The students were introduced to the world of GAA, as we had the opportunity to watch the county Wexford Hurling team win their first Leinster title in 15 years, beating Kilkenny in the final.
For the unfamiliar, Hurling is the national game of Ireland slightly resembling a mix between hockey and lacrosse. Wooden paddles are used, whacking at a sloitar ball with the objective of hitting it between the pilons or in the goal at the opposite end of the field. Surprised by the intensity, many of the students noticed that this Irish sport is much more brutal and aggressive than we are used to in the States. The use of helmets was enforced only a few years ago, while pads are ever absent. As proclaimed by the Irish, they are too tough for that nonsense.
After the match, we had dinner at King’s Hospital, the boarding school we will be staying at in Dublin. Tired from the day’s events and lingering jet-lag, we filed onto the bus for the 2 and a half hour trek from Dublin to Waterford.