An Cháisc / Easter

Haighea a chairde,

Beannachtaí na Cásca oraibh!

Ní cheiliúrann muid an Cháisc de ghnáth sa bhaile, taobh amuigh den seans a ghlacadh chun seacláid a ithe! Mar a shamhlódh sibh, áfach, is mór an ócáid í an Cháisc anseo in Éirinn. Bhí an t-ádh orainn traidisiún áitiúil iontach a fheiceáil Dé hAoine (‘Good Friday’ i mBéarla ach dar liom luíonn an leagan Gaeilge, ‘Aoine an Chéasta,’ le ciall i bhfad níos mó) nuair a tugadh cuireadh dúinn dul ar shiúlóid sna sléibhte i gConamara, agus páirt a ghlacadh in oilithreacht go tobar ar shliabh amháin, ina mbeadh ‘Turas na Croise’ agus páidreacha ar siúl. Arís, ní daoine reiligiúnacha muid, agus bhí muid beagán neirbhíseach fá dtaobh de mar sin, ach ba iontach an taithí é! Bhí scaifte mór ar an sliabh (500 duine, déarfainn!), agus bhí an tseirbhís uilig i nGaeilge. Bhí daoine áitiúla ag labhairt as Gaeilge, daoine ón chathair ag labhairt i mBéarla, agus eachtrannaí mar muidne ann, fosta. Bhain muid an-sult as an taithí agus tá áthas orm go raibh an deis sin againn.

Níl muid ag déanamh mórán inniu, ach thug mé fá deara gur tháinig Coinín na Cásca i rith na hoíche agus d’fhág sé roinnt uibheacha seacláide insan chuisneoir! Aisteach ar fad… níl cuma ródheas orthu, ach is féidir liom a rá le cinnteacht go bhfuil siad blasta go leor. 🙂

Go raibh lá/deireadh seachtaine deas agaibh!

Amanda

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Prontannas ó Chóinín na Cásca

Prontannas ó Chóinín na Cásca

 

Hello friends,

We don’t really celebrate Easter back home, aside from using it as an excuse to eat chocolate! As you may imagine, however, it’s a pretty big occasion here in Ireland. We were very lucky and had the chance to witness a wonderful local tradition when we were invited to go on a walk and take part in the annual pilgrimage on Friday (‘Good Friday’ in English, but I think the Irish version, which translates to ‘Friday of the Torture,’ makes much more sense with the lore of the day), into the hills of Connemara to a holy well, to see the ‘Journey of the Cross’ and prayers on the hillside. Again, we’re not religious people, and thus were a bit nervous about this, but it was such a wonderful experience! There was a huge number of people all gathered on the hillside in this somewhat remote area of Connemara (maybe 500 people!), and the service was completely in Irish. There were locals speaking Irish, folks from the city speaking English, and even some other foreigners like us there. We really enjoyed this beautiful experience and I’m very glad we had that opportunity.
We’re not doing much today, but we were pleased to discover that the Easter Bunny snuck into our fridge last night and left some chocolate eggs in there! They don’t look too great but I can attest to the fact that they taste lovely. 🙂

Hope you all have a lovely day and weekend!

Amanda

Ár gcara Alex ag damhsa / Our friend Alex dancing

A chairde,

Bhí mé ag iarraidh an físeán beag seo a roinnt libh fosta: is é seo ár gcara Alex Mac Donald, scoláire Fulbright eile agus damhsoir iontach, ag comhdháil Fulbright  i mBerlin, sa Ghearmáin le damhsoir Flamenco… tá sé ar dóigh!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7VQi9ePRn4&feature=youtu.be

Le meas,

Amanda

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Hello folks,

Just wanted to share this video with you of our friend and fellow Fulbrighter, Alex MacDonald. He’s a fabulous tap-dancer and here he’s performing with a Flamenco dancer at a Fulbright conference in Berlin, Germany… it’s brilliant!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f7VQi9ePRn4&feature=youtu.be

All the best,

Amanda

Mar eolas daoibh: Gaeltacht summer awards!

A chairde,

Má tá suim agaibh sa deis seo, mholfainn go mór daoibh cur isteach air:

If anybody is interested in this opportunity, I would strongly recommend that they apply!

GRANTS AVAILABLE FOR US IRISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS TO STUDY IN IRELAND

The Gaeltacht Summer Awards are Now Open for Applications

Please share this email widely with your friends and colleagues who are Irish language learners in the U.S.!

Due April 30th, 2013.

What are the Gaeltacht Summer Awards?

It is an opportunity for Irish Language Learners in the U.S. to spend two to six weeks studying Irish in the Gaeltacht.

The grants are sponsored by the Department of Arts, Heritage, & Gaeltacht Affairs, the National Lottery of Ireland, and the Ireland-United States Commission for Educational Exchange.

What does this grant offer?

The grants are available to U.S. citizens or naturalized U.S. citizens currently living in the U.S. to study Irish language in the Gaeltacht.

The grant includes tuition and room and board, as well as registration on the course. Successful applicants must pay their own travel and living costs.

Please note that this is not a Fulbright Award, but a grant from the Ireland-United States Commission for Educational Exchange.

Who can apply?

Applicants must be:

– U.S. citizens or naturalized U.S. citizens currently living in the U.S.

– Enrolled in Irish language courses in the U.S. and have completed at least one year or Irish language instruction or teaching the Irish language in the U.S. for more than one year.

– Be able to participate in the program in its entirety (two to six weeks in the Gaeltacht).

Preference will be given to applicants who:

– Are currently enrolled on a for-credit course in a recognized U.S. higher education institution as part of their undergraduate or postgraduate studies.

– Have not participated on a Gaeltacht course in Ireland before.

How to Apply

– Confirm you are eligible.

– Email awards@fulbright.ie for an application and reference forms.

– Submit full application by deadline of April 30th, 2013, consisting of application form (all applicants), scanned copy of transcript (student applicants only), CV/resumé (teacher applicants only), and all references must be submitted directly from the referee by the closing deadline (all applicants).

 

 

Le dea-ghuí,

Amanda

Alt suimiúil daoibh / Here’s an interesting article for yas

A chairde,

Chonaic muid an t-alt seo ar an idirlíon inniu: http://prgaeilge.blogspot.ie/2013/03/6-counties-offensive-term-raidio-na.html

Caithfidh muid uilig a bheith thar a bheith cúramach leis an méid a deir muid sa lá atá inniu ann, nach ea? Níor mhaith le haon duine a bheith maslach, leoga, ach ar bhealach amháin, is féidir le daoine a bheith beagán… cigilteach leis na rudaí seo, i mo thuairim féin. Cad is dóigh libhse?

Le meas,

Amanda

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Hello friends,

We saw this interesting article online today: http://prgaeilge.blogspot.ie/2013/03/6-counties-offensive-term-raidio-na.html

We always have to be so careful with what we say these days, don’t we? Nobody wants to be rude or offensive, of course, but then, people can be awfully touchy about these things, in my humble opinion. What do you all think?

All the best,

Amanda

Lá Fhéile Phádraig Sona Daoibh! / Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

A chairde,

Go raibh Lá Fhéile Phádraig deas agaibh! Caithfidh muidne an lá ag teach ár gcara Máire Ní Ghrada, i gCluain Lára, Contae an Chláir, le roinnt ceoil agus craic! Tá beagán bróin orainn nach bhfeicfidh muid an siúl mór a bheas sa chathair inniu, ach is beag an brón atá orainn nach bhfeicfidh muid an tubaiste a bheas ann leis an ól anocht!

Mo leiscéal nár chuir mé aon rud air seo ar feadh píosa… ag deireadh an tseimeastair, tá neart le déanamh againn. Tá sé doiligh a creidbheáil gur deireadh an tseimeastair é, nach bhfuil? Níl ach seachtain go leith fágtha againn de na ranganna, ansin beidh aistí le scríobh againn faoin 19ú de mhí Aibreáin, scrúdú mór an 13ú de mhí Bealtaine, agus ar ndóigh, an tráchtas! Tá orainn toiseacht air sin anois, agus cé go gcuireann sé brú orainn, tá suim againn sna hábhair agus tá muid ag súil le taighde a dhéanamh orthu.

Bhí an-am againn i bPáras, Lucsamburg, agus an Bheilg. Ní raibh an aimsir ródheas (bhí sé ag cur sneachta i bPáras agus bhí sé iontach fuar), ach ba chuma linn! Chaith muid trí lá agus trí oíche i bPáras, ag turasóireacht. D’fhan muid le leanúin iontach, Marie-Noelle agus Rodney, i lár na cathrach, a d’aimsigh muid fríd Couchsurfers.org. Bhain muid an-sult as an chathair agus bhí sé go hiontach scéalta agus ceol álainn a roinnt le M agus R. Chuaigh muid chuig ceolchoirm le Marie-Noelle agus a cara, agus bhí an ceol ar dóigh acu… seo a suíomh idirlín: http://marienom.wix.com/ilovewow#!sound/c1t44. Mholfainn daoibh bheith ag éisteacht leis!

Ansin go Lucsamburg linn, agus thosaigh an comhdháil Fulbright. Cé go raibh muid iontach gnóthach agus ní fhaca mé mórán de Lucsamburg nó an Bhruiséil (mar bhí mé sáinnithe i léachtaí agus cuir i láthair Powerpoint i rith na laethanta), bhain mé an-sult as an chomhdháil agus ba dheis iontach é foghlaim fán Aontas Eorpach agus cad é a dhéanann siad! Bhuail muid le taidhleoirí, le baill an Chuairte Chirte, an Coimisiún Eorpach, agus NATO. D’fhoghlaim mé féin an t-uafás faoi na heagraíochtaí sin agus tá an-áthas orm go raibh an seans sin agam ó Fulbright.

Nuair a bhí mise ag an chomhdháil, bhí Jonathan ag spaisteoireacht thart fá na cathracha, ag glacadh grianghraif, ag dul go hiarsmalanna, agus araile. Bhí sé go hiontach go raibh muid ábalta fanacht lenár gcara Pádraig sa Bhruiséil – Gaeilgeoir agus Fulbright eile ar bhuail muid leis i Massachusetts. Bhí sé millteanach maith leis an mhéid cuidiú a thug sé dúinn agus muid ag ullmhú do Theastas Eorpach na Gaeilge (scrúdú cáilíochta a bhí orainn dul faoi chun teacht anseo) anuraidh. Tá post ag Pádraig anois mar aistritheoir na Gaeilge ag an Aontas Eorpach, agus bhí sé go hiontach e a fheiceáil arís ina bhaile nua.

Rud a rith liom nuair a bhí muid sna tíortha sin ná an méid ilchultúrthais/ilteangachais atá sna cathracha sin. De ghnáth, bíonn dhá nó trí theanga ag achan duine, feictear domh, agus tá neart cleachtaidh acu bheith ina gcónaí le daoine ó thíortha eile. B’fhéidir go bhfuil sé mar sin go háirithe sna ceantair gnó mar Lucsamburg agus an Bhruiséil, ach chuaigh sé i bhfeidhm go mór orm, agus ba bhreá liom gné an ilchultúrthais sin i mo shaol féin, cibé rud a dhéanaim go gairmiúil sa tódhchaí.

Anois, caithfidh muid an bóthar a bhualadh. Cuirfidh muid pictiúirí ar fáil go luath ach anois, slán agus beannacht daoibh!

Amanda

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Dear friends,

May you all have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day! We are going to spend the day at our friend Máire Ní Ghrada’s house in Cloonlara, County Claire, for some tunes and craic! We’re a little sorry we won’t see the parade today in the city, but we’re not all that sorry we’ll miss the disastrous drinking fest that will take place here later!

I’m sorry I haven’t written here for a while… since it’s the end of the semester (already!), we have loads to do. It’s hard to believe that it is the end of the spring semester, isn’t it? We only have a week and a half left of classes, and then we’ll need to write 2 essays by April 19th, we’ll take an exam on May 13th, and of course will be working on our theses! We have to start on that now, actually, and although it’s extra work and pressure we’re interested in our topics and are looking forward to doing research on them.

We had a brilliant time in Paris, Luxembourg and Belgium. The weather was all that nice (it was actually snowing and VERY cold in Paris), but we didn’t care! We spent 3 days and 3 nights in Paris, touring around. We stayed with a lovely couple, Marie-Noelle and Rodney, who we met through Couchsurfers.org. We really enjoyed sharing stories and music with them (they’re both fabulous musicians), and really enjoyed the city, too. We had the chance to go to one of Marie-Noelle’s concerts and listen to her beautiful music… here is her website: http://marienom.wix.com/ilovewow#!sound/c1t44. I suggest you all listen to her stuff!

Then we went to Luxembourg, and the Fulbright seminar began. Although we were very busy and I didn’t end up seeing too much of Luxembourg and Brussels (since we were stuck inside attending lectures and powerpoint presentations all day), I really enjoyed the seminar and it was an amazing opportunity to learn about the European Union and what they do! We met ambassadors, members of the Court of Justice, the European Commission and NATO, and I learned a great amount about these organizations. I’m so grateful and pleased that I was given this opportunity by Fulbright.

While I was at the conference, Jonathan was wandering around and touring the cities, taking photos, going to museums, etc. It was wonderful because we got to stay with a friend of ours, Pádraig, in Brussels – Pádraig is another Irish language speaker who we met in Massachusetts. He was instrumental in our preparation for the Teastas Eorpach na Gaeilge exam (which we had to take to gain acceptance into this program) last year. He now has a job as an Irish language translator in the European Union, and it was wonderful to see him again and see his new life and new home.

Something that occurred to me as we were visiting these various countries was the great deal of multiculturalism/multilingualism that exists in them. Usually, somebody would speak 2 or 3 languages, it seems, and they would all have a great deal of experience with people from other countries and other backgrounds. Perhaps it’s particularly so in cities like Luxembourg and Brussels, with the business of the European Union settled there, but it really made an impression on me and I’d love to find some way to incorporate that multiculturalism into my own life, whatever I end up doing for work in the future.

Well, we have to hit the road. We’ll soon make photos available of our journeys, but for now, slán agus beannacht!

Amanda

Fogra beag / Small announcement

A chairde,

Tá áthas orainn fogra beag a dhéanamh daoibh: tá ár suíomh idirlín, ‘Comhrá le Chéile,’ beo! D’fhéadfadh sibh é a fheiceáil anseo: http://www.comhralecheile.net. Níl sé 100% críochnaithe go fóill, agus tá taighde agus obair le déanamh againn chun na comhráite iad féin a chur i bhfeidhm (tá cúrsaí teicneolaíochta, srl i gceist), ach tá fáilte is fiche romhaibh clárú, páirt a ghlacadh sa chlár plé, agus amharc ar na achmhainní atá ansin d’fhoghlaimeoirí. Má tá aon mholtaí agaibh, tá fáilte romhaibh iad a thabhairt dúinn, cinnte!

Beidh mé ar ais gan mhoill, chun cuntas a thabhairt faoin turas Fulbright go Páras, Lucsamburg agus an Bhruiséil! Anois, caithfidh mé cur i láthair a chur le chéile ar an Ghaeilge Theilinn don rang Canúineolaíochta.

Le meas,

Amanda

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Dear friends,

We are happy to make a small announcement to you all: our website, ‘Comhrá le Chéile,’ is live! You can see it here: www.comhralecheile.net. It isn’t 100% finished yet, and we still have research and work to do on getting the actual online conversations running (mainly due to technology questions), but you are most welcome to register for future conversations, take part in the discussion forum, and look at the list of resources for learners. If you have any suggestions, you are very welcome to give them to us, of course!

I’ll write more soon, to give you all an account of our fabulous Fulbright trip to Paris, Luxembourg and Brussels! For now, I have to put together a presentation on the Irish of Teelin for our Dialectology class.

All the best,

Amanda