Where does one begin to tell of this wondrous place? The plane descended beneath the clouds, revealing lush green farmland spotted with houses. This picturesque countryside was kissed with sunlight streaming through the clouds through which we flew. I had arrived-I was in Ireland. The waiting, the preparations were over, and now here I was.
Wonderful conversations were had on the plane and Irish friendships were formed. A young man and an older woman spoke of their country and my teammate and I spoke of our own. Stories were swapped and information was exchanged. Due to our unusually long hold-up in customs, the young Irish man, unintentionally made off with my favorite pen, which was quite unfortunate, well maybe not…
We have been touring continually since our arrival. We have seen the Carrick-a-rede Bridge (through a good, strong Irish rain), explored Dunluce Castle (inspiration for Lewis and his chronicles), listened to the great artist Ross Wilson (as well as chatting with him over a cup of tea), we have seen murals commemorating Bloody Sunday in London-Derry, and today we toured Devenish Island and walked through the halls of Castle Coole. Our days have been filled with delicious Irish meals (fish and chips and the like) countless cups of hot Irish tea, hostels, sightseeing, more walking than I care to recall and a glorious beginning to a semester of immersion.
I look forward with anticipation and nervousness to the months ahead and what they will house. I have already felt keenly the presence and working hand of my Maker and cannot wait to see His face more clearly through the lense of Ireland.