My favorite picture of the Irish countryside

21 February 2009

Good thing we didn't go to Dublin this weekend! There were over 100,000 protestors in Dublin's city-centre protesting the way the Irish government is handeling the recession. Needless to say, this could have put a damper on our trip! We didn't end up going anywhere this weekend, which is kind of a good thing because I have a lot of reading and researching to catch up on...the bad news is that I haven't been motivated to do anything all day!!! Hopefully after I'm done writing this I'll have some motivation. My roommate's scheduled to be back soon (she had a field trip for her castles class - how awesome is that!) so maybe I'll be motivated with someone else home...
I have a random funny story to share. The other day, I was sitting in my Irish Language class and Daithi (pronounced Da-he) was teaching us how to say Irish-American. Then, he was going to tell us how to say, "My people are from Ireland," so he asked us how many of our ancestors left during the Great Hunger. As we were raising our hands, a German girl said, "Is that even relevant anymore. Americans are American - what does it matter that their people passed through another country a long time ago?" Pretty much every American in there went on the defensive. She then had about 6 of us explaining why it is relevant and why we feel a connection with whatever countries our families are from. Daithi handled it really well by telling stories of him growing up in England and his identity as an Irish-English. It was kind of funny to see everyone's reactions when she said that, though....

20 February 2009

Enough about the internet

We have the internet back at Gort! That is all I'm going to say because if I get too excited about it, it might go away again...

Now that the problem is fixed, I will tell you about our trip to the Burren we took on 7 February! We started out waiting at reception for the bus at 9:30. We saw a bus drive by, then leave, so we got a little nervous that it was our bus that left - so we call the tour company, they say he'll come back, random guy comes and asks if we're going on a tour. We say yes and get in the van (unmarked, white van...maybe not a good idea?) Halfway to Eyre Square, Katherine gets a call from our bus driver asking where we are. We start thinking we are epic failures at tours and that we're on the wrong bus, but it turns out they just had two people coming after us! We left Galway at 10:00 and our first stop was at the Aillwee Caves. They were discovered by a guy chasing his dog in the 1930s who then proceeded to keep them a secret for 20 years! We got to see 1000 year old bear bones (bears are now extinct in Ireland) and lots of cool rock formations. We then met up with a group that started the tour at 11:30 in Ballyvaughan and saw a cool church while we waited. We then went to see the Dolmen (our tour guide described it as the Irish Stonehenge). It's basically two slabs of stone standing upright with another slab ontop like a roof. The Celts used to sit inside it to connect to the other world without the distractions of this world. The terrain in the Burren is so rocky! To get up to the Dolmen, we had to kind of hop from rock to rock....we kind of felt like mountain goats! Our next stop was the Cliffs of Moher...this was my 3rd time there! On the way to the Cliffs we saw some pretty cool castles and a fairy ring! Legend says that if you tear down a fairy ring and build on top of it, your house will be cursed! Naturally, people tend to leave them alone. We went to some other cliffs after the Cliffs of Moher that I liked a lot better...probably because we could actually go out to the edge of them and get really cool pictures! I wouldn't go out to the edge, though, so Kelsey had to take a picture for me! :) Then, on our way back to Galway, we stopped by a castle where my camera died (actually, the batteries became exhausted) so I didn't get very many pictures of it. :( Here are some pictures from our trip:

A cool waterfall inside the Aillwee Cave

The Dolmen

Fairy ring!

Cool cliffs
Just a pretty picture :)

19 February 2009

False Alarm

The internet is out, yet again....They say we may have it back tonight, but that is highly doubtful. Hopefully by tomorrow we'll be good. Speaking of tomorrow, we're going to go to Dublin for the weekend! Or somewhere, anyway - we're still debating over where...We're trying to make it a short trip, though, because we have homework we need to work on this weekend. I have two mid-term essays due on 9 and 10 March that I have yet to really start on. That wouldn't be too bad except I'm going with Butler to Northern Ireland starting on 6 March and lasting through 8 March. I'm glad I'm going o nthis trip, though, because I just found out the tour my family's coming over to take won't be able to go to Northern Ireland.

I will be very excited when this whole internet thing is figured out for good....

18 February 2009


The internet has returned!!!! It may not be back permanently, but it's back for now!

16 February 2009


Day 21 of our disconnection from the world....The internet has apparently died at Gort, and there is a very slim chance of its revival anytime soon. We got a flyer in out mail slot last Friday stating that the problem was bigger than anticipated (no kidding) and that if the problem wasn't fixed by next Friday, we will get another update then. I don't think that's a good sign if they're already telling us we'll be updated next Friday. Our options for internet right now are Subway (which requires us to buy something in exchange for their internet...good thing for 70 cent cookies!) and Campus. Subway closes at 9:00 (or 10:00...they kick us out at different times) and Campus closes at 10:00....everyone at home gets done with work/school by 11:00 here, which means I can talk to virtually no one unless I call them on my mobile (15 cents a minute to the U.S.) And, I only have 5 euro left of mobile credit and am too poor to top-up at the moment....I feel extremely disconnected from the rest of the world! I am also extremely tired of carrying my computer on that 20 mintue walk to and from campus EVERY DAY! I really need to make more friends who do not live in Gort so I can use them for their internet...and free laundry, which I believe, we should get out of this deal! I guess this way I am forced to go to the library and study although, obviously, if I'm writing this, I'm not studying. I also hope that if this situation continues, I don't need to pull an all-nighter (or half-nighter for that matter) as the library is only open until 10:00 and I may get cold and wet and possibly arrested if I sit in the middle of campus in the middle of the night. Hopefully, the internet will decide to grace us with its presence soon, but I'm not holding my breath...

08 February 2009


Ok, sorry I haven't posted on here in a while, but I haven't had internet at home for 2 weeks and I've been in America for the past week. As many of you know, my granddad, William Carter, died on January 30th. I found out 5:30 on Friday evening and was on a plane home at 9:00 the next morning. Three of my friends and I stayed up until 3:30 so I could take the bus from Galway to Shannon, then I called my mom and brother (much to their delight) to entertain me until I left at 9:00 (at least I'm six hours ahead of them). I flew into Newark, NJ, had a five hour layover, then flew into Denver where my brother picked me up. My friends here definitely think I live in the middle of nowhere now because I was explaining to them that I could fly into either Denver or Kansas City and still have about a 6 hour drive to Jennings - they couldn't believe there wasn't an airport closer! On the way to Newark, I had a whole row to myself! Now that's the way to fly! Unfortunately, the rest of my flights were full. I got into Shannon at about 7:30 in the morning, took a bus to Galway, and arrived at my house at about 10:30. It was really cool when I came through customs into Ireland, the guy told me "Welcome home!"
I'm going to put the bio in the pamphlet on here:

William Penn Carter was born February 22, 1916, on the family farm three miles south of Jennings, Kansas. His twin brother, Willard, and he were the youngest of four children born to Jesse and Grace (Tice) Carter. William passed away Friday, January 30, 2009, at the Decatur County ospital in Oberlin, Kansas, at the age of 92.
William and his siblings were reared on the family farm and attended school in Jennings. He graduated from Jennings High School in 1934. During World War II, William and Willard joined the United States Army. They went to training in Texas and served with the 359th Infantry, 90th Division.
On June 6, 1943, before he left to go overseas, William was united in marriage to Rachel Carlton in a double ceremony with his brother, Willard, and Rachel's sister, Naomi, at the Methodist Church in Jennings. The two brothers left shortly after that to serve in the European Theater. They were honorably discharged and returned home in December of 1945.
William and Willard then began working together for Home Oil and Gas Company with Jess Tacha. In 1948, they built a duplex in Jennings, and the two families lived side by side from that time on.
Family was important to them. William and Rachel were blessed with two sons, two daughters, 11 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. Besides his family, William's other love was his horses.
He was a member of the Jennings United Methodist Church, American Legion Post #351, Masonic Lodge, Order of Eastern Star and Charter Member of the Jennings Lion Club.
Survivors include his wife Rachel of the home; four children and their spouses, Ann and Richard Graner of Benthany, Missouri, Allan and Sherry Carter of Overland Park, Kenneth and Julie Carter of Jennings, and Jane and Jim Wahlmeier of Concordia; his grandchildren and great-grandchildren; nephews and nieces, other relatives and friends.
William was preceded in death by his parents and three siblings Nettie, Lawrence (Carney) and Willard.

It was hard being this far away while he was sick. He found out last year that he had lymphoma in his knees. They did one round of chemo, which alleviated the pain in his knees, but he never did really recover from that. In a way, I knew I'd be going home for his funeral at some point this semester, but I didn't think it would be this soon. He's also rallied so many times when we thought he wasn't going to make it that part of me really didn't expect this. It is comforting to me to know that he's in a better place and he's no longer in pain, but it's still hard to know he's not going to be there when I get back.