Monthly Archives: May 2012

Day 7: Parks and pow-wows

Today, students toured the grounds of a beautiful hotel and resort called Parknasilla. Batt Burns led the group through the resort’s trails, which offered tree canopies and beautiful views perfect for landscape photography. (Photo credit: Lindsey Wotanis/Marywood U) 

In the afternoon, students continued working on their projects. Several conducted interviews, while Joe Petro (left) met with Dr. Laurie McMillan (right) about his poetry. (Photo credit: Lindsey Wotanis/Marywood U)


Day 6: Storytelling, poetry, and interviewing

Today, students and faculty participated in a storytelling workshop led by Batt Burns. They took turns reciting stories aloud, as seen here. (Pictured above: Andrea Frantz, RMU faculty; Allison Ranieri, Marywood U student; Abbey Lape, RMU student, Alyssa Benson, RMU student; and Elysabethe Brown, Marywood U student. Photo Credit: Lindsey Wotanis/Marywood U). Students also participated in a poetry workshop led by Dr. Laurie McMillan. And, students continued working on their creative and journalism projects by interviewing local Sneem residents. Pictured below, Molly Boylan, Marywood U student, interviews Mike Fitzgerald, who works at the local butcher shop but also pursues acting in local theater. (Photo credit: Lindsey Wotanis/Marywood U).


Day 5: Horseback riding on Derrynane Beach

Despite the gloomy weather, students enjoyed a horseback ride on Derrynane Beach. Several also attended a Roman Catholic Mass earlier in the morning to experience a religious service abroad. (Photo Credits: Above–Lindsey Wotanis/Marywood U; Below–Christine Holtz/RMU)

Day 4: The JFK 50 Mile Walk Challenge

Students participated in the JFK 50 Mile Walk Challenge in Sneem, Ireland. This is an important local community event.  Kelsey Healey and Elysabethe Brown walked two miles. Molly Boylan walked six miles. Laurie McMillan, Lindsey Wotanis and Sarah Cruz walked 12 miles, while Joe Petro walked 20 miles (and conducted an interview while he walked). One of our fellow RMU students, Jenn Shultz, completed the 50 mile challenge in 18 hours. (Photo Credit: Gabe LeDonne)

Day 3: Singing (and Dancing), Sun, and Scenery

On Friday, students participated in a Irish song and dance workshop with Maura Burns, Batt Burns’ wife. They learned a traditional Irish tune and got a chance to practice their dance moves. They’ll perform both later in the week at Pub Night, a night when locals will come together to share story, music and dance. (Photo Credit: Lindsey Wotanis/Marywood U)

After a long day, students got to put their feet in the sand at Derrynane Beach on the Atlantic coast. The water was cold, but refreshing on this unusually warm and sunny day in Ireland. (From left: Joseph Petro, Elysabethe Brown, Molly Boylan, Lindsey Wotanis, Allison Ranieri, Sarah Cruz, Laurie McMillan, Kelsey Healey) (Photo credit: Gabriel LeDonne)

Students toured Staigue Fort, one of the oldest ring forts in Ireland. Historians have estimated that the fort was constructed between 300 and 400 AD and was built for protection of a local king or lord. Its construction is a marvel, even in partial ruins, as the builders used no mortar at all. (Photo Credit: Christine Holtz/RMU)

Day 2: A walking tour

Our guide Batt Burns, who is a seanchaí–a traditional Irish storyteller/historian–led our students on a walking tour of Sneem, where we’ll be staying for a week as students work on journalism, photography and creative writing projects. Students and faculty learned about the history of Sneem, getting a sense for the place and community that exists there. (Photo credit: Lindsey Wotanis/Marywood U)

Day 1: We made it!

After a three hour-delay, a six hour flight, and a three hour bus ride, we finally arrived in Sneem, Ireland and headed straight to the castle to kiss the Blarney Stone. On our way to Sneem, we visited Blarney Castle and we kissed the Blarney Stone. Pictured above is the combined Marywood-RMU group in the “family room” of the castle.

Welcome to Encountering  Ireland, the class blog of six students and two faculty members from Marywood University who have traveled to Ireland to study story, community, and place. You may click on the sidebar to get to know each of us a bit better.  Throughout our travel experience, we’ll be blogging about our reactions to the culture and place, making connections to the poetry, film, and human interest journalism we’ve been studying as we go.  After we return to the states, we’ll be publishing our creative and non-fiction pieces here.

We hope you’ll visit us here again and follow our journey as we make our way across Ireland.