Hello, my lovely readers - however bountiful or few you might be - and welcome back to another iteration of Wade-O's Word Vomit.
I haven’t posted since I shared my meeting with Frank, although I have not once forgotten about this blog. Between moments of fumbling with a cell-phone and a power bank in the howling rain and chasing down the tram with a pocket full of film, I have been meaning to update you for a long time. It's just been hard to catch my breath - there's so much to do before my program ends in a month.
Thankfully, this weekend, I found time to grab some tea and take a breath. I have faithfully kept my Instagram updated with mini photo essays, and I’ve given TikTok its dole of my own vanity, but it’s time to catch you up. Back in late September - not long after meeting Frank and finally learning to look the correct way when crossing the left-driving street - I formed part of a gaggle of Americans that adventured into the Irish wilderness. A peer of mine had learned of a pocket of Ireland that holds a wealth of neolithic monuments - stone circles - and we decided that we’d go there. Pictures (and a tiktok) of that adventure are below
It was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Even though we got comfortably lost, and even though rain made a joke of our waterproof raincoats, I left the Southwest Beara Peninsula with what felt like a new lease on life. I am American-sized, you know? And I say that with all the humor and love that a person should give their body. And so I am so proud that I got to crawl over rolling crags and hike through thorny marshes to chase after such incredible things as Ireland’s monoliths. Curiosity carried me every step of the way. When you study abroad, I hope you’ll find that curiosity shows you that you can do so much more than you ever thought. I certainly didn’t know that I could do the things that I did on that trip.
In the weeks that followed, I have come to appreciate Dublin in a new light. It’s kind of like spending time in the boonies of rural Texas, and then appreciating what is offered when you hit Houston or San Antonio. What little I understand about Dublin is now informed by the fact that I feel the way in which Ireland is so tiny. When I accompanied some friends to Belfast and the Giant’s Causeway, I realized that the drive - 2 and a half hours - wouldn’t even get one out of Texas. And there I was, crossing an invisible border loaded with the pain and implications of the Troubles.
In the cast-aside comments and whispers of instructors and locals, I am grateful to see this island before what might be a period of major change. The roof of my student accommodations - shoutout to IES Abroad for seriously knocking it out of the park with this place - overlooks Dublin’s sprawl, unimpeded by the modern skyscraper. There, one night, a young lad from Derry saw me writing poetry, and approached to ask for a cigarette. Although I told him I didn’t smoke, he caught interest in what I was doing, and we talked until the cold wind hurried me back downstairs. If you were to ask him about ‘Northern Ireland’, those counties which include Belfast as a portion of the United Kingdom, he’d smile and shake his head and politely correct you - ‘The North’, he’d say. ‘It’s all Ireland’.
Needless to say, I feel as if I cannot miss a single lesson, and that I cannot risk looking away from a beautiful site. It's been hard to find time to slow down and take care of my body, or to even so much as journal. Sometimes all the extra time I have is to literally stop and breathe for a while. That’s okay - remember what I said back in August? Taking the moment to breathe is all I need to do, and somehow, those moments seem to find me. In the coming week, I’ll be sharing my travels on Augsburg’s Instagram, and I hope that you might be able to check it out @Global_Auggies. I plan to post some silly little montages from tiktok, some photo essays, and - of course - my day-to-day life here. The takeover will end with my week in West County Cork, where I will be taking part in a writing retreat organized by my peers. I’m so excited to share that with you all.
Attached to this post are some glimpses of what little I could share with you now. Off to the next thing!
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<p>Yo! My name is Wade Suarez. I'm an English Creative Writing major attending Augsburg University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I am attending the Dublin Writer's Program in Fall of 2021, and my current plan is to not shut up about it the entire time I'm there. My favorite thing to do is to write (shocking, I know), but my next favorite hobbies are exploring, reading, and hunting down the best nooks and crannies I can find, wherever I am. My ultimate goal while I am in Ireland is to connect with a place and people that I've never known, so check it out if you want to see how that's going. I'm pretty pumped to share with you the things I learn and the connections I make while I am adventuring abroad this Fall.</p>