As the first week in Maynooth, Ireland ended, I became fully adjusted to the beautiful scenery. I was nervous that I would be experiencing everything alone, but I quickly became so close to everyone in my program. At Maynooth University, we have a north and south campus; the north campus being more modern. However, our South campus is deemed to have been part of the oldest University in Ireland, and has so much history, and interesting haunted stories. Fun Fact: Harry Potter’s famous Hogwarts Dinning hall is based off a dining hall in this University!
On our first weekend, however, we got down and dirty in Causey Irish Farm. Starting our day making delicious Irish Soda Bread, and watching a Shepard Dog heard sheep amazed me, and I even had the chance to milk a cow! I can finally check that off the bucket list! Learning a traditional Irish dance: Cèili, I learned so much about authentic Irish Culture. It was so much fun that we ended up dancing a traditional dance later that day in a small pub, and locals joined in! I loved immersing myself into their fun culture.
But what was the best part? Of course it was getting down and dirty! We jumped in a bog! For a little background, I will tell you what a bog is and how it is formed! A long time ago, these areas of land use to be ice glaciers, and as they melted over time, they turned into large areas of thick muddy ground used for turf. Apparently this area is as cold as 36 degrees Fahrenheit. I know what you’re thinking. That does not sound fun. I thought that too, but you will never know unless you try! It was amazing, and really allowed me to bond with all the great people in my program.
Embracing the farming culture of Ireland has taught me two things. Farming practices are not all that different around the world, besides the fact that we all harvest different crops, and cultivate and grow different things! It also taught me the world also differs in many ways through aspects as simple as bread making and dance! Trying different things can be scary or uncomfortable, but once you let yourself get into the culture you will be so glad you did!
The best part about my experience in Ireland is learning unique lingo and seeing all the pretty scenery! It is breathtaking! There is so much history, and I love learning about events and discoveries that I was never exposed to back home! The Irish are truly a friendly people, and they are more than happy to help you out as far as directions, and nice restaurants to go to! My next stop is Galway off the coast, and I am sure to see some beautiful views from the beach to the Cliffs of Moher! Stay tuned for more to come!