Mercy Leaders Reflection: Island Life

The Mercy Leaders take a boat trip to visit one of the Aran Islands.

As I’m sure everyone has said, Ireland is breathtaking. The pictures that each of us has taken to show our friends and family back home do not even show half of how beautiful Ireland truly is. Not only is the scenery breathtaking, but the history behind each town or city we have visited has been so interesting to learn about.

Today, we took a boat to one of the three Aran Islands. The boat ride took about an hour and the view while on the water was awesome. Once we arrived, we went on a tour of the island. 

This island was particularly interesting to me because of its size, it was the smallest and least developed of the three islands. There are only about 250 people living on the island. There is only one doctor, one nurse, one elementary school, and one high school. I asked the tour guide if everybody on the island knew each other and her response was: “Yes, we definitely all know each other. We are basically family.” This reminded me a lot of Carlow and the Carlow community!

On the island, we saw a lot of awesome things. First, we saw an underground church among a graveyard. Along our tour, we saw an ancient cargo shipwreck off of the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. Also, we walked to the highest point of the island where we saw a beautiful castle with a great view of the entire island. We ended the night eating dinner as a group at a nearby pub listening to traditional Irish music and laughing a whole lot together!

Overall, this trip has been amazing and I can’t wait to learn more about this beautiful country over the next week. The group traveling is creating extremely close bonds together, and I couldn’t imagine going with anybody else. I am especially thankful for Sister Sheila for all of her knowledge and making this trip possible! I realize more and more each day how blessed I am to have the opportunity to take this once-in-a-lifetime trip.

Read more from the pilgrimage.

View photos of Ireland from the Mercy Leaders.

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