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Long Ago and Far Away
So I got an email a week or two ago asking me for permission to print a photo of me wearing the Shinrone Gown in a book on artifacts from County Offaly.  (YAY!)  She also asked for a high-res print-worthy version of the photo.  So I had to have a root through my box of photos from the move.  Needless to say, this led to finding loads of other photos, most notably the photos from my Irish summer back in 1996.

Long story short:  I took two semesters of Irish at University of Pennsylvania.  But my goal was to speak the language, and my prof was all about grammar, grammar, grammar.  Now I realise that she may have not been confident in her ability to speak the language because she wasn't a native speaker (or even Irish) and I dimly recall her being nervous about being interviewed in Irish by Radio na Gaeltachta.

Anyway, my goal was to speak the language in my home, to use it in my daily life.  So I planed a trip to Oideas Gael, an Irish language school for adults in the Donegal Gaeltacht (Irish-speaking area).  The programs were all one week long, but you could string multiple weeks together as needed.  I booked four weeks and then I was going to tour the West of Ireland with my (now X-)husband, Mike.

So I was in Gleann Cholm Cille (the village) in Donegal for the better part of four weeks on my own.  I made lots of friends who I wish I'd kept in contact with.  But after that trip, Mike and I got divorced and my life took a different direction.

Looking back at those photos, I miss those friends.  And I regret that I came back to Corporate America instead of applying to grad school in Ireland.

But... regrets are pointless.  And hopefully I'll be going back and taking Irish classes next summer.