Hi/What about ye?/ Whats the craic?/ How’r ya?
Only a few of the greetings Tamara and I received as we travelled the length and breadth of Ireland and Northern Ireland, spreading the AmeriCamp word.
Coming from the Emerald isle, I am well used to the funny little sayings and greetings that each part of our wee country has to offer, however, Tamara (as you can see in the pic below on the left) found the whole experience absolutely hilarious and often questioned the natives so that they had no other option but to reply with the word ‘tree’ (three).
Our first stop was the capital, Dublin! We arrived at UCD where we set up next to the Women’s Gaelic Football team. They were giving out free cupcakes to the students and us, well… you’ve guessed it, #FreeBiscuits. This meant war. Just kidding, the girls were lovely and some of them even signed up to go to Summer Camp America 2015 with AmeriCamp, realising that they could possibly coach their beloved GAA sports at Summer Camps in America for 9 weeks. Tamara (below) is posing once again next to one of UCD’s star players after getting an autograph #StarStruck.
We said Slán to the Dubs and headed for the North and to UUJ woop woop! We raved in the foyer area with the Jordanstown students and even had a dance off with an extremely enthusiastic caretaker who informed us that he had also completed a Summer Camp America program ‘back in the day’ and that when he was there he was ‘curt’n a quare n goodlookin yank’ . At this point I had to translate for Tamara and tell her that the gentleman had spent a summer in America, dating a pretty American girl.
After conquering Dublin, The University of Ulster and Queens University and speaking to hundreds of crazy students Tamara and I headed off to seek leprechauns, giants and pots of gold in the hills of Donegal and Antrim. I must admit I wasn’t really looking forward to acting like a tourist, however, the experience made me step back and take in how beautiful my home country actually is.
The Giants Causeway, Co. Antrim …
Next stop, Limerick where I must admit, even I had to listen closely to understand the accent. The University of Limerick bared an uncanny resemblance to Hogwarts, which Tamara found all too bizarre as she had already made a reference to how the rules of Gaelic sport ‘hurling’ sounded a bit like quidditch earlier in the trip! Skeptical that we may be the only muggles amongst hundreds of Irish witches and wizards, we quickly gave our talk, handed out some #FreeBiscuits and skeddadled before the dementors dropped in to say hi!
The cork rebels were the last of the lively Irish bunch we came across, and boy were they lively! Tamara learned how to Irish dance and I had a go at juggling however, this dashing young man above was much better. After spotting him juggling in the distance we told him that he could do this for 9 weeks at summer camp America with AmeriCamp, so he kicked his heels and took the opportunity to show off. In return we rewarded him with the famous AC t-shirt!
So after ten days in the beautiful motherland, we reluctantly headed to Dublin port with 5,000 less biscuits, heaps of new AC family members and a bunch of wonderful memories. Ireland, it’s been emotional. For all of you that we met on the road, thank you for all the craic and we’ll see you next year!