Originally published 21 November 2012.
Sunday morning, my friend’s friend, Angela, swung by with a cab to pick us up for church. I knew Angela via my friend Andrea, who studied in Dublin last year. It was nice to finally meet in person! Meeting and worshipping with Christians in other countries and seeing their dedication is one of my favorite things about traveling, as well as one of the most encouraging things I can do!
Their worship service was very nice one. Some differences I noticed were that they only stood to pray, and they stood each time they prayed; and they sang in unison, not with harmony or in parts. Neither of these things is better or worse than any other service I’ve been to, just different! The sermon was on baptism, and the preacher hit on a few points I hadn’t heard in a while. The people there are a tremendous encouragement because their beliefs are so different from those of their families, friends, coworkers, and others around them. There are few, if any, “second generation” members—meaning that most everyone was converted on their own from their previous religion to the understanding they have today. I spoke with a few people afterward and got an idea of their perspective and experiences. Everyone was so friendly and really liked having visitors!
We caught a ride with one of the members back to our hotel—quite the wild ride full of laughs!—and off we went to explore Dublin one last time! We’d decided to split up for a few hours because we wanted to see different things, and then come back together to eat dinner. Matt explored some of the sights we didn’t get to the day before and took pictures all around, especially at Trinity College, and Cherie and I went to the National Leprechaun Museum!
Yes, the Leprechaun Museum. It sounds corny, and it was wonderfully so! I’d really wanted to go, but knew my companions may not be as interested. The museum is geared toward children for the most part, but I was really interested in the legends and the stories. Our guide was a fabulous storyteller! The first room is full of written accounts of Leprechauns and scenes from movies pictured on the walls. There are also “artifacts” referring to Leprechauns from around the world–figurines, Lucky Charms (which they don’t sell in Ireland, I was told!), copies of stories of leprechauns, etc.
Apparently, Leprechauns were not all that prominent in Ireland for centuries. Most of the legends and such from Ireland are a bit dark and unhappy. Faeries are to be feared, the Banshee is out to bring death, giants are, well, gigantic and can squish you with one missed step! But the little Leprechaun, he’s a nice and right jolly fella! When Irish emigrants began spreading throughout the world, and especially in America, they didn’t want to put their homeland in a dark, scary, sinister light. They began to tell (and make up!) stories of the Leprechaun, which literally translates to “little person” in Gaelic. They are happy little folks, about 1/3 the size of a normal person! They are the designated shoemakers for the faeries, who loved to dance and would dance for hours on end–wearing out their shoes and always needing more!
Since the Leprechauns were so well-employed making shoes, they have lots of money–hence their pot o’ gold, which leprechauns actually kept buried in undisclosed places and not at the end of a rainbow.
We heard lots of stories and “facts” about faeries and giants and leprechauns (oh my!), so after that we decided it was time for a little rest! Cherie and I found a little coffee shop with wifi and just relaxed for a bit until it was time to meet Matt for supper!
We three finally found some great live Irish music in a pub called The Old Storehouse. I don’t think we could have found any place more authentic with better atmosphere!
After supper, it was time to say goodnight to Dublin one last time and go to the Hilton hotel next to the airport. We’d left our stuff with the front desk at the other hotel, so we took a cab there, picked it up, took the same cab to the other hotel, and checked ourselves in. Matt had the earliest flight, so he was already up and gone by the time Cherie and I got up about an hour later.
I had a new experience on this trip that I liked a lot and was very thankful for… we got to clear customs in Dublin instead of waiting till we got back to the States! =) That made for much easier connections later on! I finally got into DC around 6:15 pm Monday night and am gradually adjusting back to DC time!
Where to next? Stay tuned to find out!