Saturday, April 9, 2011

Settlers of Catan

I feel like I could write a book just about today... but don't fret. I'll keep this brief and try to sum it all up. This morning we invited women that we had met in church over for breakfast. A few of the girls made an amazing brunch and we all sat down and chatted with almost a dozen Irish women. We had prepared a list of questions so that we could get to know them better. Those ranged from "Where is your favorite place to shop?" to "What do you wish you would have known when you were my age?" The idea is, we wanted to learn more about their lives, but also glean some wisdom from older women who have had more life experience. The whole event was grand! Everyone loved it.
Brunch went on for an hour and half, not wrapping up til noon. From there, 6 of us booked it into town to catch the 12:30 DART to Howth. After an hour and a half, we arrived in a cute seaport village. The whole place was hoppin! I didn't realize this was such a popular place to go. But we soon learned why. We did a couple hour hike around the town. It was beautiful! The scenery is absolutely fantastic! Probably one of the top 5 hikes we have done so far. (And yes, we have done more than 5.)
We didn't get back from Howth until dinner time. After supper, we went over to Monte and Gwen's house (our pastor/professor and his wife). We were there for four hours playing a board game called Settlers of Catan. I had never heard of it until this trip and never played it until tonight. But I have to say, it is now one of my favorites! It is way too complicated to explain, but know, if you've never played before you should! At first, I was a bit overwhelmed because there were so many rules! Thankfully we played a couple of games so I could get the hang of it.
We split into two groups and played two separate games since we had brought one and Monty and Gwen own their own. Our first game, Gwen won from our group and Gueb from the other one. So we all switched around for the second game. The first and second place winners playing at one table and the losers at the other table. I must confess, I was at the loser's table. But hey! It was my first time ever! Things were not looking any better the second game. After about an hour, the other three people had 8 or 9 points and I had 4. But then within three turns I had built a couple cities, created the largest army, and picked up a Victory Point (I'm sorry if that didn't make any sense.). In doing so, I reached 10 points and won the game! Everyone, myself included, was shocked! Beginners luck. That's all I can say.
So why do I tell you this? To brag and boost my self-esteem? Well, maybe a little. I'm the winner of the losers! Woopee! But no, seriously. It's more because this is the stuff I will remember about Ireland. Yes we have gone to some beautiful places and learned so much in class about their history and culture. But there are things that you can't learn in the classroom. When I look back on my three months here, what I will remember most is the friendships I have made. Those are way more important than trying to make sure I get an "A" in Hiking Class or Irish History. Kinda sentimental, I know. But what can I say? Occasionally, it happens.

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