Over the past few weeks the group and I have been going on a lot of trips in and out of Ireland. As a group the FIE students and myself went on a tour of the G.A.A (Gaelic Athletic Association) where we learned the background and general rules of various Irish sports such as Hurling and Gaelic football. After learning about the rules, we were also able to engage in the sport through small scrimmages with in the group. This trip helped me understand the sports better and made the trips to the pubs less understanding. After the trip, a couple of the blackhall residents and myself made a trip to the pub on a sunday morning to watch Dublin compete with Kerry in what is the equivalent to the super bowl for gaelic football, Dublin was a massive underdog and ended up winning. The Dubliners win brought the city into a huge celebration which gave me a great view of Dublin’s patriotism to their country. After the G.A.A trip the FIE group made a trip to Galway to see the city and also to see the Cliffs of Moher, this was the trip that I had been wanting to go on, because I heard nothing but good things of both. When we visited Galway we were able to take a ferry to visit the Aaron Islands which is the only island who still fluently speaks the Irish language. A couple of the guys and myself rented bikes and rode the whole island, which was a pretty hard task but I’m glad we were able to break away from the scheduled tour. These two trips have been great experiences as a way to get out and experience the rural Ireland.
Matt Cahill is studying abroad in Dublin, Ireland, with the Foundation for International Education (FIE).