Rural Ireland is about 40 years behind everywhere else on the Isle. There are signs for animals (cows, horses, sheep, dogs, etc.) in small rural townships that haven't been repainted for years.

Rebecca and I share a room, before that I was lone lady in this room. We get along so well, likely, because we both have a shared love for being in constant motion and "cleaning" our rooms. All the time. Comical and I love it. My bed is left, hers right. Sometimes at night we have giggle fits like we are 14.
Oh, God of Little Things! A small sign of my hybridizing. My home, other home.
From the top of Torc Mountian. We take our guests on my trip up here, only when the weather is good. It is a solid climb (for a little day trip) but you are rewarded for the views. Laugh Lake is in the picture, as well as Killarney (the buildings far away...)
And Torc Falls! We take a trip in Killarney national park to see these also on my trip.

From my perch on the table of the Ireland leader house I can hear the steady hum of the drier. Hum. hum. hum. I can see the gray sky outside. After three months of this drizzle on, drizzle off, sprinkle, pour, repeat, I am unaffected by the weathers changing emotions, violent tantrums followed by brilliant smiles; soaking fits of rain and wind and my life changes, again, day by day, month by month.

Finishing another trip I am facing a few days off, a few days to soak in my final moments of time here in Ireland. Hum. hum. hum. Three months, three months, the beginning of a football season in another country. An almost-whole semester at university, one fourth of a year. I spent here, in West Cork. The area has taken hold of my heart and I fear it might never let it go, or at the very least, I might never be the same.

Perhaps this is the great tragedy of travel. You leave your job, your home, your people, your life to pursue 'something' greater, a question without words you can't even answer yourself. You take off to see and live and taste and experience and breathe these areas of earth you couldn't have even fathomed existed, and you cannot exist the same way in the world after what you see. What you learn, what becomes your new home, experiences, routine. These cliffs and bogs and water and weather and whiskey and tea are in my heart, my blood. Ireland, like the damp rain, has made its way to my blood and bone and I am a better woman for it. A better human walking the earth because of what she has seen and done here, lived and experienced.

Hum, hum. Hum.

With the final scores still weeks away, knowing what kind of job I did here in Ireland will (hopefully) cement me a return for 2009. I am thrilled at this and equally as sad to think of leaving here, my new friends and town. The new friends and town pictures will make there way to these pages at some point. Hum, hum, hum.

In the days ahead I will be finishing off the administrative portion of my trips. Another brief adventure awaits as well, these final days of Ireland are cause for reflection, hope, meditation and gratitude. And surf? And bike? And tea at my favorite place in town, Jam? And Banoffi pie from Cafe Mocha? A run around the stone circle? A walk along Kenmare Bay? Hot Chocolate at Benoits? Lucky I am, lucky I will be.

Hum. Hum. Hum.

I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.
Maryanne Radmacher-Hershey