day 7 - saturday, march 22nd
today's objectives: break out into 3 groups (arts, internationals, youth) and focus on meeting and building relationships with people in the city.
the arts group was made up of david and amy. they went to grafton street. this is one of the major shopping areas. it is also where many artists / performers go to display his/her/their specific talent. david took his guitar and "busked" (or performed on the street). they ended up meeting some fellow buskers and exchanging stories & information. amy is so spunky and fun, i'm sure they were all rolling with laughter the entire time!
david busking with dubliners
the international group was made up of greg and shelby. i'm not really sure what came of this one, other than it was probably the most difficult. meeting an international and starting a conversation can be hard when you have language and culture barriers.
the youth group was made up of me, mikkee and kevin. all of us had a special interest in the younger generation. it took about 2 minutes to find what we were looking for. loud music playing out of a van by the liffey river. crowds of people...YOUNG people! we had stumbled into a rowing race between two of the biggest colleges in dublin, trinity college and university college dublin (ucd). i found out later this was the "Gannon Cup" race. so, it was pretty easy to find people to talk to. mikkee and i made several attempts a making friends with the girls, but were not hugely successful. kevin, on the other hand, met some guys that we all ended up spending a lot of time with that day.
gannon cup 2008 - trinity college v ucd
i'm going to include a bit from his (kevin) blog now:
"I bump into the lad from Trinity, Colm. He's there hanging out with some of his college buddies, all who once rowed at Trinity. Peter and Kevin are the two guys I take up talking to and they are a riot. Peter is nuts and reminds me of Paul Alberstadt at a Vandy Football tailgate...he's talking trash to UCD and screaming at the top of his lungs. Of course, I like him immediately. Kevin is a quieter fellow, still in school but who has just accepted a position with Accenture in IT consulting when he finishes. Nice fellow, we chat a bit about jobs and watch the novice race.
The girls soon are upon us. Apparently they have moved on from the girl they were speaking with earlier. She apparently was a little bored. But, the lads are excited to have such beautiful ladies in their presence. Peter is chatting them up and when he sees them without sunglasses, he is enamored by their blue eyes. They soon part for coffee and I tell them I will wait for their return. Immediately, the lads start in on me - "are either of the girls your sister? Are you dating one of them? They are certainly lovely!" I tell them I just don't travel with ugly girls, its how I roll. We all share a laugh over this.
The guys are going to catch a double decker bus to head over to the finish and invite me along. I pass and wait for the girls. Little do I know that the bus will make several trips back and forth. The girls arrive at the same time the lads return, ready for the start of the main event. We all hop on and follow the action along the river. Trinity starts out with a burst, but alas, like in the 3 previous races, can't hold pace and they lose out to UCD by half a length over the 4 kilometer course. Peter is bummed as are the rest of the lads. But in true Irish form, begin singing pub songs which are a bit on the raunchy side. Even the girls laugh at the lyrics as we head back to where we all began. We say goodbye to Peter, take a few pics, get Facebook and MySpace addresses and agree to catch them at a pub later.
peter & friends
Then we head over to Graften where we converse with a couple of lads raising money for local charity. These guys are both genuinely enthusiastic about helping out their fellow man. I will point this out as a perfect outreach later when I see Chuck that evening. Again, we get information and Facebook addresses, grab a bite and then meet with the other members of the team and Chuck for a debriefing. Needless to say, our group has had the most craic (Gaelic for fun) and success in friendship building. Chuck really is encouraged about what he hears and we talk a bit more about future possibilities for outreach."
kevin summed it up well. like he pointed out at the end, after our day of meeting people, we get back together as a group and go over our day and what it means for short term mission teams. there were some great ideas that came out of the meeting. chuck has an amazing vision for this country, and i hope we get to continue helping him in his vision.after our re-cap meeting with chuck, we split up before heading to dinner. a few of our team went back to the b&b to change and freshen up. i went to the supermarket (TESCO!) to pick up some things i wanted to bring back to the states for people. it was cool to just walk the streets and see different people moving about and living. it was around dusk so the sky was really pretty and the air was a little crisp. awesome! there were a lot of outside vendors. flowers, food, and that sort of thing.
we were meeting a couple of amy's ireland friends for dinner @ the auld dubliner pub. when mikkee and i first got there it was so crowded we could barely move. one nice gentleman offered us a seat...in his lap. uh. awkward. we eventually prevailed and found a place to sit once everyone showed up. katherine and christy (abbey interns) also joined our group. it was nice to just sit down and hang out and get to know everyone better for a bit.
amy & her ireland friends
finally back to harvey's for some sleep!
click here for pictures from day 7