Ireland – Dean Rasch Dingle

Dear Parents,

We had another gorgeous day of sunshine and mild temps!  Our drive on the Dingle Penninsula was breathtaking!  I have attached a couple of photos.

We stopped at the Gallarus Oratory, a stone building over 1,000 years old, which was an early Christian Church. This building was built with only dry stone masonary and it is still waterproof!

http://www.gallarusoratory.ie/

We had lunch at a pub and students could choose from an Irish cheeseburger with bacon, chicken Caesar salad, mushroom pasta or pizza.  Dessert choices were ice cream, sticky toffee pudding, or brownie with carmel.

After lunch we headed to St. Brendan’s College (secondary school) where a group of 21 boys sang, played several musical instruments and performed for us.  

https://www.independent.ie/regionals/kerryman/entertainment/st-brendans-college-boys-have-got-an-abundance-of-talent-37617469.html

In return, Culver’s own Matt Dwyer performed and had us sing the chorus of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads”!  I will attempt to post the film clips on the Parents FaceBook Page.  It was fantastic!!

Here’s a clip of some of the boys that performed for us.  https://www.independent.ie/regionals/kerryman/entertainment/st-brendans-college-boys-have-got-an-abundance-of-talent-37617469.html

We got back to the hotel and now the students have a few hours to rest or shop until our 7:30 pm dinner.

What an amazing trip!  Your sons and daughters are delightful to travel with and are having an awesome time!

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Best wishes,

Lynn

Ireland – Dean Rasch

 

Dear Parents,

We had another amazing day on the Emerald Isle! Sunny skies and mild temps greeted us for our bus ride and touring today.

We left Cork and headed to Cobh, Ireland. Cobh (prounced Cove) also formerly know as Queenstown was a port of emmigration as thousands of Irish people left through this port for the hope of a better life.

We went to the Cobh Heritage Center where everyone received a ticket of a passenger that had left Cobh via a ship. Each student was challenged to find the passenger on their ticket. Passenger info was located throughout the exhibit and the Culver team was able to find out about their passenger’s life and whether or not they perished at sea.

https://www.cobhheritage.com/

In 1912 Titanic left from Queenstown (now Cobh) prior to heading out on her fateful voyage. A passenger, Father Browne, boarded the Titanic in Southampton and had to leave the ship when she docked in Queenstown. Father Browne was a prolific photographer and took several memorable photos prior to Titanic leaving Ireland. The Titanic exhibit was very moving.

See more here:

http://coastmonkey.ie/titanic-photos-fr-browne/

There was also an exhibition on the ship, Lusitania which was sink by a German U Boat in 1915 off the coast of Southern Ireland.

https://www.rte.ie/centuryireland/index.php/articles/lusitania-sunk-by-german-torpedo

After leaving Cobh we headed to Blarney and the Blarney Castle where everyone could kiss the Blarney Stone to ensure the gift of gab!

https://blarneycastle.ie/

It was a beautiful day at the castle with flowers in bloom!

After a visit to the Blarney Castle, everyone hasd the option to go to Ireland’s largest gift shop, Blarney Woolen Mills.

After a delicious lunch we headed to Killarney where students had time after our hotel check-in to explore the small town full of quaint shops.

It was a great day!

Best wishes,

Lynn

Ireland and the Ring of Dingle

Dear all,

 

The morning began with a delightful breakfast in the grey flowered dinning room. Through communal dinning, we as a collective, faculty and student, are able to gain the global awareness of the binding citizenship we have not only to America but rather the world as a whole. Citizens from across the world are in a singular room drinking freshly pressed orange juice and eating a traditional English breakfast (something I would definitely recommend). After a philosophical breakfast, we strolled across the street to meet the massive red and vibrant gold bus. I was walking next to a young schoolgirl wearing the most fabulous fuchsia Hello Kitty sunglasses, and I was certain she obtained such a gorgeous accessory from the busy shopping street up the road. Joe was not our driver today but that allowed him to have more time and energy to tell his Joe stories. Once we got on the bus and before we started counting, we serenaded Joe with our own version of John Denver’s Country Road but with a slight twist. We were getting our vocal chords ready for our performance later in the afternoon.

               The trip commenced. We pulled out of the busy streets of Kallarney and into the green, fairy-tale like, mountains of the Dingle peninsula. We passed by quaint inns and a variety of pubs, but our most loveable and memorable visitors were the painted Scottish sheep and speckled cows. We pulled into our first sight in the ides of the morning. The Gallarus Oratory is a 1,300-year-old stone building that acted as a place of worship for Christians. The oratory withstood the test of time unlike its neighbors, which were burned and ransacked by the Normans and Vikings. In the words of Mr. Behling, “I cannot believe how thick it is” and I can presume it is due to the buildings water-proof nature. On our way back to the bus parked about 1 km away, we were serenaded once more by the iconic Grammy award wining song, Shallow.

               On our way to our next destination, the ocean danced violently against the coal-like rocks spread sporadically throughout the North Atlantic Ocean. Our next destination sat on the Atlantic Ocean, right next to the “sleeping giant”. The Blasket Centre touched slightly on the reality of the citizenship of the Blasket people. The center elaborated on the trade, societal constructs, Sunday festivities, and struggles of the Blasket people. The most interesting, in my opinion, was a storytelling woman named Peig. She was one of the islands greatest storytellers and the stories she narrated for the children of the island mesmerized and frightened them for decades after she perished. Life on the island was not bleak in the slightest but rather a joyful community, a community that only lost 1/3 of their population to the potato famine compared to the greater amount on the mainland. It was absolutely astonishing to see the difference in nourishment for the mainlanders and the islanders; the people who lived on the island, mainly received their source of food from catching crab, lobsters, and fish in their homemade canvas boats. The mainlander’s main source of food came from the glorious potato, which caused the potato famine to be so impactful and crippling to its population.

               We drove down the twisting roads of the Irish countryside as we passed a booth for surfing lessons. As I bet you can guess, we have a little giggle on the marketing decisions of the surfing industry in the early spring in Ireland. We stopped in Dingle for lunch; I am happy to report on the variety of gluten free options (they had the best gluten free brownie!). I am also happy to report that everyone left full and ready for the new adventure’s life had in store next. On our way back to Killarney, I enjoyed the variety of views with the faint sound of Billie Eilish’s newest album (it was released today!) playing in my movie of life.

               We arrived in Killarney not late, let’s just say the boy’s school was early. The community clearly knew we were in town due to the fact they held a beautiful spring wedding in our honor. We walked to the school in a clump, as if we were a pretty intimidating group of people to be around: me with my adidas superstars untied and my roommate with her grey fanny pack and pink bee socks. After we arrived at the school, the boys of Culver were surprised to witness the attendants of the school wearing multi-colored undershirts under their white dress shirts. But the real conversations began when we saw clusters of girls wearing kilts with the hem below their knees and their socks all the way to their knees. The dialogue between myself in the administration resembled closely to a Shakespeare drama, but they say they hope to implement the “new kilt guidelines” before we return from summer break. The choir did not have an auditorium to perform so they used the chapel. The chapel acted not only as their sanctuary of religion but also for music. Their room was filled to the brim with the enchanting melodies of the boy’s choir which slowly seeped into the beige halls of the college. Their world-renowned title was not astonishing due to their obvious talent but their variety of sounds from modern alternative to Irish folk music was exemplary. Once the choir started singing Seasons of Love from Culver’s spring performance of Rent, Matt Dwyer and I shared a look of excitement and surprise. But the performance would not have been complete without the Culver’s own Matt Dwyer sharing his musical talents. The entire room echoed with the blended sounds of Culver Academies and St. Berndan’s College. After the performance concluded, we socialized with the members of the choir and exchanged the reality of living in Ireland and America and exchanging social media information.

               After dinner, we had the option to retire to our rooms or go see a movie with our peers. Since the trip is almost over, I saw it only fitting that I go see Captain Marvel before we leave. I am happy to report that the popcorn in Ireland tastes almost as good as the oily “vegetable” we eat in the states. Let’s just say that today was some good craic!

Love,

               Kati Quigg’21

we have not only to America but rather the world as a whole. Citizens from across the world are in a singular room drinking freshly pressed orange juice and eating a traditional English breakfast (something I would definitely recommend). After a philosophical breakfast, we strolled across the street to meet the massive red and vibrant gold bus. I was walking next to a young schoolgirl wearing the most fabulous fuchsia Hello Kitty sunglasses, and I was certain she obtained such a gorgeous accessory from the busy shopping street up the road. Joe was not our driver today but that allowed him to have more time and energy to tell his Joe stories. Once we got on the bus and before we started counting, we serenaded Joe with our own version of John Denver’s Country Road but with a slight twist. We were getting our vocal chords ready for our performance later in the afternoon.

               The trip commenced. We pulled out of the busy streets of Kallarney and into the green, fairy-tale like, mountains of the Dingle peninsula. We passed by quaint inns and a variety of pubs, but our most loveable and memorable visitors were the painted Scottish sheep and speckled cows. We pulled into our first sight in the ides of the morning. The Gallarus Oratory is a 1,300-year-old stone building that acted as a place of worship for Christians. The oratory withstood the test of time unlike its neighbors, which were burned and ransacked by the Normans and Vikings. In the words of Mr. Behling, “I cannot believe how thick it is” and I can presume it is due to the buildings water-proof nature. On our way back to the bus parked about 1 km away, we were serenaded once more by the iconic Grammy award wining song, Shallow.

               On our way to our next destination, the ocean danced violently against the coal-like rocks spread sporadically throughout the North Atlantic Ocean. Our next destination sat on the Atlantic Ocean, right next to the “sleeping giant”. The Blasket Centre touched slightly on the reality of the citizenship of the Blasket people. The center elaborated on the trade, societal constructs, Sunday festivities, and struggles of the Blasket people. The most interesting, in my opinion, was a storytelling woman named Peig. She was one of the islands greatest storytellers and the stories she narrated for the children of the island mesmerized and frightened them for decades after she perished. Life on the island was not bleak in the slightest but rather a joyful community, a community that only lost 1/3 of their population to the potato famine compared to the greater amount on the mainland. It was absolutely astonishing to see the difference in nourishment for the mainlanders and the islanders; the people who lived on the island, mainly received their source of food from catching crab, lobsters, and fish in their homemade canvas boats. The mainlander’s main source of food came from the glorious potato, which caused the potato famine to be so impactful and crippling to its population.

               We drove down the twisting roads of the Irish countryside as we passed a booth for surfing lessons. As I bet you can guess, we have a little giggle on the marketing decisions of the surfing industry in the early spring in Ireland. We stopped in Dingle for lunch; I am happy to report on the variety of gluten free options (they had the best gluten free brownie!). I am also happy to report that everyone left full and ready for the new adventure’s life had in store next. On our way back to Killarney, I enjoyed the variety of views with the faint sound of Billie Eilish’s newest album (it was released today!) playing in my movie of life.

               We arrived in Killarney not late, let’s just say the boy’s school was early. The community clearly knew we were in town due to the fact they held a beautiful spring wedding in our honor. We walked to the school in a clump, as if we were a pretty intimidating group of people to be around: me with my adidas superstars untied and my roommate with her grey fanny pack and pink bee socks. After we arrived at the school, the boys of Culver were surprised to witness the attendants of the school wearing multi-colored undershirts under their white dress shirts. But the real conversations began when we saw clusters of girls wearing kilts with the hem below their knees and their socks all the way to their knees. The dialogue between myself in the administration resembled closely to a Shakespeare drama, but they say they hope to implement the “new kilt guidelines” before we return from summer break. The choir did not have an auditorium to perform so they used the chapel. The chapel acted not only as their sanctuary of religion but also for music. Their room was filled to the brim with the enchanting melodies of the boy’s choir which slowly seeped into the beige halls of the college. Their world-renowned title was not astonishing due to their obvious talent but their variety of sounds from modern alternative to Irish folk music was exemplary. Once the choir started singing Seasons of Love from Culver’s spring performance of Rent, Matt Dwyer and I shared a look of excitement and surprise. But the performance would not have been complete without the Culver’s own Matt Dwyer sharing his musical talents. The entire room echoed with the blended sounds of Culver Academies and St. Berndan’s College. After the performance concluded, we socialized with the members of the choir and exchanged the reality of living in Ireland and America and exchanging social media information.

               After dinner, we had the option to retire to our rooms or go see a movie with our peers. Since the trip is almost over, I saw it only fitting that I go see Captain Marvel before we leave. I am happy to report that the popcorn in Ireland tastes almost as good as the oily “vegetable” we eat in the states. Let’s just say that today was some good craic!

Love,

               Kati Quigg’21

Ireland traveling to Cork

Today we left Glencree, and took a very long bus ride to Waterford. In Waterford, we toured Waterford Crystal. Inside we saw firsthand the process of crystal making. The precision and patience that goes into crafting Waterford’s pristine products really stood out to us. While touring, our guide pointed out to us that they manufacture many awards and trophies for prestigious athletic/political events. After touring the factory, we explored Waterford’s shop. There were many expensive items inside. An example of this was a football helmet, which costed around six thousand euros.

After leaving Waterford, we got back onto the bus and had another lengthy bus ride. During this bus ride, there was a lot of great scenery. The rolling green hills with farm animals was interesting to see mainly because in the states we don’t see these scenes that often. Joe, our bus driver, kept us informed and entertained the entire way. An interesting fact that Joe shared with us was about how St. Nicholas, aka Santa Claus, was buried in Cork. Once arriving in Cork, we had dinner and settled into our new hotel.

Written by Andrew Sinkovics and Maggie Bialek

Ireland at Glencree

 On Monday the 25th we went to Glencree. I am certain if you ask any person on this trip so far, what was the most beautiful place on this trip so far was you would get a unanimous vote. The treacherous rolling hills and the vibrant green pastures could not have been more out of a fairy tale. The whole scene gave me a feeling of both awe and wonder. If you were to picture Ireland in its most rustic and quaint, you would describe the landscape as we rolled through the hills of Glencree on the way to our destination. The immense spectacle of it all was topped off with a quaint little town.

As we arrived we hauled our luggage into rooms of four as well as eight people. The tour guide Amen gave us a rundown of the day’s plan as well as some interesting history on the location of Glencree. It was originally a barracks for the British during the French/ British war, as they were interested in protecting their colony. It then turned into a correctional facility, then finally, the peace and restoration center it is today. Today, it’s progams include, Addressing the legacies of violence through facilitated dialogue, Interfaith work, Youth and Young Adult engagement, as well as Peace and Education classes.

Written by Howard Mosley

Ireland: Dublin Day 2

On March 24th, we had a jam-packed, awesome day! First, we went to a local community center after breakfast in our hotel to engage in some volunteer work. We arrived and were divided into three main jobs which were gardening, painting, and staining. We all completed our various tasks around the center just in time for lunch, and I was genuinely astonished with the work we got done. After lunch, we were left with some “words of wisdom” from our host at the center and we all learned how passionate the Irish people are for the environment. He talked about how it was up to us to secure the future for the world environmentally, and how much hope and pride he had received after watching us work today. After lunch, we finished up some other odd jobs around the garden in semi-flexible groups, and by that, I mean that there were no longer specifically assigned groups for certain tasks. We all just rotated around willingly whenever we were done to help the next group with whatever they needed. Finally, we had finished and were sent on our way with our newest bus driver, Joe. As we learned fairly quickly, Joe is a bit of a comedian. Within minutes, he had the whole bus laughing. After some rest back at the hotel, we went out shopping in downtown Dublin. It was so interesting and fun to get out among the real people of Dublin and see how they dress and interact, and hear how they talk to one another. I found that they are very similar to teens in America. One group actually wanted to see some of our dance moves, and we happily obliged them. Then, for dinner, we all drove down to “The Merry Ploughboy.” This was most peoples’ favorite part of the day. We enjoyed a fantastic dinner accompanied by live traditional Irish folk music including “The Rocky Road to Dublin,” “Whiskey in the Jar,” and many more in addition to a special performance by an Irish dancing group. In the late afternoon, we all sat awkwardly and quietly around the long table, but by the end of the night, we were arm-in-arm, swaying and singing and shouting together. It was a night I will never forget!

 

On Sunday, March 24 we had the wonderful opportunity to do community service at a garden, go shopping in Dublin, and have dinner and a show at The Merry Ploughboy. We started off the morning with breakfast in the hotel, before heading out at nine o’clock. The drive was absolutely astonishing and we got to see different monuments and mountains on the drive. Once we arrived at the garden the owner talked to us about the mission of the garden and how it brings people together. We got split up into three main groups, painting, gardening, and staining wood. We had about three hours to work before we had a lunch break. It was amazing to see how much all of us could accomplish in those three hours when we all worked together. After lunch we had one more hour of work before we headed back to the hotel. We had he option to go shopping in Dublin, one last time before we moved into the country side of Ireland. It was interesting to see how the shops were all set up differently in Ireland and the different style trend they have here. We arrived back at the hotel after about an hour of shopping we returned to the hotel and headed to The Merry Ploughboy. With-in seconds of walking inside we all immediately knew that this would be a fun night! The energy was so fun and light hearted even before any other groups showed up. As soon as other guests arrived and the music and dancing started everyone had a blast! When we returned back to the hotel the whole group met to have a small reflection of the trip so far. We discussed our biggest takeaway from the trip so far and why it was so impactful for us. Some common answers were the Gaelic games, the bog bodies, and the volunteer work.

Written by Matt Dwyer and Brenna Cotter.

Ireland: While in Dublin

Dear Ireland Followers,

Our names are Levi and Charlotte and we are both juniors on the Ireland GPS trip.

Yesterday we arrived in Dublin at 9:30 am, and we dove straight into the Irish culture. We began with visiting the Kilmainham Gaol, which was a significant jail in Ireland’s rich history where many famous revolutionaries were imprisoned. It was built in 1796, and some of the famous people imprisoned here were Robert Emmet, William Smith O’Brien, and Joseph Plunkett! A tour guide gave us a tour of the prison, and we were able to look inside the cells and learn about its historical significance.

After the tour, we visited an Irish pub for lunch. We ate a traditional dish called bangers and mash. We then drove on a city tour and got to see significant parts of Dublin. We were all very tired and got to bed early, only to be woken up by a fire alarm at 9:45 pm.

After breakfast in the morning, we went on a walking tour of Dublin. We finsihed the walking tour at the distinguished Trinity College. This college was established in 1592 and its library holds the Book of Kells. The Book of Kells was written in the 800’s by four monks living in Ireland who safely stored it during Viking raids. It is considered one of the oldest intact manuscripts in history. It contained the four Gospels

and was written entirely in Latin and illustrations. Because of the age and fragility of the book, we were only able to photograph the facsimile.

Our second obligation of the day was a visit to the National Museum of Archeology. We were fascinated by the ancient artifacts: bog bodies. These were bodies that perfectly preserved as they were thrown into the bog and preserved by peat. Many of these were sacrifices or murders, and these bodies were disfigured. Many of us were blown away about the details that were preserved and perfectly visible. We have attached a few pictures:

Afterwards, we stopped for lunch and headed for our final destination of the day. At this location, we learned to play several traditional Gaelic sports. Gaelic games are a unique cultural identity that many of the Irish hold close to their hearts. The players all play for their hometown clubs and talented players are selected to move into higher levels. These high-level players all hold day jobs because these sports are all non-profit. These games are hurling, handball, and Gaelic football. Although very challenging, we all gave it our best shot and ended up having a lot of fun. We became closer as a group while also a significant part of the Irish culture.

After a long couple of days, we are ready to get a good night’s rest and continue our adventure with community service tomorrow!

Good craic,

Charlotte and Levi