Everyone I spoke with warned me to bring rain gear for this trip. "All four seasons in one day" is a popular way to put it. I even bought special hiking boots to wear for all the mucking about I anticipated. The pair of shoes I threw in for the heck of it were my TEVA sandals. So what shoes have I worn every day? And why?
My TEVAs. Because it's been in the 70s or 80s every single day. Most days haven't had a cloud in the sky. I've yet to see Ireland in the rain. As a result I don't really think I'm in a foreign country; we're just in South Carolina with a different accent. Today we went 'downtown' to photograph the town square and the bridge over the river. With my Tevas I just tromped into the shallow water to take a photo from the middle.
The first place we visited here in Ireland was Bantry. It's down in the Southwest of Ireland, County Cork. The town we were in has lots of tourists come through but the pastor is a cattle farmer and was a gentle, contemplative man. I didn't get to milk any cows. Sigh. The pastor raises them for beef, so the calfs drink all the milk. He has over an hour a day dealing with the cattle and I think it gives him lots of time to think. He was well prepared to do the website. We did visit his brother in law who does milk the cows. But I'll tell you, the look the heifer on the end gave me persuaded me that milking a cow might have been a fatal mistake!
While there I found out that Irish butter is bright yellow due to the bright green grass. I'd honestly assumed they were dying it (as they do in the States)!
Now we've come up to Listowel (pronounced Listool) in County Kerry. The pastor here is a man of action and he'd rather be doing than talking. Part of designing a web site is to draw out of people who they are and how best to reflect the organization. He was more resistant to the process than anyone I've ever met! It's like he couldn't see the value of it. He just wants me to cut and paste him a website from other churches. Yet he and his wife have built a church from the ground up. All the members of the church used to be Catholic. Most of them have paid a fairly high price for leaving the Catholic church. Part of the challenge for the pastor and his family is that they've had no role models except Americans and Brits. I'm trying to convince him of the need for them to write their own copy and really own this site. We only have 3 days here and we really need 2 weeks just with him and his church.
I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed with the pace we're trying to keep up. I'm still trying to finish up the Bantry site while taking in their site. I may sit out the next one and let my girl, K, show the third pastor how to do his own website.
We've truly experienced Irish hospitality. Every single night we've had dinner with a different family. In the midst of wanting to get work done we're also being encouraged to rest and spend time with people. It certainly reflects the skewed values that Americans have in terms of work. It's just now I know that two weeks is barely enough time for two websites, certainly not three.
So, I'm off to another dinner full of fresh butter, fresh cream, fresh scones, and lots of meat. I warned Jrex to expect a very fat wife waddling out of the airport! Thank God for the tea.