Saturday, March 25, 2017

Ireland, Home Away from Home...

“We leave something of ourselves behind when we leave a place, we stay there, even though we go away. And there are things in us that we can find again only by going back there.”
Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon

Well, that is certainly true where Ireland and Northern Ireland are concerned.  I am determined to get back there someday to revisit that part of myself. In the meantime, I am delighted to continue sharing our journey with you here.  After that wonderful first day in Ireland sightseeing, we ended back at the Kilmore Presbyterian Church just outside Crossgar to get ready for Bible Club.  Very much like Bible School here in the states, we were in charge of conducting all the activities for the group of children, which -- when they heard that Americans had come to their town -- grew steadily each night. The girls did a skit each night, which were called sketches over there because "skit" is a naughty word, we sang songs with hand motions, had Bible lessons, memorized a verse for the week also using hand motions, played games, and had wonderful snacks! Just before dinner and Bible Club, we were taken to our respective homes for the week.  The girls stayed with families, and the three moms stayed in a lovely guest/vacation house on one family's property very near the church.  

Guest house (where we stayed):

Main house:

The view of the surrounding lands: πŸ˜πŸ’•



Can you just imagine being here for a week?  We had all the comforts of home inside the guest house, including a Keurig (because as much as we love the Irish tea, it's always great to have that cup of morning coffee when you are averaging 3-5 hours of sleep at night) which the owners' daughter brought over for us from her own home for the week!  Now that is Irish hospitality!!

Kitchen/eating area (pre Keurig arrival):

Lovely and comfy den area:


We even had towel animals on our beds when we arrived, just like at Disney! I dubbed mine the bluebird of happiness. πŸ’™



Such nice accommodations... even the bathroom was impeccably clean! I was happy to see that, as it had now been almost 48 hours without a shower. 😲 Once settled into our new home, it was back to the church for dinner and Bible Club.  


And we were treated to Traditional Irish Stew!!  Reportedly, it takes over 24 hours to make the authentic stew.  I LOVED it!

This was where we ate a lovely tea (dinner) each night before Bible Club.



Language, a side note:
You would assume that because we all spoke English, that language would not have been an issue.  And for the most part you'd be right... but there are those English words that we both use that have vastly different meanings:
  • "skit" being the naughty word there... while here it just means a short, live play 
  • "pants" here are trousers, but there they are underwear ...you can imagine the uproarious laughter that ensued each time one of our girls said, "I need to go put on some pants..." the children wondering quizzically, "Why are they not wearing their underwear?"
  • "biscuits" to us in the states are hot, doughy, savory bread that we butter and eat primarily for breakfast... there biscuits are cookies which they generally have with tea 
  • "tea" in the states generally refers to a drink which is consumed both hot and cold (and very sweet if you're from the South)... and while they do have hot tea to drink there, when they say we're going to have tea, they are referring to their large meal usually consumed late in the afternoon (4 to 5 pm-ish) which will include the hot drink, but also consists of delicious homemade foods, along with many and varied sweets (both homemade and bought) and in our experience, usually including Pavlova and "biscuits"
 
The girls preparing for the skit:

The church activity hall, where all the action happened:

After settling in for the night, we tried to sleep because we knew the next morning we would "hit the ground running" as they say. And so we did, after coffee and showers we were whisked away in our minibus -- at the speed of light -- to a local primary school where the girls would be performing and sharing testimonies.  



Of course, the artist in me just loved the games and things painted on the pavement outside:

Here is one of the pieces the girls performed (their first performance of the trip -- by the end they had performed in over 20 locations!) They learned how to perform in every size space, large and small, with all six dancers to as little as two dancers because they were to perform in two places at the same time. This is choreographed to a piece called "Gratitude" by Nichole Nordeman... beautiful lyrics you can read here.

ballet at primary school in Ireland from Christi Bunn on Vimeo.

And in the image below, my daughter is getting to share a bit of her testimony with the children in relation to what the song means to her.

 

The Lord provided many opportunities for us to minister over the two weeks we were there, and we were filled with gratitude for His goodness to us through those to whom we were ministering.  Right after this performance the girls changed into sightseeing clothes, and we were again whisked away in our minibus to new adventures (which I will share with you in the next trip post.) 😊

To view all Ireland trip posts click the image:

http://charmandgracecottage.blogspot.com/search/label/Ireland

2 comments:

  1. It certainly was a beautiful trip and the house was so clean. Here there was a Keurig in the kitchen! Amazing! I am so happy that you had a good time and that the girls were able to help in the Bible school. Have a blessed week!

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  2. Reading this post blessed me and the dancers and the music and those thought-provoking lyrics blessed me as well. What a beautiful place on earth where you've left a piece of your heart. The people sound very thoughtful and hospitable. Hope that you have your desire to return there one day.

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