5.22.12 Expecting the unexpected

My expectations for Ireland are fairly simple because I plan to adapt to the culture, traditions, and daily lifestyle of the citizens of Sneem and other parts of Ireland. I am enthusiastic about the journey that I will soon embark upon and the new culture I will soon explore. I am also very excited about the new friends I shall meet and the stories we will share about our abroad journey.

While I was researching Seamus Heaney I came a across the poem “Bogland” and this poem influenced my way of thinking about the environment of some parts of Ireland. I associate our anticipated travel with this bog because of the marshy wetlands that we will soon reside in and inhabit. The area Sneem where we are soon journeying to in my perception is quite adequately depicted by this poem because of its marshy lands that surround the large wetlands and lakes of Sneem.

My major concerns for this excursion are adapting to the language, culture, traditions, and social habits of the community. The quickly assembled sentences and speech of the local residents in the village of Sneem may prove to be very difficult to comprehend. This may be due to the thick accent or the speed of the conversation in which they are accustomed to. The tight community in which Ireland is portrayed of having may be another issue that presents an issue as well. Ireland is known for its “community unity” in pubs and its small towns. This may present an issue because we are outsiders imposing upon their society and social habits.

In many traditional Irish films such as “The Quite Man” an outsider like John Ford is welcomed into their homes and lives quite lovingly. I find this to be an amazing trait of the Irish and it is an experience I cannot wait to experience first hand. With a film like “My Left Foot” which portrays the traditional large and close knit family, you can come to wonder how true this portrait of family really is. I also find the family dynamic very interesting and I am excited to learn more about Ireland’s family culture and framework.

So ultimately what I intend to learn on this journey is the distinction between the facts and the stereotypes or falsehoods. To better understand if films such as “My Left Foot” and “The Quiet Man” accurately depict the essence of Ireland’s social and community dynamic. In addition, if poems such as “Epic” or “On Raglan Road” written by Patrick Kavanagh can accurately depict the vivid essence of the environment in Ireland. I hope to better understand if we can truly know a culture or environment without exploring it first hand. This contrast between fact and fiction shall enlighten me to the true community and residents of Ireland.

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