Today you walked on the remains of the 300-million year old sea creatures that make up the shale that underlies all of Bundoran, learned about Irish use (and disuse) of marine resources (as well as some very personal information about the limpets you saw), immersed yourselves in the Atlantic, and learned about Irish-Hawaiian connections to surfing and the importance of this activity across cultures. What insights did learning about the geology and marine ecology give you on modern Irish culture? How do they affect each other?
today we explored the effects of environment and culture as we move towards the future: sustainable energy to improve the lives of future generations of Irish. We also looked backwards at the interactions of culture and ecology for Irish ancestors of thousands of years ago. Music and the sharing of cultures dominated our evening. Re ft kect on these comparisons for today's blog
Today we learned about the loss and revival of Irish Gaelic, visited a traditional village area, and climbed the cliffs of Slibh Liag. We saw the use of indigenous materials (stone, peat, and reeds as well as limestone for paint) in the houses and had the opportunity to see the limestone up close in the windswept (and rain-pounded!) Slibh Liag faces. Think about the natural resources that have been available to the Irish and the environment in which they occur. How do you think that the resources that are found here (and those that are missing) shaped the culture of the Irish? How does this compare to other cultures you are familiar with?
For today's blog, consider reflecting on the changing role of human nature. From the Christian/pagan site of St. Patrick's well to the changes to Donegal Castle over the course of 600 years, how do human cultures change and how do they remain the same. Use events and thoughts from today's visits when thinking about this.
Feel free to write about anything related to today's events for your blog. If you want something to start you off, consider one of these themes:
1. Boyne Valley: How do the monolithic structures of the Boyne Valley (Knowth, in particular) relate to pre-history in Hawaii? What are the similarities and differences between the structures made in these two cultures? What about the art? What do you think it means? How does it compare to Hawaiian art (e.g., petroglyphs)? What aspects are already familiar to you? What aspects different?
2. Riding the bus and the Irish landscape. How does this landscape compare to that of Hawaii? What aspects of it are culturally driven? What aspects drive the culture? What do you think about when observing this landscape?
3. Music. Many of you listened to the melded sounds of Irish flute and Hawaiian ukulele in the evening. Describe the experience and your understanding of the importance of music to the Irish and Hawaiian cultures. What aspects of the evening were your favorite and why?
For your first blog, please write about your first impression of Ireland.
You may want to talk about the flight, your arrival, your expectations, your observations, etc.
Also, please talk about the experiences you had on your first day and how they are contributing to the way you feel about Ireland.
Add some photos and have some fun thinking about what you have done up to this point.
Hawaii CC students and professors and Institute of Study Abroad, Ireland coordinators at St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin