Saturday, October 2, 2010

Stand up for the Ulstermen.

Well, I have been in Northern Ireland for over a month now. (From a fractional perspective, it's hard to believe that 1/11th of this year has already passed.)
Reflecting on the past month, some things have been great; other things have been hard. It's been easy, hard, enjoyable, and difficult transitioning into work at East Belfast Mission. The congregation and fellow EBM employees are wonderful, but it's been a month of carving out my own niche in the organization. And at the end of the day, it's not like there is a finished product that I can point to and say, yes, that is what my labors of today produced.
Also, it's an interesting transition into the real world:
What, I don't have assigned reading and papers to churn out? My time is my own when I go home from work??? After 18 years of education, this is an interesting development.

But some of my highlights of this past week include:

For Friendship Circle (fellowship group of older women), we went to the Ulster History Museum as it was a week of Celebration of Aging. (Might have had a different title; don't quote me on that.) We attended a short drama which was a monologue of a young man who was a 16 year old riveter on the Titanic. It was interesting hearing the women's reactions to it as many of them had brothers and fathers who worked in the shipyards. (Several of them worked in the ropeworks and linen mills.) We then did a jewelry making session: origami butterfly pins out of pieces of plastic bags!

For Scripture Union on Thursday afternoon, the students were positively mental. Even worse than the first week. Kids getting kicked out left and right. I am getting to know the kids a little bit more though; it's fun interacting with them. They have no hesitations about telling me that I pronounce things funny...

Friday night, I was invited to go to the Ulster vs Glasgow Rugby match. It was awesome! Ulster won by just a few points. I attended a W&M women's rugby match this past year, so I knew the basics about scoring and rules. The game definitely moves faster though on a professional level. And Glasgow had brought a pipe and drum band with them, so there was entertainment at halftime. The game had a certain Friday Night Football feel - crisp Fall air (ok, it was more cold than crisp), rowdy fans, and halftime entertainment. Since we had arrived pretty early to the match, we secured front row spaces in the standing section. Consequently, myself and another girl I was with made it onto BBC tv! The other girl I was with taped the match, so when we got back to her place, we found the segment and I took a picture of it. (Picture soon to follow.)
The main chant for Ulster Rugby is "Stand up for the Ulsterman," whose tune just keeps repeating itself. (If interested, here is rough home footage: It gives you a good feel for the game. :)

A little lighter post this time. :)
In grace and peace.

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