Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Following my dreams / Dublin Adventures.

Plane Ride 

Who would have thought that a 7 hour plane ride could go by so quickly.. or slowly.. I can't remember, I was sleeping for about 4 hours. haha Anyway, the plane ride itself was pretty intense. O.o

For takeoff, we had to go through a storm, and the lightening was all around us! The plane had a bit of turbulance, but nothing too seriously frightening. Well, even if it was, there was no going back once I got on that plane... So...... Yeah. :) No, it really wasn't all that bad though, and landing was nothing. There is one thing I can say though.. Customs in Dublin is not as bad as security in the United States at all... They looked at my passport, stamped it, and gave it back. All they did was ask me how long I was studying in Ireland. It really was a lot simpler than I ever thought it was going to be. :) This is a good thing.

Anyway, the first thing we did was find our group leader, Mark, and then head off to the little girls room. :) That was one long plane ride.. haha

Surprise!! The toilets are different here! ....and are called toilets.. instead of restroom, bathroom, or washroom.

Is that just the weirdest toilet you've ever seen in your life?! haha! I thought so too.

The sinks were very interesting as well and the hand dryers were inside the wall... Literally.. O.o haha


Mark S. Quigley

Our director that is here with us on the trip looks a lot like my boss back at Michigan Tech. Isn't that weird?! Anyway, he is really awesome and is originally from Ireland! However, there are only a few words in which you can tell that he could be from Ireland like "Ireland" and "yeah." I've noticed that a lot of people here say "yeah" a lot.. It's kind of like when someone says "right?" after everything they say as in "Do you know what I mean?"

So....there's that.

Field Study

As soon as we got to Dublin and got our things put away in our room, we had to go meet with our Field Study professor, Mr. Angus Mitchel. Angus is one of the best at what he does, which is history of Ireland and the War of Independence. There may be other things that he is known for, but I do not know them off the top of my head..

Anyway, we began our field study in a church that was approximately a 5 minute walk from our hotel. This was called Chapel Royal. It is a beautiful church, and used to sit part of the parliament in the upper seating for meetings. It was also thought to have been used in the 1916 Rising. Therefore, the bell tower had to be closed so that participants in the Rising could not spy on Dublin Castle because the tower overlooked the city.

We then walked down the street to City Hall, which is located right next to Dublin Castle. These two buildings were also involved in the 1916 Easter Rising.

City Hall

City Hall was taken over by the Irish Citizen Army, which was lead by Seán Connolly. After taking over City Hall, Connolly ordered his Citizen Army to attack Dublin Castle in hopes of taking it over. Even though their attempts were genuine, the British were able to stop the ambush. In the crossfire between the British and the Irish Citizen Army, Seán Connolly was killed.

 Daniel O'Connell as well as other important leaders of the time are immortalized within City Hall as statues. The interior of City Hall is beautiful.

The detail in the ornamentation of City Hall was absolutely breathtaking. It was stunning. Walking into a space as beautifully ornamented as that was amazing. I could feel and see the history lingering.

Museum Exhibit (located below City Hall)

After having gone through the history of City Hall, we all went down to the museum that is located directly beneath it. The exhibit had a lot of interesting artifacts from different historical figures and times.

The object on the left is the Great Mace of Dublin.

The shaft is made of Silver, which is covering wood. The shaft of the Great Mace of Dublin was forged by Sir Daniel Bellingham. The Silver Gilt was forged by Thomas Bolton.                                       

There were so many different objects in this particular exhibit. There were robes of the city council and other important individuals in Ireland's past.

Trinity College

We then went on to Trinity College! This place is full of historic artifacts as well as amazing architecture. The entrance to the college is definitely deceiving though. However deceiving it may be, it is still a grand entrance. The college houses The Book of Kells. This is one of the many artifacts that we were able to see. However, I did not take any pictures of it in fear of damaging it. Even though I did not take pictures of it, I still want to say that it is absolutely beautiful and something to definitely go see if you're ever in Dublin.

The Entrance!-> 
This is the beautiful architecture of Trinity College that I was talking about. However, on the grounds of Trinity College as well as all other places in Dublin, you must watch your step because the stones that make the walkways are not flat.. They are stones. haha

The guy in the blue shirt is Angus Mitchel, our professor for the Field Study. He tries to be funny, and has a lot of stories as he is an expert in his field. He's a good person, and the stories and explanations of things are definitely abundant!

Inside Trinity College's "Old Library"

Inside part of Trinity College is the old library, which holds many artifacts that have to do with the history of Ireland. I took note of the beautiful architecture... As you can see.. 

The staircase was beautiful though! 

Anyway, the library was huge!! The harp on the far right is the oldest harp in Ireland. The harp is a very important symbol for Ireland. You can find it on almost every euro in contemporary money. This is because of many different things, but it was mainly used in Irish musical styling for the upper classes. It later became the national symbol.


St. Stephens Green

St. Stephens Green is a memorial to the 1916 Easter Rising as well as the War of Independence. One particular statue that is seen as soon as you walk into the park is one called "Famine" and is exactly what it sounds like. It portrays the hardships of the Potato Famine. The figures are very plain, but they tell a story that is deep with meaning. Even when individuals had very little to give, they would give what they could to help others who were less fortunate.

It really says a lot about the Irish people and how humble they really are. The next statue that we went to was a political statue. This particular statue was talking about standing by Fianna Éireann. The statue reads,

"Ina nOnóir siúd uile a ghabh go dílis crógale Fianna Éireann idir 1906 agus 1916 agus a sheas sa Bhearna Baoil i gCogadh na Saoirse." 

This literally means,

"To honour all those who served with Fianna Éireann during the War of Independence."

It is in honor of those who served. However, on the opposite side where the English translation is, the statue has been defaced. Graffiti has been placed on the statue. Angus thinks that this may have been done because of the political aspects of that particular statue. I did not take a picture of the defaced side out of respect. 
On the other hand, the statues were not all defaced. There were a couple of other statues that stand as they were when first built. The next statue that we spoke about was a woman's statue. 

This woman's name was Constance Markievicz. She was a Major in the Irish Citizen Army in 1916. 

This shows that women played a major role in the war alongside the Irishmen of the country. 

We also watched a movie called The Wind that Shakes the Barley, which is about the War of Independence. It explained that not only Dublin was under attack by the British, but the smaller towns and villages in remote areas of Ireland were as well. It is a good movie, but will make you pretty much despise the British, if you do not despise them already. 

Anyway, enough talk about the British.... We're talking about Ireland! :D

I am sorry if this is a lot of information and history being thrown at you all at once, but I am really interested in it all. Plus, it's helping me do my homework. :)

These statues in St. Stephens Green was the end of our Field Study for the day. However, Angus thought it would be nice for our group to get to know how to navigate around Dublin.

He decided to point us in the direction of our hotel and then just let us all find our way back.

This definitely threw us all for a loop. However, we had a grand time on our way back to the hotel. :) There was a lot of street performances going on down the street he told us to go down. It was actually very refreshing from a history filled day of jet lagged fun! O.o

Street Performers

We were all so tired and hungry that we didn't know what to do. Therefore, we took our time getting back to the hotel, which we did end up finding thanks to the guys' keen navigational skills.

If you ever get lost, stick with the guys that are on this trip with me. haha They know where they are going! If all else fails, look to the map that you are given when arriving at the study abroad hotel or destination. They are always useful.

These are a few pictures that I was able to take in the streets of Dublin on our walk back to the hotel.

By the way, I am so sorry to the people who keep checking back here and getting no posts. I've been just so busy with the field study in Dublin, classes here in Galway, homework, and travels that I have had no time to do anything.

I hope that I can make up for it by putting more posts up as soon as I can. You can definitely leave comments on this post and the new posts that will be coming up as well.

Let me know if you have any questions about anything related to Study Abroad or even Ireland in general!

Go raibh maith agat!!
Thank you!!

~Reyna Lee

P.S. Hopefully, I will be posting again soon. I really am sorry it took me so long to get these posts out! The next post will be about travels from Dublin to Galway!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

I leave tomorrow!!!!! O.o


I still can't believe that it is time for me to go abroad already! It seems like time has just flown by. Tomorrow, my mother, Nora, and I will set out on an adventure. We will be heading towards our nation's capital, Washington, D.C. The last time I was in or even remotely close to D.C. was in 8th grade about 5 or so years ago. It's crazy to think that it has been so long. However, I do remember almost everything we did on our 8th Grade D.C. trip, which reminds me.... I should look for that DVD that we all were supposed to get. I'm not sure if I have that anymore. If I can't find it.. Nora might know where her copy is. Yeah......

Anyway, this adventure that I will be taking with my two mothers is going to be great, and it will only lead to yet another adventure. An adventure of a lifetime! Studying abroad. I still cannot even image what the culture shock is going to be like for me. Traci, my Big Sister in my sorority, went to Ireland before on her study abroad trip. She was telling me all about her initial culture shock because the flew into Paris, France first. She had always wanted to go there. By what she told me of her culture shock there, let's just say that I'm glad that I don't have to speak in a different language right when I get to Ireland because both English and Irish Gaelic are national languages of Ireland. That's another neat little factoid. :)


You would never know how difficult it is to pack for 6 weeks until you try and do it... O.o I am trying to keep my luggage at a manageable weight for me to have to lug around everywhere. It's going to be a crazy time! However, it will be a time to remember, a time I will never forget.

There are different requirements for luggage on different airlines. Therefore, I have to make sure that I stay within each of the different flights that I will be taking. The flight to Ireland is easy because I only have to deal with one airline. However, on the way back home, I will be on three flights in one day. I think..... On the day I arrive home, I will be taking a few days to get re-adjusted to our timezone. O.o Ireland is 5 hours ahead of us. Therefore, I will be leaving Dublin at noon and arriving back in the United States at 3pm. Now, that's going to be one heck of a day for me. haha

Time travel! 

BTW... Time travel is possible!! :D By taking a flight!

Technically.. You can fly around the world and go back in time a day. ;) Oh, the conversations that Christopher James Stewart and I have. :) That conversation actually made me think of Doctor Who and all of his time traveling. :) It's not such a futuristic thing, I guess. ;) haha

Well, I must get back to packing and getting everything around for my trip! I will try to write tomorrow as well! I can write a post on my phone, and as soon as I get somewhere that has wifi, I can post! :D I will probably be sleeping for at least a portion of the car ride tomorrow. We are leaving early.. Well, at 6am. That's early for me. :) haha 

Anyway, I shall get back to packing and shenanigans! Feel free to comment on my posts at any time! I really would love for people to comment! :D I will be posting picture on here as well periodically in my posts! Keep checking back to figure out how I am doing!! :D 

Here comes all of the hard work now! 

Thank you for reading!!

~Reyna Lee

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Less Than Two Weeks

Less than a week!!

There is less than a week left until I depart for the amazing country that I call my home. While away, I have decided that it would be best to attempt to trace my roots and find out who my ancestors are. It should be very interesting in my In Search of Irish Roots course. I am supposed to learn a lot about researching lineage. Things like that will be able to assist me in my career path as an Anthropologist, which is exciting for me! 

I began packing today, which I should have been doing a long time ago. It gets so crazy if you put it off for too long. I have been going through my paper work today and getting everything together for documents that I need for my carry-on bag. There are a lot more documents than you would think that have to go into your carry-on. That reminds me, I still have to decide which bag I want to use as my carry-on. I was thinking about maybe using my backpack. It would be convenient to carry.. which is funny because it is a "carry-on." All puns intended. :) haha 

Anyway, if or when people read this blog and have any questions along the way about how I am feeling... If I didn't cover that enough in what I have already written in different posts... I would be delighted to actually talk to anyone who is thinking that they might be interested in a study abroad experience down the road or sooner rather than later. 

It is definitely an experience already, and I haven't even left the country yet. 

I have begun to believe that sleep is actually a thing, and actual people need it... During school, my friends and I always joked about not knowing what sleep is because we simply did not get enough of it because of one reason or another. It is also important to get enough sleep before departure and/or traveling anywhere for that matter. I've been studying up from my USAC Student Handbook and other paperwork about studying abroad. :)

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

Thank you to all who read!

~ Reyna

Monday, June 10, 2013



The anticipation about going somewhere I have never been and being to travel for the first time in my life out of the country is making me extremely excited and nervous. I am excited because this is a chance of a lifetime, but I am nervous because this is something that I wouldn't normally do. Making a spur of the moment decision to travel abroad to study things that I have no previous knowledge about, which reminds me, I really should look at some readings about the history of Ireland before I leave. Before I leave...... That is in two weeks! Two weeks from this day! Two weeks from tomorrow I will be on my first plane ride ever. That in itself makes me a wee bit nervous. O.o

I don't know if I am just ranting now or what, but...

Anyway, I have been trying to get myself very organized for this trip, because it is always easier for everyone if you are organized. I began keeping up with my planner during my last semester at Michigan Tech in the Spring, and I figured that it would be to my advantage to keep one before, during, and after my travels. It has kept me pretty organized thus far this Summer. At the moment, I am putting my departure and arrival flight times in my planner so that I can keep them straight. I gave my mom the phone numbers for the flight companies as well so that she could contact them to see about any potential flight delays or other complications. I am hoping that there will be no complications, but it never hurts to be prepared. :)

Lately, I have been a bit bored, so I have just decided, in this very moment, that I will try to learn some Irish Gaelic before I leave for Ireland. I also need to check up on a couple of my books that I was supposed to get before I leave. It's been difficult for me to track down one of those particular books, but I am going to see if I can get it online as an ebook through NOOK. I like having all of my books on my tablet. :)

Anyway, I am off to check on that book as well as try to learn a wee bit of elementary Gaelic. :)

As always,

Thank you for reading my blog!


Sunday, June 9, 2013

The countdown begins!


Here, we begin the countdown until I leave for Ireland. 15 days. Only 15 days until I leave to head to Washington D.C. to catch my flight out to Dublin, Ireland. Isn't that crazy?!?!

So many things go into planning a trip like this. You have to make sure to get a passport far in advance. As well, if the country that you are going to requires a Visa as well, you have to apply for one of those too. Along with a passport and Visa, it is extremely important to get your finances planned out in advance. You want to make sure that you will have enough funds to keep yourself fed and comfortable. There is a lot of paperwork that goes with travelling abroad as well, which takes time to get around. I would suggest beginning to plan travels about a year in advance so that you give yourself enough time to get everything around. 

With only two weeks left, I am sure most people would have already begun packing, but I am waiting for one last thing to come in the mail before beginning to pack. I ordered an outlet converter and adapter for Europe. After that arrives, I will be packing like crazy trying to figure out what things to take to Ireland. 

Thanks for reading my blog!


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Passport/ 2 Months until Departure


I received a phone call from my mother a while ago saying that my passport is now at my home downstate! :D That's very exciting! I was concerned that I would not get my passport in time, but I applied for it on National Passport day, which just so happened to be during Michigan Tech's spring break. I think I was just lucky at that point. Anyway, I have also checked into needing a Visa, but I do not because I will only be in Ireland for 6 weeks. I am kind of glad I did not need a Visa, that's just one less step.

2 Months

Only a couple of more months before I head out, and I am getting really excited! I am also getting nervous though. I have never been on a plane before, and I do not know what to expect. People keep telling me about their experiences on planes, but that does not necessarily mean that I will have the same experiences. I just hope that everything goes well. I am thinking about talking to the other girl that is going on the trip who goes to Michigan State University to see if she's excited yet. I have talked with her once, and she seems pretty cool. Other than us two, there is no one else from Michigan going on this trip.

I will post more later, I am about to go to my class at the moment. I just wanted to post a short update so that people are still aware that I am doing this blog. Once my trip grows nearer, I will be posting more often. I will post again soon!

As always, thank you for reading!


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Information about my trip


I just thought I would post a quick little introduction to this blog. I have another blog, but I wanted one specifically for my trip to Ireland this Summer 2013. I definitely cannot wait! I'm sure you are all anxious to hear about my travels as well! So... This is where I will be posting my blogs while in Ireland. I plan to keep you all updated about every moment of my travels. That way, I can not only let you all know about the amazing country of Ireland, but also record memories for myself as well. I will be posting pictures and travel plans periodically before, during, and after my trip.

I hope you all consider visiting this page regularly to see what I am up to!

I will let you know about some of the details of my trip in the next post!

Thanks for taking the time to check in,