Monday, January 15, 2007

Placement week in L/Derry

We arrived in L/Derry and met our host families on Saturday. Iona and I are living with a woman named Maureen about twenty minute's walk from campus. She's quite nice; has two daughters around my age and a fairly adorable dog named Angel. She also has a wireless router in the house, but it's snubbing Padma for some reason. If I can get them talking to each other, I'll have weekend and evening internet access. As it stands, weekdays only (via the library here at school).

Today was our first day at our placements. The Derry Playhouse is HUGE inside-- two side-by-side three-storey buildings that used to be a pair of schools. It turns out that their theatre is actually their smallest department. They run a veriety of cross-cultural youth programs and workshops designed to bring young people from both sides of the conflict together. They also have a creative writing group that meets on Wednesday nights, so I'm going to try to stop by and check it out. One of the members is apparantly an American expat who's friends with Nancy Polosi.

Most of what I was doing today was reading. They gave me a big stack of stuff to look through to familiarize myself with the playhouse and its programmes. Tomorrow I meet with the peace & reconciliation staff to hear about their projects and see if there's anything that I really want to be involved in. Overall, I think I'm going to really enjoy working there. It's a very laid-back office with a whole lot going on to get involved with. They're moving out of their buildings for a while so that they can be rennovated-- they won some kind of huge BBC historic buildings competition and got a bunch of grant money from it-- but not until after I leave.

The play they'll be putting on while I'm here is called 'Heroes With Their Hands in the Air.' It's about Bloody Sunday (one of the biggest events during the Troubles) and the investigations into it. I haven't seen the script or anything yet, but from the descriptions, it looks like it's going to be formatted sort of like The Laramie Project.

I took some pictures of the city, murals, and graffiti today, but Padma and I need to have at them before I can put them up. Hopefully, the wireless here at the library will like her better than the wireless at home; I haven't tried yet.

The city continues to charm me. I know that's probably the whole 'honeymoon phase' of cultural displacement, but I plan to enjoy it while it lasts. Peace to all, and I hope things are going well.

1 comment:

Ron said...

Let's see. A peace-oriented group moving out of its historic building to allow renovation to occur. Where have I seen this theme before? Hehehe.