November snow at Glencree

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Summer conference at Glencree

This weekend was a "baptism by fire" kind of weekend as we had the annual Summer Conference with every room full with politicians and other important figures from around Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.  Incredibly interesting seminars and of course all the running around helping people (not really knowing anything but faking it well).  Long days and late nights.

It is no joke that the Irish finish every event off with a pub time into the wee hours.   These are two of my fellow volunteers manning the taps.

This coming week should prove interesting as I will get my first driving lesson on the left side of the road… standby for stories of courage under pressure from my teacher.

The weather has been wonderful with moments of sun followed by clouds.  I'm teaching everyone the phrase "Sun Break",  they just shake their heads.

It is true what they say about the beauty of Ireland.  I leave you with a picture from my temporary Attic bedroom window.  That's not a painting, that's Sugarloaf Mountain… breathtaking!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I arrive in Ireland

So Tuesday morning at 7:20 my handsome son Ross drove me to the airport.  This was the face (and hair) that was to be the last familiar one I would gaze on before heading to Ireland.  This is one of the faces I will miss.

Entrance to Glencree
After a three hour delay taking off at SeaTac and a short layover in Chicago; I winged my way (via American Airlines) to the Emerald Isle and landed softly in Dublin.  After immigration and meeting Nicky (the volunteer coordinator for the program) I was whisked away to my new home in the Wicklow Mountains… Glencree.

Right now I am in a temporary room - the last years volunteer corp have not all left.  I am up in a 8x8 foot room in the attic with one tiny skylight window.  I'm not complaining mind you, just reporting the facts.  I should more into my "bigger room with real windows" in a week or two when one of the women leaves for her home in the Netherlands.

So far I am the second person to arrive of the 2010/2011 group; with one more arriving tonight.  I have been told we are quite the International bunch with people from Tanzania, Brazil, Mexico & Sri Lanka.  We have an all ages crew too - with me being the "Grand Dame".  

Later this afternoon I will begin my photo journal of Ireland - thank God for digital media!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

One country down… one to go

Great Barrier Reef
 hunting for food in the Mangroves - Aboriginal style

Kids with Charlie at the Crock Farm

My annual international community service trip with Rustic Pathways has come and gone.  It was a wonderful trip to Queensland Australia.

7 people on a 17 day odyssey "down under". The kids were great and I would travel the world with them any time!

 Our adventure contained: animals of all sorts, Roo poo, jungle swings, bungee jumping, Jabiru Bush Camp learning how to crack a bull whip, throw a boomerang & communicate with horses, surf lessons, the Daintree Rainforest and scuba & snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef.

A big thank you to Allison Scanlin who accompanied me on the trip and to Hillary Proctor who was once again my trusty Rustic Pathways guide (she was with us in Fiji 2 years ago).

So with this trip safely completed I begin my final packing for Ireland.  Five days and a wake up until I get on the plane for the land of St. Patrick!
Glasshouse Mountains
Allison working at the Steve Irwin Zoo
Missy flying through the air
Just arrived in Brisbane
Brekkie at Jabiru