Ag dul siar ar na seachtainí – Update of the last few weeks

Haighea a chairde,

Tharla neart rudaí suimiúla sna seachtainí a chuaigh thart. Chuaigh muid go Féile Píobaireachta William Kennedy in Ard Mhacha an deireadh seachtaine seo caite, agus píosa craic iontach a bhí ann! I dteannta ard-liosta na múinteoirí (Brian Macnamara, Mick O’Brien, agus Tiarnán Ó Duinchinn), bhí ceol ar dóigh thart fán chathair álainn i rith na deireadh seachtaine. In éindí leis na múinteoirí thuas, bhí Ronan Browne, Jarlath Henderson, Mikie Smyth, Conor Lavalle, agus Caoimhín Ó Fearghail i láthair, mar phíobairí, agus neart ceoltoirí eile. Bhain muid an-sult as an seans a bheith ag seinm ceoil arís (agus sos beag a ghlacadh ón staidéar!), go háirithe leis na daoine uaisle seo agus na mic léinn eile ag an fhéile. Go raibh míle maith agaibh, a achan duine a bhí ann!

Roimhe sin, bhí cúpla cuairteoir ag fanacht linn in árasán s’againne i nGaillimh. D’fhan cúpla cara dár gcuid ó Bhostún linn agus siad ag taistil thart, agus d’fhan fear as Couchsurfers.com linn ar feadh dhá oíche. Bhí David, an fear sin, iontach suimiúil mar tá sé ar an ordóg thart fán Eoraip le míonna agus fanann sé le hóstaigh Couchsurfer ar an bhealach iomlán. Cha chaitheann sé ach 10 euro achan lá, más féidir, agus cuireann sé teas i mo chroí a chluinstin go bhfuil an méid daoine sin ann a bhfuil muinín acu as an fhear seo agus gur féidir leo cuidiú a thabhairt dó gan chíosú ar bith. Chuir sé muinín agamsa as pobal an domhain, caithfidh mé ag rá, ach sílim nach mbeadh mé féin chomh cróga sin leis an eachtra sin a dhéanamh!

Cha dtearn muid rud ar bith don Lá Altaithe Déardaoin, ar an drochuair, ach bhí ócáid ghalánta ar siúl Dé hAoine ag OE Gaillimh le Fulbright. Bhuail na Fulbrighters agus alumni Fulbright i nGaillimh le chéile san Aula Maxima agus bhí dinnéar Altaithe iontach againn. Mar a tharlaíonn, bhí cúpla cara dár gcuid ansin fosta, ina measc an tOllamh Lillis Ó Laoire, an ceoltóir Tim Collins, agus an píobaire Jimmy O’Brien-Moran (níl mé ag rá nach gceoltóirí iad na píobairí… ach is aicme difriúil iad go hiomlán… :))! Cha raibh a fhios againn gur Fulbrighters uilig iad, agus bhí iontas mór orainn iad a fheiceáil ansin. Agus nuair a bhí a fhios ag na haíonna gur cheoltóirí muid, agus go raibh ár n-uirlisí linn, chuir siad ar an stáitse muid agus sheinn muid cúpla fonn… os comhar uachtarán na hOllscoile agus achan duine eile ansin! Amach as sin, bhí áthas an domhain orainn nuair a dúirt Lillis amhrán agus sheinn Jimmy cúpla fonn ar phíb uilleann Jonathan. Oíche bhreá a bhí ann, agus bhuail muid le neart daoine éirimiúla, suimiúla, agus tréitheacha a spreag mé.

Feictear domh go bhfuil mé i mbaol úrscéal beag a scríobh, dá bharr sin déanfaidh mé post eile le níos mó machnaimh ar na rudaí atá i mo chloigeann fá láthair. Go dtí sin… tchifidh mé ar ball sibh!

Amanda

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Hello everyone,

In the weeks past, a whole bunch of interesting things have happened. For starters, we went to the William Kennedy Piping Festival in Armagh last weekend, and it was great craic! Along with the fabulous list of piping teachers (Brian Macnamara, Mick O’Brien, and Tiarnán Ó Duinchinn), there was fantastic music happening all throughout the beautiful city over the weekend. With the teachers listed above, there was also Ronan Browne, Jarlath Henderson, Mikie Smyth, Conor Lavelle, and Caoimhín Ó Fearghail. We really enjoyed the chance to play some music again (and to take a short break from our studies!), especially with these wonderful people and the other students at the festival. Thanks to all who were there for making it such a great event!

Before that, we had a couple of visitors staying with us in our apartment in Galway. A couple of friends from Boston stayed with us while they were traveling, and a man from Couchsurfers stayed with us for 2 nights. David, the Couchsurfer, had a fascinating story as he has been hitchiking all over Europe for months and staying with Couchsurfer hosts the whole way. He spends less than 10 euro a day, if possible, and it warms my heart to hear that there are that many people who are trusting enough of this man that they are willing to offer him their help for no compensation whatsoever. It gave me confidence in the world’s people, I have to say, though I don’t think I’d be as brave as David to have that kind of adventure.

We didn’t do anything for Thanksgiving on Thursday itself, unfortunately, but we went to a lovely Fulbright Thanksgiving Dinner at the university on Friday. Fulbrighters currently in Ireland and Fulbright alumni met together along with several university and Fulbright officials in the Aula Maxima at the college and we had a gorgeous dinner and evening. As it so happens, there were a couple friends of ours there, including Lillis Ó Laoire (one of our professors), the musician Tim Collins, and the piper Jimmy O’Brien Moran from Waterford (I’m not stating that pipers are not musicians… merely that they are in a class all of their own. :)) We had no idea they would be at this occasion and were incredibly surprised to see them there. And then, once folks got wind that we were musicians and that we had our instruments with us (through a strange twist/lack of communication in which we thought there was to be music provided by the Tradsoc at the dinner…) we were asked to play and were put up on the stage to play a couple of tunes… in front of the president of the university and everybody else! Then, we were delighted when Lillis sang a song and Jimmy played a couple sets on Jonathan’s pipes. It was a great night and we met a great number of very interesting, intelligent, and inspiring people, thank you to the Fulbright commission for putting that together!

It appears I am writing a short novel, so I will write another post in a bit with a bit more reflection on some thoughts I’ve been having lately. Until then… see you in a bit!

All the best,

Amanda

Eachtraí an Fhómhair go dtí seo! – Fall adventures so far!

Is breá liom an Fómhar. 🙂 Bhí cúpla seachtain iontach againn ón uair seo caite a scríobh mé daoibh, agus seo duit cúpla rud a tharla ar na mallaibh:

Ceann de na laethanta saoire is fearr liom, Oíche Shamhna! Bhí oíche mhór againn in Árus na nGael. Mar is gnáth, níor chuir Jonathan culaith air, ach bhí mise gleasta suas mar Audrey Hepburn ón scannán Breakfast at Tiffany’s… bheinn sásta a bheith gleasta mar Audrey achan lá, ach níl mé chomh cróga sin. 🙂 Déanfaidh mé iarracht eile an bhliain seo chugainn… ní raibh mórán airgid ná ama agam an bhliain seo le culaith foirfe a chur le chéile, ach seo m’iarracht:

Bhí na brioscaí a rinne mé imithe roimh dheireadh na hoíche agus bhí an-spraoi ann.

I ndiaidh Oíche Shamhna, chuaigh muid go dtí an t-Oireachtas i Leitir Ceanainn! Da da da DA! Bhí sé go hálainn.. bhí muid ar ais i nDún na nGall arís, ní raibh focal Béarla le cluinstin ag na comórtais (comórtais ceoil, amhránaíocht, damhsa, díospoireachta, srl) agus bhí ceol agus damhsoireacht den scoth. D’amharc muid ar chúpla comórtas amhránaíochta (an príomhchomórtas Chorn Uí Riada san áireamh), díospoireacht beomhar fán fhéiniúlacht in Éirinn, comórtas píobaireachta, agus cúpla rud eile. Agus d’fhan muid lenár gcara Máire (atá ag freastal ar an chúrsa linn i nGaillimh) agus a teaghlach álainn. Dé Domhnaigh, chuaigh muid go Glenveagh National Park agus bhí muid ag siúil sna sléibhte. Seo cúpla pictiúr ón tráthnóna galánta sin:

Agus ar ndóigh, bhí nuacht iontach againn an 7ú lá nuair a bhuaigh Obama an toghchán i Meiriceá, yahoo! Agus, mar a tharlaíonn, is e an 7ú lá de mhí na Samhna mo bhreithlá… brontannas bhreithlá iontach a bhí ann! Agus bhí breithlá iontach agam ina dhiaidh sin, fosta, le lá deas agus dinnéar iontach ag Cava (bialann Spáinneach i nGaillimh). Agus nuair a bhí muid sa bhaile, chuir Jonathan téacs chuig Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí, ár laoch ar an raidió, agus dúirt Rónán ‘Breithlá Sona Duit, a Amanda’ ar a chlár! 🙂

Anois, tá muid sáinnithe san árasán ag déanamh oibre, agus tá go leor le déanamh againn! Le cuidiú Dé, beidh sé críochnaithe don Mháirt!

Ádh mór oraibh,

Amanda

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I love Autumn, this is such a fun time of year. 🙂 We’ve had a couple of lovely weeks here since the last time I wrote to you properly, and here’s a couple of things that have happened recently:

One of the holidays I love the best, Halloween! We had a great night in Árus na nGael. As usual, Jonathan didn’t dress up at all, but I was dressed up as Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany’s… I would be very happy to be dressed as Audrey every day, but I’m not quite that brave. 🙂 I’ll make another attempt next year… I didn’t have much money or time to put together the perfect outfit, but here’s how it came out:

The cookies I made were all gone before the night was through and we had loads of fun.

After Halloween, we went to the Oireachtas in Letterkenny! Da da da DA! It was wonderful… we were back in Donegal again, we hardly heard a single word of English at the competitions (music, singing, dancing, debates, etc) and the music and dancing was top-class. We watched a couple of sean-nós singing competitions (including the main event, the Comórtas Corn Uí Riada), a lively debate about the identity of Ireland, a piping competition, and a couple of other things. And we stayed with our friend Máire (who is doing the MA with us in Galway) and her lovely family. On Sunday, we went to Glenveagh National Park and went hill-walking. Here’s a couple of pictures from that gorgeous evening:

And of course, there was wonderful news on the 7th when Obama won the election in America, yahoo!! And as it so happens, the 7th is my birthday… it was a fantastic birthday present! I had a lovely birthday in general, actually, a fine day and a lovely fancy dinner at Cava (a Spanish tapas restaurant in Galway). When we were home working during the day, sneaky Jonathan texted our radio hero Rónán Mac Aodha Bhuí, and Rónán shouted out a ‘Happy Birthday Amanda’ to me on the program! 🙂

Now I’m afraid we’re stuck in our apartment, noses buried in work. Well, right this minute we’re ready to go to bed, but we have loads of work to do! Hopefully it will all be finished for Tuesday.

All the best!

Amanda

Podchraoladh ó Raidió na Gaeltachta – Podcast from Radió na Gaeltachta

Haighea a chairde,

Seo é an podchraoladh ó Raidió na Gaeltachta, leis an agallamh a rinne muid faoi Chomhrá le Chéile. Sílim go bhfuil ort dul anseo:

http://www.rte.ie/podcasts/2012/pc/pod-v-27101254m22scruinneog-pid0-3262872_audio.mp3

Bainigí sult as, agus OBAMA ABÚ!!!!

Amanda

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Hey everybody,

Here’s the podcast from the Raidió na Gaeltachta interview we did about Comhrá le Chéile. I think all you have to do is go here:

http://www.rte.ie/podcasts/2012/pc/pod-v-27101254m22scruinneog-pid0-3262872_audio.mp3

Enjoy, and GO OBAMA!!!!

Amanda