Hello friends! I am currently sitting on a couch in the living room at the Inman's house - a missionary family that lives in Derry, Ireland. It was quite the journey here (with long plane rides and all) but now that I am more or less settled in and almost adjusted to the dramatic time difference, I figured I would tell you what I've been up to! This is almost like a regular blog post! How odd.
What you probably figure about Ireland is only somewhat accurate. It is rather rainy and overcast, but the people here in contrast are very warm and friendly. Everyone is very considerate of each other and the accent is great :) The history of this city, and Northern Ireland in general, is extremely complicated and there's this division between the Protestants and the Catholics, but they are mostly only in a political sense, not necessarily religious. There are Protestant neighborhoods and then there are Catholic neighborhoods. I'm still catching up on it all.
There are some different slangs that I'm getting the hang of, which is class. If you give me a wee bit more time here, I think I might get the crack of things at some point. Like how "chips" are fries and "crips" are chips, or how I just tried to implement some of it in the first two sentences of this paragraph :)
Check out what a lot of planning is going into at the church! http://www.iheartderry.com/
My favorite thing that I've been a part of so far has been an outreach that they do Friday nights called Street Pastors. We set up a table downtown on a busy club street and handed out free tea, coffee, soup, and hot cocoa, talked with people, and just helped in whatever way we could. It was awesome! The pic below is the whole street packed with people at around 2am when the clubs let out. They don't exactly go home... they just kind of hang out and try to get taxis.
Yesterday I went touring with the Inmans at the Giant's Causeway(picture below) and an old castle in ruins by the ocean (the first pic you saw there's some ruins behind my shoulder!). It was really fun! And of course, raining the whole time. Yesterday was church! They hold church service in the downtown center, which is really cool and the pastor spoke about how God is our gardener and He prunes away at us so that we can grow. I really enjoyed the message. Today is my day off and I've pretty much relaxed all day at home, I think I'm still recovering from the midnight to 3am run of street pastors (totally worth it!).
Of course I would leave my cord that connects my canon rebel to my computer back home, but I have been taking pictures. The ones featured in this blog are off of my iPhone. It's amazing to see how long the battery lasts when you don't use cellular service or 3G. I haven't turned it off since I got here, only kept it on airplane mode, and it's just about on half battery now.
Do I have an Irish accent yet? I guess you'll just have to see for yourself when I get back.
Want to talk? Skyping and chat are pretty much the only way, and in Cali the best time is early afternoon like from about 1pm on.
Miss you all, but I'll be back in a jiff.
Oh, and meet one of the five kids I'm living with - Maggie. She's almost two. (: