Thursday, 11 May 2017

Day 3
Catching up 

As the days go by, the busy-ness and intensity of the week often get in the way of actually sitting down to write each day. Plus, getting a consistent internet connection is sometimes a challenge on the cliffs of Ballycastle. I often find myself writing backwards, trying to catch up on several days. 

Monday morning was spent at the Corrymeela Belfast Office, first with Sean Pettis, who works with teachers and educators, and then Padraig O’Tuama, leader of the Corrymeela Community. Sean talked about his work with an organization called “Facing History and Ourselves” (, an international organization that empowers teachers and students to think critically about history and to understand the impact of their choices. Padraig, storyteller, poet and theologian, (pictured below with the group) talked to us about ways he has worked with young people to explore their own spirituality and their relationship with Jesus.

In between, Paul took us on a walking tour of “The Holy Land”, so named because after returning from the Holy Land in the Middle East, original inhabitants named the streets “Jerusalem”, “Cairo”, “Damascus” … He told stories of his own experiences from when he and his family lived there, as well as stories that reflected the specific character of the people, businesses and social gathering spaces of the area.

We arrived at the Corrymeela Peace and Reconciliation Centre mid-afternoon. Since I was last here in 2014, there is a new polytunnel (below) which now provides many of the fresh veggies and greens in the huge salad bar that appears at the mid-day and evening meals here. For those of us feeling a bit “starched out” already from some aspects of the Irish cuisine, it was a welcome sight. The posted sign tells us the harvests of the day.

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