As our journey continues, travelling to Dublin, we stopped off for a toilet break at Applegreen which soon turned into a dance-off across the car park; car passengers versus the mini-bus passengers to a compilation of Ugandan songs and Ed Sheeran’s ‘Nancy Mulligan’ – the car dancers were the clear winners! The children found it very hard to hide their excitement when they saw the sea as we passed the docks, asking, ‘Sea, are you fine? The sea is fine.’ And asking when we are going to ‘Scottyland.’
The choir had a wonderful time in Dublin, visiting Auntie Gill’s home church and meeting her mum and dad. There was great excitement when we went to Powerscourt one morning. The children got to see the beautiful green mountain scenery and explore the waterfall. The boys and girls loved climbing on the rocks beside the river to get their photo taken, while Aunties and Uncles scrambled behind them trying to avoid getting wet! Out of 20 children, only one managed to fall and get a little wet and sat laughing at herself.
During our time in Ireland, the choir also got to experience a bit of farm life in Kilkenny. The children got to feed some lambs and hold rabbits. Some of the boys even got to herd some excitable goats which resulted in lots of laughs. We have some very keen photographers in the choir and when one of the boys was taking some beautiful pictures on an Aunties phone on top of a chicken pen, the phone disappeared into the field below with the deer. We had a lot of willing volunteers ready to scale the fence and enter the field! The farmer came and opened the gate and one super speedy boy ran in and grabbed the phone before the deer could blink – watch out Usain Bolt. The phone was recovered safely with a very interesting video on it, as it was on record the whole time. There was also a maze in the farm which the children (and chaperones) had great fun racing around and jumping out on each other.
We were headed back to Monaghan for St. Patrick’s Day where the choir were taking part in the parade on a float. Unfortunately, the weather was not on our side this time, but that didn’t stop us from having a great time singing and dancing. Everyone in Monaghan got a special treat from Uncle Scott with his unique performance.
Soon, we were back up in Northern Ireland, and off to the popular holiday destination of the North Coast. Our first stop in Portstewart was the play park by the sea. The children loved watching the waves over the rocks and playing in the sand. It was very windy and we did hear a few comments of ‘Auntie, this soil is disturbing my eyes, I cannot see.’ We also tried to venture out the Giants Causeway, but as soon as we stepped out of the car there was hailstone storm so there was a quick dash back into the car! And so, the choir have experienced the infamous four seasons in one day that often frequents Northern Ireland. After a quick change of plan, we all went to Morelli’s for an ice-cream, another must on the North Coast bucket list which couldn’t have delighted the kids any more.
We then also got the opportunity to visit the Jet Centre in Coleraine, where the children went bowling for the first time. They weren’t too sure what the game involved at first – one boy asked why we were going to throw watermelons because one of the bowling balls was green. They soon got the hang of it and ended up even beating some of the chaperones (naming no names Uncle Scott). We had a wonderful time up the North Coast and now we’re off on our next adventure! We hope to see you along the way!