Have you ever milked a cow before? Baked traditional Irish brown bread? Danced to the beat of the Bodhrán (Irish drum)? Jumped into a muddy bog for a “bit of craic”? If no, then when you get to IES Dublin, make sure to sign up for the Causey Farm day trip! The folks on the farm were so kind and funny, and they even trusted us to pick up and hold their 10-day-old sheep dog puppies, so that’s definitely the sign of awesome hosts. The dancing and the drum playing were also equally fun, though I can’t say I was a natural at either one haha!
One surprising thing of the day was when we were travelling to the farm’s bogs on a hay bale truck (yes, we were all crammed onto hale bales haha!) The guide had been leading us in song to pass the time when all at once she shushed us, pointing up to the front of the truck and saying, “Oh hey! The new Macklemore song is on!” We all laughed, but for me I think it was really interesting because it made me consider more about how American and Western cultures can easily come over to European countries. I suppose I shouldn’t have been as surprised as I was considering how interconnected our world is now, but it was still kind of a cool moment to experience, especially since Macklemore comes from my home state and city (Seattle, WA).
Besides Causey Farm, there have been many other things afoot in the adventures of Grace in Irealnd! For instance, this past weekend, a couple friends and I had the opportunity to travel to Clare and experience a weekend in the countryside. We stayed in a very traditional, small cottage on the land of a very nice man named Pat, who’s family had owned over 250 acres for more than eight generations (amazing!) He had used to live in the cottage we were staying in, but had moved out when he married his wife to start a family. It was a very remote, cozy location, surrounded by rolling hills, roaming sheep, and herds of cows. We took an early morning walk and got a chance to see more of Pat’s land, as well as the limestone fences that pockmark the area and really evoke the “classic” Irish landscape.
While we were in Clare, we also went to see the Cliffs of Moher and, may I say, this was incredible. We spent two hours hiking along them, and every couple minutes we were stopping to take more pictures because the view was absolutely breathtaking. For some, terrifying as well (there was virtually no fences, so it was incredibly easy to imagine falling off!), but also so great to experience. That, along with the beautiful little area we stayed in, made Clare a definite highlight of my time since I’ve been here in Ireland.