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Jessica: An Cosain, Parliament and so many feelings

June 11, 2011

Pronounced On- Casahn, this is Irish for The Footpath. This place is in southwest Dublin in a place that has people in need of education and community services; this place has employed many women in the area and provided child care and education for many others at a fraction of the cost.

This place was started by two people who saw there was a need for all these things in the Tallaught West community. It seems like a simple idea but they actually did something about it. This place is truly a family–you have small intimate classes and start with short reflection time to get present/mindfulness with silence and song. Then you learn.

They have several different levels and programs- they have one for children, those for young mothers who couldn’t go on with their education, those for those going back to school, etc. They have gotten accreditation for many different programs to give these people a chance at a life. It’s really quite simple but so inspiring. It again, like Suffolk Lenadoon communities, reminds me of the value of one, the power of all. That it just takes ordinary people to push things in an extraordinary way–it could be anyone. So why not me?

What rules am I following that don’t exist? How do I box myself in? How can I make a vision a reality? How do I break things down? Who sees my vision with me and how can I deliberately go forward, creating a supportive network and environment to do so?

It’s so easy to fall in the trap of just ticking those tasks off your to-do list, to just get caught in the mundane and FORGET about your own to do list. I’ve forgotten about how to help myself succeed, how to get the most out of MY time. I just had to get a little reminder.

Saw most of Romeo and Juliet before we got so chilled to the bone that we had to leave. Whoops. I feel terrible because they were brilliant (and Romeo was so cute) but I would’ve died. Again let’s say there have been four days that have NOT rained.

The packing has started– it’s so crazy to know we’re going back so soon. So far 7 of us going in on my second bag. 

Yesterday we observed Dublin’s parliament–not surprisingly similar to the House at home, where men sit in a U shaped, stadium-style seating with individual booths and microphones where some higher-up presided over the conversation… where I also counted 7 people texting on their phones.

Also, I find that the higher up your title, the less direct your answers tend to be. AKA We’ve been asking questions that we don’t really get answered, just get talked about in circles.

We’ve been sharing our final presentations–a leadership analysis on someone we have encountered on this trip, their qualities, their success in this context and others, and comparing what our leadership qualities are in contrast. It’s been interesting to see who chose who and what their stories are. It tells me a lot about people’s perceptions about others and themselves.

We had a closing moment with telling the group what we’ve taken away from the trip. It was really touching to hear what people see as valuable and what people appreciated from the experience.

What I took away was pieces of everyone: being such a relational person, I believe very much in being shaped by the people we meet and the things we experience, so in essence, I learned a lesson from everyone on this trip. Believe me I’ve written them down in my journal. And they are things I will take with me forever.

Now, we’re all on the home stretch and starting the packing process. My suitcase is half full but somehow I’ll be cramming things into the thing near the end of the night. How did I end up with 6 glasses and 4 mugs? Beats me. But there are many things I’m excited for:

  • Chicken wings
  • Customer service
  • Being able to share little moments in my day with those close to me
  • Being able to text someone, “Where are you?” or “what’s the plan?”
  • Mowgli 🙂
  • Friends went unsaid
  • Dollar drinks. Anywhere.
  • Dollar bills – I’m tired of this dollar coin business
  • Being able to do my hair and not blow out my hair dryer
  • Having my own keys to my apartment
  • Flat walking paths
  • Toilets that flush nearly every time
  • Other songs besides Mr. Saxobeat, Give Me Tonight, California King Bed, and Judas
  • Mexican food
  • cute reunions
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