Episcopal students have a wealth of opportunities outside the classroom through partnership with other educational institutions throughout the world. Episcopal Junior, Lundyn Herring, had one of these opportunities this summer, experiencing both the culture and history of Ireland while being immersed in Spanish!
I think that I could sum up the Ireland trip in four little words: Ireland was a dream. I genuinely fell in love with this country because of the scenery, but also because of the wonderful friends that I met along the way. I have always wanted to travel to Europe, and this trip was a perfect way to make that dream come true. Going with a large group like we did, helped a lot because we weren’t just clueless on where we were going and wandering aimlessly across the Irish countryside. Being that we were being housed in the small, yet Spanish, community in Youghal, it seemed like we were more in Spain some days, rather than Ireland. Don’t get me wrong, the Spanish were absolutely amazing and I wouldn’t trade that for anything, but it would have been nice to have been surrounded by Irish accents and at least some parts of the English language for just a little while.
The excursions that we took were just fantastic; words can’t even describe the beauty of the Killarney and Blarney landscapes and the industrial splendor of Cork, Dublin, and Waterford. Our first excursion was to Cork, two days after we arrived in Youghal, and one day after recovering from intense jetlag. It may have been gloomy, but the weather was the perfect setting for a European city such as Cork, it was exactly how I pictured it in my head. We were separated into groups and were set off into a scavenger hunt across the city. Once again, surrounded by broken English, it was more of a go-with-the-flow experience, just follow the leader and you’ll end up at the end of the line one way or another. After we arrived back at the checkpoint, they gave us about three hours of free time to roam about the city, shop for souvenirs, take photos, be tourists. This may have been one of my favorite days of the trip because it was the first taste of Ireland that I got on my own, it was the first time that I actually felt I was in Ireland, rather than Spain.
My most favorite excursion, which is deserving of a paragraph of its own, was to a little place known as Killarney. I have no words that would even begin to describe the complete natural beauty of this place. We toured Muckross House for about an hour, had lunch, and then just lay on the lawns and listened to music. I forgot to add that the weather was impeccable this day, totally 100% the best weather we had all trip, not a cloud in the sky or any signs of rain whatsoever. I would give anything to relive this day; I’m speaking on behalf of the other girls that came with me, and Ms. Howell as well.
Despite the constant Spanish, I am proud to say that this trip was by far one of the best things that I had ever experienced in my life. I am so happy that I decided to take this journey and I hope that it stays in Episcopal’s mind and heart just like it will in mine.
Episcopal School Junior