Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Thulie's first week in Ireland

I received this trip to Ireland as a surprise from Bishop Ellinah and Us in Ireland. At first I didn’t have much time to think about it because it was more of a short notice as I was supposed to have an international passport and a visa.
Had a safe trip from Swaziland to Johannesburg, from Johannesburg to Abu Dhabi, and Abu Dhabi to Dublin.
Then – magic.
The moment I saw Ireland’s lush green landscape from the airplane’s window, I sensed I was entering a world that was unlike anything I had experienced before. When I walked outside the airport and the sea breeze hit me; I was enchanted. It’s raining almost every day and cold even though they say it’s their spring for me it’s the coldest winter I have ever experienced.  I arrived on Tuesday and it’s now a week since I came, and for me to survive the three months I have left everything behind me and let Ireland sink into every pore of my being. 
My first stay was in Dublin at a Theological College where I spent two nights. Then went to Mohill on a Thursday and I also spent two nights. Mohill is a very quiet place mostly owned by farmers and stayed at Jan and Linda’s house, Inis d’ór. Then on Saturday I went to Northern Ireland where I will spend the rest of my stay. I was welcomed by All Saints rector Revd Malcolm Ferry who was really nice to me. My first night was at Mervyn and Rhona’s house then on Sunday I went to church at All Saints. Later on that day I moved to my house at the All Saints centre which is attached to the parish office.
Ireland engages every one of the human senses unlike no other. The landscapes, the food, the drink, the people, and the mystical energy of Ireland has created a festival for all of my senses and will keep me enraptured for the rest of my stay and life. This is a learning curve that I never could have imagined.
On the 1 April I went to one of the primary schools for a school assembly and it was really amazing and the children are fed from morning, break, lunch and some with dinner. I could say like in a five star hotel.  
Church in Ireland is like their second home they do all sorts of activities you can ever think of and have a lot of fundraising strategies with very little money. Activities engage everyone from two weeks old to the eldest and it’s funny to see gogos dancing.  Children are a priority, they have a safe guarding policy which is not only meant for the children but also the people in charge like the priests and teachers.
I was not expecting what I found in Ireland. I have seen with my eyes the most beautiful things on Earth. I could go blind today and have memories to satisfy me for the rest of my life.
The people are as mesmerizing to me as the perfect landscapes. The absence of arrogance in the Irish people left me falling in love with everyone I spoke with. The open hearts, the transparency, the pure intentions; at first I thought it foreign and odd. Then it dawned on me that this is the way humans are meant to treat each other. This is how God intends us to love one another.Looking forward to learning more that I can bring home with me.