A week and a half ago, I purchased a bike and last Saturday I took a biking adventure with a young woman in my program named Kiersten. We biked to a very small peninsula just outside Dublin, called Howth. The ride itself was gorgeous, taking us along the coast. The peninsula is almost entirely a hill and around the tip of it are walking trails that wind along, taking you right next to a drop-off into the ocean and providing a breathtaking view of the vast, vast ocean. After walking these paths and soaking in the peace of the water, we made our way back down to the town and the harbor and had the best seafood I have ever tasted.
My favorite trip of the last week and a half was to the countryside of western Ireland. When I was in Galway a few weeks ago, I met a young American woman, Katlyn, who is WOOFing (working on an organic farm in exchange for room and board) in a tiny town in western Ireland. She and I hit it off immediately, but our paths crossed only briefly in Galway, so I decided to visit the farm she is working on. It was a bit of a hilarious time getting there, but once I did I could not have been happier. I helped them harvest some vegetables, ate a lunch full of fresh food practically just out of the ground, and spent the afternoon with Katlyn, wandering the streets of the nearest bigger town and sitting in a cafe with hot chocolate and carrot cake, telling each other funny stories. When I left, as I settled into the bus for the ride back, I could not keep the smile from my face, basking in the joy and pleasantry of good company, serendipity, and the very unexpected ways the universe works.
The final highlight for this update is a play that I saw last night at the Samuel Beckett Theatre at Trinity College. The show was part of a large theatre festival going on in Dublin right now, the Absolut Fringe Festival, with almost 500 shows being put on at venues around Dublin for about two weeks. The show I saw was Eurypides’ ‘Medea’, translated by Robin Robertson and done in a modern setting. Everything about this play was outstanding. The program for it contains a little blurb about the timelessness of so many human stories, especially of love, betrayal, passion, etc. and that is exactly what this show was. The leading actress embodied the agony of her husband’s infidelity and the knowledge of what had to be done to him in revenge with such uncanny accuracy. From the first five seconds of the show through to the end I was in awe of its perfection and was left speechless afterward. Not only was the acting so moving, but the choreography, music, and lighting were absolutely beautifully done. It was tragic, emotional, gut-wrenching, and astounding (and this hardly even begins to describe what this show was).
I have been thoroughly enjoying myself here. So far it has been a trip of significant learning and growing as I have been encouraging myself to just strike out on my own, test my comfort boundaries, try new things, be brave, and, above all, trust.