I pass by a wall as I walk to the market each day and this corner has been transformed from a place where addicts used to hang out to a place where people are reminded of the child abuse that has occurred in Ireland. The Ryan Report is printed out and pasted all over the wall. The Ryan Report, published in 2009, resulted from an investigation initiated in 1999 into the allegations of child abuse in all Irish institutions, the majority operated by the Catholic Church and funded by the Ireland Dept of Education. I had read a little about this before I left the states and was drawn to this wall, which is at the end of the narrow street where I snapped the picture of the buildings and Martin who had been painting.
As I waited to get on the bus from the airport, I asked a woman to take my picture. She was waiting for the same bus and struck up a conversation with me. Her name is Vivienne and she was returning from France where she had been visiting her two daughters. She lives south of Dublin. She emailed me and wants to connect this weekend and show me around Ireland a bit. I’m so excited! She also feels that her daughter who lives in southern France near the Mediterranean would get along well with me and we should meet. I told her that I was thinking about heading to southern France; in fact, that’s where I was going before I felt that Ireland was to be the place first.
It’s actually turning out to be less expensive than I thought over here so I don’t think I’ll be returning to the states very soon, as it’s generally more expensive, or as expensive, overall in the U.S. So, I just talked to Vivienne on the phone and she is picking me up later today. I’m going with her to rural Ireland where she lives to spend a day and night down there. We’re going to take in the sights and go to a pub to listen to some traditional Irish music. My Brazilian friend, Allan, is concerned because I just met Vivienne but Josi reassured him that all would be fine. I could stay through the weekend but I’m going to come back to Dublin to spend time with Aline (pronounced Aleenee) from Brazil, Nadine (Nahdeen), my friend from Germany who is studying to be a teacher in Germany, and Stefan from Austria, who is a Ph.D. student in bioinformatics (I don’t know what that is). Nadine and Aline are stuck in Dublin due to the continued airport closures throughout Europe. Josi and Allan are taking a ferry today to Holyhead, England and then by bus to London and then to Amsterdam. All of their plans are completely different due to the Iceland volcano. Before they leave today, we’re all going to see Clash of the Titans 3D.