Day 8 (July 6th):
Everyone has successfully packed and loaded their things onto the bus and left the dorm rooms nigh on spotless. Bidding a fond farewell to Waterford and Newtown, we move on to new adventures. En route to Dublin we visited the Irish National Heritage Park at Ferrycarrig. We were greeted by our guide dressed in a very cool reinterpretation of Medieval men’s clothing, complete with what looked like a hand forged neck piece. We ate a quick lunch before we joined him for a short audio visual presentation that ran through a few basics of ancient Irish history. The video mostly focused on recent excavations of tombs like the Knowth passage tomb.
After that, our guide told us that a boxer was filming a segment for a TV show here at the park and we got to walk past the organized chaos of it. But that was hardly the most interesting part of the hour and a half tour. We began in the Stone Age with replicas of prehistoric houses used by the first ancient hunter gatherers. From there we moved into the Bronze Age with its mysterious stone circles and fulacht fiadh (a cooking pit in the ground). We actually got to try some ham cooked in the fulacht fiadh in the way archaeologists have theorized the ancients used to. That’s the sort of job I aspire towards — a research historian who cooks.
Poor Mike was thoroughly abused today by staff and students alike. He is deathly afraid of stickers, so of course Taryn whipped a few sheets out from her backpack. Almost all of the students managed to affix one to his back before he noticed. Clare was especially canny and pretended to fall and catch herself in order to place hers.
We also saw a replica of a ring fort and small monastic village. There was such an attention to detail everywhere we looked. Our tour ended with a replica of a Viking Longhouse and ship. We actually ended up running into a family that Angie was familiar with through the local newspapers: their grandson Connor is an up and coming soccer and hurling champion. It was very fun to have met someone so coincidentally.
Boarding the bus, we buckled in for another long drive (or nap for some). After arriving at King’s Hospital, we had just enough time to allocate rooms before a hearty dinner. During drama and dance, the students continued to work on their music videos for Irish songs and on practicing the Haymaker’s Jig.
King’s Hospital is significantly larger than Newtown and it serves as the summer school for lots of students studying abroad. Already the students have been hanging out with other groups and socializing. Hopefully, there will also be a disco during the time we are here!
Now that we have access to more reliable WiFi, please continue checking the blog for photos and updates!