2019 Northern Ireland RIOT 4 Update 6
Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019
From Thursday, July 11th, from Meg and Lisa McDonald, a mother and daughter from Indiana on the team:
Today, we set out on an adventure to Castlewellen Forest Park where we raced through the Peace Maze. Though a little frustrating to find the end, it was so worth it as the view we eventually came upon was one of the most beautiful views of this trip so far. This added to our list of “thin places”.
After Richie pulled us from the breathtaking view we started on a 3 mile “wee dander”, or little walk, through the forest. It was on this walk that we witnessed some more beautiful views, including castles and lakes, and the Annesley Garden where we got to see 10 different trees from around the world including the giant Redwoods from California!
All of this walking stirred up a wee bit of hunger, so Richie took us to the best fish and chips place in Northern Ireland. It was a meal we will always remember.
Our next stop was the lighthouse @ St. John’s Bay. Ritchie warned us about the danger on the rocks then told us to go have fun & that we did! Climbing on the rocks along the Atlantic Ocean was both a challenge & an inspiring achievement. Here we we got to spend 10 minutes in total silence praying, listening & soaking in all of God’s creation.
After another fun filled night at RIOT, our group got to witness a part of Northern Ireland’s history- the 11th night bonfire. The bonfire is a tradition celebrating the Northern Irish victory of the Protestant faith over Catholicism during Battle of the Boyne in 1689. As the Catholic Irish flag burned on top of the 40ft flames, it was an eye opening experience to witness the hatred between the people of both religions that we have been talking about all week.