Global Education Experience in Ireland
25 February 2012
“Give thanks to the Lord with harps, sing to him with stringed instruments” – Ps.33.:2
As we landed at the Dublin Airport we could experience the cool breeze welcoming us to their beautiful country. Sr. Teresa Walsh and Sr. Jennie Clifford received us with a warm bright smile. We thanked God for the amazing day, for the vast lush green landscape, the azure sky and all of the natural beauty which had a touch of the Almighty, as we drove to the Croke Park Hotel, Dublin. We were taken by the awesome trees which stood barren being winter, adding to the scenic beauty of Ireland. We refreshed ourselves and went around the city of Dublin. The buildings in the city stood as a witness of the past. The cleanliness spoke about the civic sense of the Irish people. The gentle cool breeze and the unpolluted fresh air filled our hearts with immense joy and happiness, as we took a quick glance of the historical places in Dublin.
26th January, 2012 dawned with great expectation as we were looking forward to the long-awaited Worldwise Forum. With great enthusiasm we stepped to the day to fulfill the purpose of our visit. To our surprise, the whole team was waiting for our arrival as we were the guests of the day. We felt so honoured and privileged to meet the teachers and the students from the various schools in Ireland under one roof. It was an exhilarating experience interacting with the students who were involved in the GEE Project. We shared our experience and even exchanged ideas to strengthen our relationship. Ms. Mary Robinson, the first Woman President of Ireland sent us a welcome message , as she was unable to attend the Worldwise Forum. At the end of the day, we were honoured with bouquet of flowers. In the evening we reached Ballingarry after a two–hour drive.
On 27th January, 2012, the staff and students of Presentation Secondary School, Ballingarry, warmly welcomed us and Sr. Jeyarani placed a lighted candle in the lantern as a symbol of spreading the light of knowledge. We felt delighted to meet all the teachers and students. We spent the whole day in the school. We went around to the classrooms and interacted with all the students. They were very eager to meet us and to know more about India - Religion, caste, culture...
Along with the students of First Year we set out to Ballygriffin – the birthplace of Nano as a one-day picnic. We had great fun travelling with the kids. It was a unique experience. We saw the Nagle Mountains and the Blackwater which still speak of Nano and her good works. We felt gifted to set foot on the soil where Nano walked.
We also visited Cork along with Sr. Jennie Clifford and Sr. Teresa Walsh. We walked through the lanes which Nano traced holding the lantern aloft enlightening the minds of young children and caring for the poor and the needy. We then visited the tomb of Nano in the South Presentation Convent, Douglas Street (Cove Lane). As we stood near her grave we recalled all the good works of the daring woman of God – NANO. We knelt down and prayed for her blessings. We felt God’s presence there. Some of her belongings like Rosary, cap, walking stick, relics, copy of her letters, photos are very carefully preserved by the Sisters. We felt blessed to see these.
We visited the Sisters in the various convents. The Sisters were waiting at the door to receive us. Most of them were very old. They were thrilled to see us. We felt an exhilarating nip in the air, which set our sensations on edge. We had a short but enjoyable conversation with the Sisters. We left them with a heavy heart.
We wish to thank Sr. Teresa Walsh, Ms. Angela Cahill, Mr. Gerald, Mrs. Margaret Murphy, Mrs. Helena Bourke, Mr. Brian Moran and all the teachers who worked very hard for our delightful trip. We extend our sincere thanks for taking us sightseeing to some beautiful places like Bunratty Castle and Folk Museum, Mitchelstown cave, the cheese–making factory, the War House, Coolmore Stud and Tuohy’s farm.
Different country, different climate, different people, different culture, different food, yet we would say we felt completely at home. Hats off to your hospitality!
Grateful thanks to all the people who have worked behind the scenes to make this trip a memorable one for us.
We echo the words of Nano as we write our spirit with Nano’s and say
“ For I can assure you my schools are beginning to be of service to great many parts of the world – this is a place of sure trade - they are heard of and my views are not for one object alone. If I could be of any service in savings souls in any part of the globe, I would willingly do all in my power.”
We promise we will do our best to strengthen our relationship and keep the fire glowing through the GEE Project.
[Sr.Jeyarani, Mrs. Romila Fernando, Mr. Clement Rosario]