As usual, there’s too much to write about and too little time to do it! Sadly, this is our last weekend in Belfast. We’re trying to make the most of it though by cramming as many things into it as possible. Here’s a quick recap of the past four days:
Trip to Derry to interview Jean Haggerdy, a sister of a teenage boy who died on Bloody Sunday, and Kathy, a director at a trauma center that helped people after Bloody Sunday and through the inquiry. We learned a lot about how people are feeling after the release of the report. Jean said that most of the families felt relief and we’re in a “period of digestion” at the moment. In short, Jean was very positive and glad her brother’s name was cleared. Additionally, she does not want to see anyone prosecuted in the future for their actions on Bloody Sunday. It was really something special to have the opportunity to talk to her, as she was one of the few who was let into Guidhall early on the day of the release of the report and the report was very significant to her.
Said our final goodbyes at EPIC and Wave. It was really bittersweet saying bye to everyone…especially Plum since we have spent so much time with him in and outside of work. I’ll definitely miss him a lot, especially his random stories and fits of laughter. I hope to keep in touch with both Plum and everyone at Wave
We moved out of our hostel that we’ve been in for the past 2 months and moved to the dorms at Queen’s University for the next couple days. Ruth will be happy to know that they are no where near the caliber of Farset. After moving in, Courtney, Shaunak, Sean and I left to travel to OXEGEN, a weekend music festival in a town 30 min from Dublin. (The festival is similar to Bonnaroo or Coachella). We didn’t know what was going to happen on our adventure…whether we would even make it to the concert or back. When we left the dorms, all we had booked were our hostel, our concert ticket, and how to get to Dublin on the bus. So we set off with positive thoughts and somehow everything worked out and after 2 bus rides we made it to the concert in time to see all of the performers we had planned on watching. The Black Keys were starting their set when we arrived. Then Vampire Weekend took the stage and was incredible. They opened with Holiday, which had been stuck in my head the days before. Somehow they sounded exactly like they do on their albums but with even more energy. Loved them.
Then we took a break and came back to line up for Jay Z. After standing in the pouring rain for an hour getting pushed around, almost breaking our ankles, and getting pick-pocketed (sad face…but luckily they threw my wallet on the ground afterward with my ids and credit/debit cards! how kind) we were 5th row to see Jay Z rock the stage. To put how awesome our position was and how hard we had to work to stand there into perspective, 75,000 fans were expected at the concert. Jay Z played a ridiculous set and even played Bloody Sunday over a song. Following Jay Z we wandered over to the DJ tent to see David Guetta push his play button along with an interesting light show. Around 1am we decided we were over the David Guetta rave and decided to try to find a way to get back home. Luckily, they were selling bus tickets straight back to Dublin so we hopped on and made it back safe and sound to our cozy hostel. All in all, it was an incredible experience and I’m SO glad the four of us went. I’m also extremely impressed with us because we made it work with no major problems. Definitely will be something I will never forget. I’ll have pix later from my disposable and Sean took some awesome videos, so I’ll try to put those up later.
After sleeping for the longest I’ve probably slept this entire trip (which is sadly only 7ish hours), we headed to the Guinness Factory. According to the boys, at the top of the factory we drank the best Guinness we’ll ever drink. I’m not a huge fan of Guinness so it wasn’t really anything super special to me, but the tour was interesting. Following the tour, we grabbed a quick lunch at a pub and headed back on the bus to make it back to see the bonfires in Belfast. Unfortunately though it was pouring, so the bonfires on the Shankill where Sean, Shaunak and I were planning to go were delayed until Sunday due to the rain, so we ended up just hanging out which is always a good time with them.
And yet again, I’m seeing the sun rise right now…So I guess I should probably go to bed. Tomorrow (or today) we’re going to the Barking Dog for lunch, hanging out during the day, and hopefully going over the Shankill to see a bonfire and then going out with Joe, our night guard from Farset. Should be a good day! Monday are the parades for the 12th and Tuesday is our last full day here. Wednesday I’m back on the plane to the States! I’m excited to see everyone when I get back!
ps. just looked at teh forecast for Pasadena when i get back….really? more rain? booo