch Irish TV and compare it to its American counterpart, Professional Writing was asked to write a travel story lede on an aspect of Dublin and Directed Readings was asked to purchase some books by Irish writers to read. Every night, we write in our travel journals, going through our reporter’s notepads and deciphering our scribbled observations throughout the day to form into a more coherent journal entry on our experiences in this country. Not only  does it help us keep our thoughts and assignments all in one place and is required for a grade, but it is really neat souvenir of our trip. Mine will be stuck into the scrapbook I’m making.

A bubble blower on Grafton street entertains passerbys and children running to pop them.

Two men on Grafton Street sculpt a dog out of sand with brushes and small tools.