Spring break would not be spring break without our old friends and new students from Davidson County Community College. Led magnificently by Amanda Klinger, for her third year in a row, and managed from HQ by Suzanne La Venture, it’s always a pleasure to welcome this group to Ireland.
Collie did the Airport meet and greet, and got our group here in time for a shower, a nap, and then a visit to the Fairy Bridges, and a quick run around Sligo. As we had two other colleges here, Hastings College from Nebraska and Virginia Tech, we gathered in 51 pub on the first evening for an ice-breaker sing-song, learning some local Irish ballads.
Our lectures covered the usual spectrum, from ancient Ireland to current times, focusing on the global themes of folklore and mythology, colonization, poverty and emigration, revolution and revival, and peace and conflict resolution. Our field trips were familiar too – but one unique aspect of our visit to the Sliabh Liag Cliffs in Donegal ,always beautiful, was a rainbow, perfectly perched between the Giant’s Chair and the cliff tops.
Our activity day was a wild Atlantic Day – three treks on horseback along the beach with our brave DCCC’ers, and then a brisk dip into the ocean for a surf lesson. They did themselves proud! Other activities included Marion Rose’s brilliant Art and Ogham class, and one of the highlights was the visit to Derry City, including the Civil Rights Museum in the Bogside, and of course the Derry Girls Mural in the city.
It was then time to leave Bundoran for the bright lights of Belfast City, – an excellent visit to Crumlin Road Jail, and then some time to explore the surroundings. And in a fabulous coincidence, some of us bumped into Terri Hooley, owner of the legendary ‘Good Vibrations’ record store in Belfast, and subject of the movie we had watched a few nights ago! He was a gentleman and very generous with his time and willingness to pose for selfies!
Then it was time for Dublin with Collie, who walked the gang all around the city center, and regaled them with his tales of Dublin. It was great to have y’all back, and we look forward to next year.