November snow at Glencree

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Autumn breezes

 Autumn has come to the Wicklow mountains!

The colors are incredible and the bite in the morning air lets you know straight away that a new day has begun.

The animals of the mountains are out and about as well.  Deer, rabbit, squirrels, Foxes, Badgers and Hedgehogs can be seen often and right in my own backyard!  Those Donkeys next door are no longer the most exotic 4 legged creatures on Glencree property.
Purple Heather

When I'm not watching the wonders of wildlife or the awe inspiring changing of season; I'm observing people, patterns, attitudes and aptitudes.  It is amazing what you can "see when you listen".
In the beginning of last week we had a group of young people here at Glencree from several different Secondary (read High) school.  They came for a program centered on issues of leadership, transition and (Eastside Catholic people wait for it...)  finding their Destiny.  Ah... this felt like a bit of home!  I have been missing the run-up to fall Destiny but this was a great reminder that kids everywhere need that kind of experience.  Now to be fair, this wasn't ECHS's Destiny, but it was a great place for young people to come together to share, learn, reflect, gather, process and grow.  Good work Eamon and Yasser... good work indeed.

group photo's are the same world round

Group hug for the Team leader

Now for something a bit different: 
An invitation to the 50th Anniversary of Statehood of Nigeria to be held at the Residence of the Nigerian Ambassador to Ireland.  Cool... but what to wear?

Always wanted to walk
the red carpet
Delegate from Eastern Nigeria
Leslie, Ian & Phil with new friends from Nigeria

We did walked the red carpet and all.  After being checked in by the security and greeting secretary, we were introduced and welcomed by Her Excellency Dr. Mrs. Kemafo Nonyerem Chikwe and her husband.  The official picture was taken and we were then directed out to the 16 tents filled with tasty Nigerian food, music, traditional dancers and wonderful conversation. I would guess there must have been 400 people in attendance from dozens of countries.  Very nice evening.


I know there are lots of bits I'm forgetting to share; like having to clean more than a dozen rooms & change over 40 beds in one day. Or hand washing 100's of dishes in the restaurant kitchen by myself after breakfast & dinner two days in a row because the industrial size dishwasher broke. "Help, we need a volunteer stat"!  How about shlepping furniture from one room to another  (on different floors, on different sides of the building) to accommodate an incoming groups desire for "comfy chairs".  Yep... I do it all.  Just like my fellow International volunteers. We do whatever Glencree needs us to do and we do it with a song in our hearts and smiles on our faces.  Then we fall face first onto our beds. Thankfully we wake up the next morning to a new crisp autumn day.   



  1. Sounds wonderful. They are lucky to have you...

  2. Dang, I am so proud to call you friend. You've always been such a generous soul and now you have this wonderful place in which to extend that generosity.

    Love from L.A.