**The Most Recent Postings Will Be At the Top of the Page.**
23 September 1999 13.00 (We're on military time.)
I was hoping to get in the computer lab much earlier and work on nice little journal entries but that was wishful thinking at the time. I have now been in Derry, Northern Ireland for 3 weeks living with the Maureen Sutherland and her children Helen and Christina as well as my roomie Holly. We only live about a 15 minute walk from the University of Ulster - Magee College Campus. We usually take a bus, 006 Ballymagrorty, up to Magee in the morning and got to classes, the library, the computer lab and then walk to City Centre if we need anything that day. (Or if we just had rather be tourists than students!)
A brief background of the City that I am living in...first of all the name needs a bit of clarification. The name of the city on a map can be found as Londonderry or Derry (depending on who made the map) . The reason for this is because the Protestants, by showing their loyality to the Crown and to England (the "mainland"), will call it Londonderry. The Catholics wish to show their independence from Britian, thus calling it by the shortened name of Derry. The city is also divided, mainly, into two sections with the River Foyle as a natural divide. The dominately Protestant area is call Waterside and the dominately Catholic area is called Cityside. Although, there are these two main divides threre are smaller divides within each side of the river. Some people living on the Cityside have never been to the Waterside in their entire lives and v/v, though it is as not as common with the younger generation as the older generation it is still apparent. There are also many wall murals depicting the injustices of present and past battles and discrimination on both sides, politically and religiously.
Anyhow, I'll tell you about the areas that I frequent in Derry, etc. I know that most of you are wanting ot know about "pub-life", so I suppose that I'll start right there. My favorite hangout and default location when other plans fall through. The pub is Peadar O'Donnell's on Waterloo St., which unfortunately, has been the scene of some late night violence recently. O'Donnell's is a good traditional Irish pub. There is traditional music most nights and live musicians every weekend and perhaps a surprise during the week. Yes, they do have Guinness on tap, what good Irish pub wouldn't? I actually prefer Harp, which is also made by Guinness people just a bit lighter. While discussing the pubs in Ireland I can incorporate the people of Ireland as well because the pubs are simply a part of the social life. The people in the pubs are extremally nice and very funny even without the Guinness in them.
Well, I know that this is short and I will try to so better next time, but I do have a LOT of studying to do and must find time to do it. I would love to hear from my friends and family. Cheerio until later!
10 August 1999 10:10pm
Well, this is my first journal entry for the entire summer. We were supposed to write a total of 20+ entries for the summer, but I now seem to be a bit behind. I didn't really think that I was going to be doing a lot of deep contemplation about the trip because of all of the things that I was planning on doing this summer. Although I have had a very exciting summer it didn't seem to take up quite as much time as I had planned, therefore this left me thinking about the trip a lot. (Not necessarily writing it down, but nonetheless thinking about it.)
I don't plan on being a person who needs to find a deeper meaning for what I will be doing in Northern Ireland. I don't think that I needed to find a reason why. As I see it the Lord will reveal it all in His good time and not matter how much I think about it or how much I may worry, the outcome will be what God intended and I will learn as I travel His Path.
I have to say that I was not apprehensive about any aspect of the trip even being away from my family for such an extended period of time, not to mention the distance of the extended trip. Recently, in these last few weeks, I have been doing all of this questioning and worrying and contemplating that I thought that I would never do. Why now?? I think that it's getting down to the wire and that's why! I don't think that I could have written any other journal entries previous to those because I have not really been thinking about the trip as much as I have lately.
I think that I will close in to end my redundancy. Another day of thoughts are soon to be taking shape.
10 August 1999 6:32pm
I have finally started actually wanting to write journal entries.(I know many other people who have just started their entries as well due to same reason.) I have so many things running through my head. I think the questions that everyone was asking during our orientation class are not finally becoming the questions that I have been asking myself.
I am now contemplating my purpose in Northern Ireland. I know what the college's purpose is for me being there, but what are God's purposes for me. As I mentioned in an earlier journal entry, I feel that God will reveal all that I need to know about my purpose when I am there and in action.
I can't even imagine what I am going ot leave while I am there. Government, history, religion and culture seem so basic, but they are basics of Northern Ireland which I don't know all that well yet. I can't wait to just jump into it. I almost can't believe how much I am looking forward to going back to school. I have always valued learning and knowledge, but I think that this is going to be even more interesting because I will be there experiencing it and not simply reading about it. Or even worse becoming a "sponge" for the sake of passing an exam.
I hope that part of my purpose in N.I. will be to put into action the knowledge that I will gain from the classes into understanding in the sercice placement in which I will be working.
11 August 1999 4:30pm
Ok, this packing thing is beginning to worry me a little bit. I mean, I have sooooo much stuff that I want to take along with me, but I only have so much space. I don't want to take too much, but I don't want to regret not taking something when I get there.
I have never been that good at the conservative approach to packing. I watched this lady on Oprah one day after I got home from student teaching. She was a professional packing consultant and she shared some very valuable travel tips. (Who knew that people could do that for a living?) Anyhow, she said that it's best to roll your clothes in order to get the most in your suitcase. Wouldn't that just make things thicker and harder to get more into the suitcase. I tried it and thought that folding the clothes could be just as effective, but she's the professional.
Another packing tip, which was on the letter which Mary Ellen sent us, was the "4 block rule". (If you can't carry it 4 city blocks, then you have too much.) At this point I only have one suitcase and one carryon and I don't think that I can carry that 4 city blocks. I'm not a weakling, but it's some heavy stuff!! Back to the drawing board again!
I guess that I should do what we talked about in class..."Dump everything that you want to pack on your bed and pack half of it." Nice thought! :)
I'm sure that I will have more comments on packing later.
Disclaimer: I do not promise this document to be free from grammatical and/or mechanical errors, but plead for your indulgence concerning those errors.