Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Last Night and Goodbye

What a great time we’ve had here in Gleann Colmcille. We’ve learned some Irish language, made some friends, and had a wonderful experience at Oideas Gael. Thanks so much to Siobhan Ni Churraighin and Liam O Cuinneagain! They really do wonderful work, helping people like me and Fear na Cheoil learn more about Irish culture in a deep and meaningful way. Go raith maith agat, y’all. (Sorry, you can take the girl out of the South, but you can’t take the South out of the girl.)

The last evening in Gleann, we had dinner with The Belfast Lasses, Manuel and Cathy, all from my husband’s level a haon (one) class. They rented a two bedroom cottage right by the campus. Dinner was delicious; we had wine and conversation, most of it in Beurla (English) about Gaeilge.

Manuel takes a picture of Rick, taking a picture.

Good food, good friends, good evening.

We drank a dram of whiskey and walked up to join the festivities in the rest of the village. Fear na Cheoil stopped off at Roarty’s Pub to play in the session there and the rest of us walked up to the Halla na Mhuire (St. Mary’s Hall) for the Ceilimhor (big dance). The Lasses and Manuel decided it was too bright and busy for them and went back to Roarty’s. I stayed and did a couple of ceili dances and a waltz. I don’t have a clue what dances I did. The MC was calling and giving the directions all in Irish.

Rose and her partner step through the Slieve Luchra set.
Back at Roarty’s, The Lasses had saved me a seat. There were so many people in there it was difficult to get to the bar and say, “Ba maith liom pionta Guinness, le do thoil.” (I would like a pint of Guinness, please.) We talked and drank and played Harold’s bodhran and before you know it the lights were blinking last call and it was time to go back to the house. A look at my watch told me it was three am. 

Helen tries out Harold's bodhran.

The next morning, we said our goodbyes to Margaret Cunningham at Teach Gleann Dobhar and went to the final meeting at Oideas Gael.
Our housemates, Mert, Elisabeth, Paula and some guy I don't know.

Under sunny skies, we sang some Irish songs, ending with Mo Ghille Mar, then the set dance class did one figure of the Slieve Luchra set, I think. It was fun to see the President dance. She looked like she was really enjoying it.

The Irish President (blonde hair, black blouse) cuts a rug, uh, parking lot.

It was hard to say goodbye to everyone, but with email and facebook, we won’t lose touch. If we can go back next year, we might just fly in through Belfast. We know some people there.

Michelle, Ruth and me.

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