day 8 - sunday, march 23rd
today's objectives: abbey easter service at the dublin spire (city centre). spend the day with the boal family.
we started this morning out like all the others. walking. today we are meeting at the spire (which is in the middle of the city) for a "sunrise" easter service. each of the three churches that we have been with throughout the week were all there. when we got there all the streets were empty of traffic. they had blocked off o'connell street for the easter parade that was happening later that day. we found out that the person who was in charge of doing music for the service fell ill...so, david to the rescue. he picked up a guitar and did the worship for us. it was neat to be with everyone at the spire, singing songs, praying, and just being a community.
empty o'connell street
worship @ the spire
after the morning service, all the churches meet up at the methodist church for a traditional irish breakfast. oddly, baked beans are a part of breakfast...but tasty all the same. it was SO cold outside and it was nice to be inside drinking tea and munching on brown bread.
then we head back to abbey church for the normal service. alan delivered a lovely sermon. kevin stepped up to the plate to do some reading. by this time, the congregation feels like family. we arrived the previous sunday, knowing no one, shaking hands and getting to know people. by easter service we are sitting with new friends, laughing about the week, and hugging everyone like we've known each other for years.
the boal family invited us over for sunday lunch after church. this was one of my favorite things about the trip! we arrived to find a HUGE spread of food, all made by ruth boal. when she had the time to prepare such an amazing feast is beyond me! chicken pasta, salad, brown bread, and the best hot tea in the world! to top off lunch, there was homemade apple pie and custard! heaven! this woman can cook! while munching on these delights and sipping tea, we just relaxed and exchanged stories. it was like being home.
kevin and sam (alan & ruth's son) probably discussing judge judy
our group. it was hard to say goodbye. :(
we took the bus back to harvey's guest house where we packed our bags and prepared for the early morning trip to the airport.
day 9 - monday, march 24th
today's objective: pack up and head back to the states.
it was an early morning. we were all packed and downstairs waiting for the bus to take us back to the airport. we were leaving. very sad.
as we were about to leave, robert, the gentleman running the guest house, pulls up in his car. he actually came to take some of us to the airport! he didn't even have to be there that day, but wanted to see us off. that was one of the sweetest gestures and it made me smile. amy, shelby and i rode with robert. mikkee stayed back with the boys and took the bus...someone had to keep them in order! :)
mikkee, thrilled to be waiting on the bus with greg
once at the airport, i was frisked many many times. they also took my knitting needles! at first, the lady pointed to a screen and asked if i was carrying darts. i was like, "no." then i said, "oh, those are my knitting needles." "NEEDLES" she exclaimed! i think maybe i should have called them sticks. oops. coincidentally, they didn't take my pens or pencils. hmmm. looks like i'll be reading for the next 7 hours.
leaving ireland with this (a favorite of mine): isaiah 55: 12-13
click here for pictures from day 8 & 9