When I took my first Irish Literature course Freshman Year, I had no idea as to how much it would affect my course of study and to the degree it would influence me as a person. This past week, I have lived and learned in one of the most beautiful places I have been in my life – the small town of Gleann Cholm Cille in Co. Donegal. When the bus I was on pulled into the town I could not believe the beauty that surrounded me (and therefore the lack of buildings I have grown accustomed to growing up in Southern California). It was truly breath-taking. I spent the first couple of days in town meeting locals, exploring some of the town and its spectacular views, and making myself familiar with my new home for the next couple weeks.
I was nervous to begin classes on Monday because I had been out of practice with speaking the Irish language since school had ended. To my relief though, after the first day of being immersed in the language and working through some of the vocabulary I had forgotten, I was able to relax a little and truly enjoy learning Irish again. It is incredible being surrounded by people all day who have such a great and particular interest in common and really are here to learn this beautiful language. I could hardly believe it when I walked into the shops, restaurants, and even the Church and heard the Irish language being used outside of an academic environment. I am so excited to continue learning Irish here and cannot wait to see what the next three weeks have in store.