Dumb dumb Margaret thought I posted the last blog, but since my internet in my apartment is a piece of shite, I suppose it didn’t post. All I have to say is: I’M SORRY and THANK GOD I SAVED IT ON DOCUMENTS!
So I left off telling you that I was headed in Inis Oirr. So, I went to Inis Oirr Saturday. Megan came in on the evening ferry Friday. I went into town early to go shopping a bit. I met with Aine out there. We went shopping and then had extra time to spare, so why not go into Taaffes? Megan and I planned to have a slumber party for 2 reasons: because we love each other and it would be nice to go into the island together since niether of us play football.
So early in the morning, we got on that bus and our day started. We met our friend Aine at the pier and then took the boat from Rosaveal to Inis Oirr, obviously. I took a nice little snoozer on the ferry and thought we arrived, ha, kidding suppose we had a mini stop in Inis Meain.
Megan and I being little rebels (or gobshites) hadn’t booked a place to stay yet, so we put our bags in the Shamrock B&B where the Inis Mor football team was staying. Fionnouala and Bridie let us put our bags in their room. Then our day started watching about 5 hours of Gaelic Football. I went up to Arthur and told him I’m taking notes now! (Since I had just signed up for football a few days prior….one of us!)
Megan and I already missed the girls play two or three games since their games started around 930 and our ferry wasn’t until 1030? But they were in the finals so we knew we got to at least watch one of the games! We also got to watch the Inis Mor boys team play 2 games, but unfortunately were knocked out.
Why was there so much football you ask? Well, it was a tournament called InterIsland, where islands all over Ireland come together and play against each other. So there were people from Galway, Donegal, Clare, etc playing against each other in quest of the CUP!
I was very determined to find my Granddad’s house. Arthur pointed what direction where it was. To be honest, this island is tiny small. It was probably just around the corner, but I wanted to relax and watch football. So I did.
During one the matches, I couldn’t stop laughing because there was a collie running on the field chasing after the ball. I thought it was hilarrrious, others (like the players) didn’t find it as humerous, but I just loooved it. It happened multiple times. There were so many little man dogs (you know like the blog I just posted I wrote about) and there was this one in particular that I just fell in absolute love with.
He was definitely a little man dog and I wanted him to come by me sooo bad. Like I said, dogs in Ireland have like a mind of their own - they’re humans. If I call them to come over by me they wont come like American dogs (who all want attention - symbolic at all to our culture????) My little man dog aka “My Fella” wouldn’t come by me. He was limping and all I wanted to do was cuddle him, but we wouldn’t come by me.
Megan and Orla didn’t realize I loved dogs so much - Orla even dared to say that the dog wasnt that cute (Liar). Megan especially didn’t realize I loved dogs so much, but quickly learned because I commented on how cute the dogs were everywhere. And I kept saying look at my dog! And when he went on the pitch (field) I was like nooo because I didn’t want him to get hurt worse. Arthur said to Megan, oh yeah she loooves dogs. I mean let’s be real, I love dogs more than humans…..kidding….?
Anywho it was finally time for the girls to play in their final. HON THE INIS MOR CAILINI
There was a group of us watching them, cheering them on. YEAH FINNERS! I couldn’t keep score, but I knew they were up at least by a few points. It was funny though listening to Arthur on the other side of the pitch screaming at the girls in Irish.. Then everyone on the sidelines would laugh and I’d like ok, so what’d he say?
Anyway, my little man dog FINALLY came by me. I pet him the entire second half all while watching the game, I was living the life. I seriously fell in love with him. Serious love - is it weird my heart melts just writing this? He even laid on his back for me to pet his belly (showing trust) But I quickly learned, he was only using me for pets, because when his owners(?) left, he left me.. Margaret Bocht
In the end, it was a great moment because the girls won - which is good because they were playing against Inir Oirr..awkward! Let the celebrations begin! After the match they had the trophy ceremony. The girls were still on cloud 9 and I think Arthur was on cloud 19.
Afterwards, Megan and I knew it was time to face the facts, and finally get a place to stay for that night, even though everything was pretty much booked since like triple Inis Oirr’s population was on the island that week. Let me say, it was quite stressful and I don’t recommend doing it. We walked to the hostel, booked… Since Megan is fluent in Irish she was talking to everyone in Irish. Then the person she was talking to would talk to me in Irish and I wouldn’t even realize it, till Megan said I didn’t have any Irish. Funny, funny.
Anyway the lady in the B&B called a few B&Bs and at last, landed us a place to stay (it was about 10pm at this time). We got in our rooms there and once again the lady, Barbara, thought that I had Irish too. So embarrassing…. She asked what brought me from Chicago to Inis Oirr. I told her I have family in Aran and am studying at the lovely NUIG this semester. She asked who my Granddad from the island was. I said Stephen Flaherty and she knew the family. Which I found weird considering Papa is probably about 103-104 right now. Megan and I also decided to stay the next day in Inis Oirr since we were already there and I wanted to walk around the place a bit. So we planned to take the evening ferry rather than the morning one.
Megan, Aine, and myself headed up to the pub, Neds, where everyone was with the trophy. It was really fun. Our friend Ronan’s band, Rofi James, was playing the music for the night. I have to say, I was pretty impressed - they’re really good. Obviously all the Inis Mor people (including myself because I think I’m an islander) were towards the front having a jolly good time. I thought it was pretty cool just hanging out and dancing with everyone. Arthur got called up to the stage and everyone cheered and he sang a song… in Irish…. Then the band played “Galway Girl” and I was obviously jamming and Ronan even said “Haha there ya go Marge” Ugh, just feeling included that’s all. I sometimes got confused if this cup was actually the Stanley Cup because the girls were kissing it and drinking out of it. Ohhh Yeahh!
Since it was PACKED and so hot in there, Fionnouala asked me if I would go outside with her for a little bit to cool off. I did. We had the chats outside then she turned to me and said, you’re just like an islander, you fit right in with everyone and everyone knows you. Me, being an islander wannabe, probably never took a compliment better than that one. Thanks Finners, NO!!! <—- (insider joke) Afterwards we all went to the hotel and continued the craic!
~~Megan and I had a much interesting time after that. Just being good, good friends and having the lols and craic! ~~
Thank God we decided to take the evening ferry because the morning ferry looked absolutely brutal. It was raining and windy and the sea just looked horrible to take on. The weather Sunday was awful; Saturday you couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day: I even got color on my face!
When we had breakfast, Barbara was telling us who she knew that would be related to me. She called Maureen and Annie and gave me their numbers. Megan and I went to Maureen’s house first. I had never met her before, but the conversation wasn’t awkward at all. She, too, was impressed that I was trying to learn Irish. After about an hour or so there, we went to Annie’s. I remember her from when I went there in 2005. She said she rememebered me too.
I felt bad, I don’t remember much of Inis Oirr, I remember the wrecked ship on the beach and going to Annie’s where she fed us sandwiches and had students there learning Irish.
Megan was talking to both of them in Irish and I really enjoyed listening to it to be honest. I picked out words that I knew - I guess that’s what it’s all about. I remember doing that when I was just learning Spanish too. It’ll take time. When Annie found out I was studying Irish, she said something super fast, and I was like WOAH, not ready for that. So Megan told her I just started that week. Hehe oops! I think I would have gotten it though if I just said, “abair aris go malle, le do thoil (say it slowly, please — see I’M GETTING IT!)
I’ve been using my Irish a lot, when I know certain words, I say them in Irish rather in English. While waiting for the girls game, we were all sitting on a group and I was telling Fionnouala what I learned so far. She told me to count, I said I didn’t want to show off, but after I counted to ten everyone was like woooo! It’s like I’m 4 years old again. (best age ever)
Megan and I had about 45 minutes to kill before we got on the ferry. We stopped in the hotel just to waste time. Megan knew some people in there and one of them noticed I was wearing a Chicago Blackhawks sweatshirt. He told me owner of the hotel lived in Chicago for a little bit, which made sense because there was so much Chicago stuff in there. We got to know them and they were trying to figure out who I’d be related to. They also asked me what I was studying in school, I said news broadcast. They couldn’t get over the fact that I’m on TV at school. They said my glasses are definitely ones a reporter would wear. Which is weird considering I have no idea what that means and I never wear my glasses reporting… But ok!
Then it was time for the ferry….. God bless our souls because stepping on that ferry you knew it was going to be a rough one. We had the small, small ferry and the sea was still choppy and extremely windy out. I mean before we even left we were going up and down. Within 10 minutes I said I had to go outside (it’s better to be outside than inside for some reason). Commence the “ferry flu” I got extremely sick…multiple times. It was actually really dramatic. I was over the ferry while the waves were coming up and soaking me. I think I could have been the sickest girl on Aran Island Ferry history. Megan said it was one of the worst boat trips for her too.
A lady from Inis Mor, Sinead, got me a few bags. After that, a few other people got sick. Sorry guys… I felt awful the rest of the day. I was soaking and freezing. Megan also was feeling sick. Her and I were sitting in a nook just enough for the both of us sit in. If someone could have gotten a picture of us, it would have been a keeper. I was sitting there with a bag in my face and her with her hands over her mouth, eyes closed. Thanks Meg for rubbing my back, even though you were feeling sick too and I’m sure I didn’t make it any better!! You rock cara (friend in Irish) xx
All I can say it was definitely a memorable weekend on the island. I enjoyed watching football and got quite into a bit. I loved the dogs. I loved the celebrations. And I loved making memories with all my friends from the island. It’s going to be hard to leave this place…but since that’s so far away, let’s not think about that! :D
Monday I officially signed up for all my classes. I’m taking 5 classes. Irish language (2 classes - 4 hours worth), An Introduction to Irish Culture (which is quite interesting!!), European Women Studies (which is quite boring…but interesting at the same time…) I’m also taking the Arts Indigenous course which doesn’t start until October 3rd! I’m really exciting for that.
Tuesday I had to get my Visa. I had no idea where I was going, so I had to take a cab there because I did NOT want to be late for my appointment! It wasn’t too bad of a journey, but I would have never found it if I were by myself, but I knew where I was to walk back to campus for my 2pm class.
Unfortunately, my appointment was at 12:10 and I had Irish at 11-1. The appointment is already set up for you, so you can’t change it. So I had to leave my Irish class at 11:30 - which my teacher didn’t mind. She actually tried to give the entire class directions to the place since I was one of the first people to go in my class.
The Guard who was giving me my Visa wasn’t the friendliest person - until she asked me when I was staying until. I said the 4 of January, then she said, do you have anyone to be with on Christmas. I said yes, I have family on the islands. And then we talked about the islands for a bit and she was the nicest… I mean when in doubt, use the island card. Works every time….. :)
I also had my first Irish Dance class yesterday. They asked if anyone knew any Irish Dance, I raised my hand and they asked how long I danced for I said 12 years… And since I signed up for The Beginner class they asked why I was in that class. Well. I haven’t danced in 5 years… But this class was too easy. Next week I’ll go into intermediate. I enjoyed it nonetheless.
I went to Orla’s house last night for the craic (she’s from the island, but her family owns a house in Galway too…handy!) I took the bus by myself there. At one point I thought I was definitely lost, but I made it safe and sound. We watched TG4 (the Irish TV station.) Me, her, and her older sister Cathy were watching the soap opera Ros na Run. They had English subtitles, but I felt so smart when they’d say something and I knew what they were saying - ask Orla, I probably got too excited… “THEY SAID I DON’T UNDERSTAND!!”
I ended up sleeping over there because Orla offered and, Hell, I didn’t want to take the bus by myself then walk home at night. Funny, Orla was sleep talkiing, she said I was too. So we’re determined we were sleep talking to each other…
So in the morning I had class before Orla so I took the bus myself again to campus. I only had one class today then hung out with Orla on campus for a bit. And now here I am, hanging out in the library soaking up their internet writing this blog and uploading my pictures.
I plan to go running at Salthill tonight. Hopefully that works. I’m also planning on going to Aran this weekend!
There is so much Megan and I kept saying over the weekend saying BLOG IT - but now I can’t remember. So from now on, I’ll be writing notes to myself what to mention. I don’t want to miss out on a memory or something that I enjoyed.
SUMMARY: I really had a great time on Inis Oirr. I know my Papa would be extremely proud of me for coming out here and studying, trying to learn Irish and immersing head first into the Irish culture. I know Gramma is too, but I have a feeling Papa is smiling down on me right now. I got to meet family and made great memories with friends. I wasn’t able to see my Granddad’s house or the one he built. I heard from multiple people no one was living in the house he built though… So there’s an option of housing when I want to move there. Hehe. I also got to cheer on the Inis Mor girls to a championship! Hon the Inir Mor cailini! I’m legal in Ireland until the 4th of January. I started Irish Dancing and I’m still trying to use my Irish as much as I can!
Slan go foill! xxxx
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Love to hear your thoughts!