Ireland has been beautiful and amazing, but it hasn’t always been quite this idyllic. Today we left Galway and headed north to Donegal – still in the Republic of Ireland – where I was excited to find this statue…
My Gram’s name was Rua, and we never quite knew the origin, except that it was a name that had been passed down in the family. In Gaelic, Rua means “red” and apparently it was used as part of a name, so maybe that’s where our Rua came from! There was also the ruins of an abbey dating from 1474.
In the afternoon, we arrived in Derry – Londonderry and met a local guide for a walking tour. Now, when I was a kid, I wouldn’t have dreamed I would ever visit Northern Ireland or this city. You can read more about the Troubles here, because I don’t really want to get into all that. This city is beautiful now, but it has seen some violent days.
Our guide was Ronan McNamara, who is of Chinese and Irish descent and Buddhist religion. If you ever get to Derry, I highly recommend taking a tour with him, as he provides a unique local perspective in an incredibly intelligent and eloquent manner. His tour was incredible and emotional and truly helped us gain a deeper understanding of the dynamic here.
What I learned is that hatred and discrimination come in many shapes and sizes. Peace is a tentative thing. This is a gorgeous city, but less than 20 years ago, people here lived in fear. Spread love, not hate, my friends.