Derry: The City That Never Sleeps

Trip Start Oct 15, 2013
Trip End Jan 09, 2014

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What I did
Peadar O'Donnells Derry
Read my review - 5/5 stars
Sandino's Cafe Bar Derry
Read my review - 4/5 stars

Flag of United Kingdom  , Northern Ireland,
Saturday, October 19, 2013

If you've never been to Derry~Londonderry, a quaint but thriving small city in Northern Ireland, you are in need. The past two nights have started out with Megan, our two new friends and I heading out to bars recommended by friends we made at the Theatre of Witness shows. Both nights, they didn't show but we had an amazing time.

Our first night was at Peadar O'Donnells, a traditional bar where I had my first Guinness.  We had a pint with our new friends from Swarthmore, Sara and Lauren, AND our new friends from Zimbabwe, Loyd and Everson. There was a good bit of traditional Irish music and outstanding conversation. We talked about educational structure, politics, the whole nine yards. Loyd and Everson are both applying for refugee status in the UK, hence their inclusion in Theatre of Witness's show "Sanctuary". It explores the stories of people who have sought refuge in various locales; they come from all over, mostly from Northern Ireland but two from Zimbabwe and one incredible woman from Somalia. Maryama has been a guiding light of inspiration over the past few days.

We talked about the process that led to this most recent Theatre of Witness production. Teya Sepinuck, the Artistic Director, leads a group of six individuals through interviews, conversations and rehearsals to create an original production. Previously rooted only in the Troubles and Northern Ireland, the most recent production has branched out. There is a common thread among all of these people, and their closeness is apparent in their work on stage. Also working with the company are some infinitely interesting individuals, including a woman from Spain who now lives a nomadic life with her partner, working in theatre for the oppressed. That is the LIFE, my friends.

After some bonding time at Peadar's (which we have since learned is the hottest pub in town), we set off for the Peace Bridge. We found the infamous Wall, marking Derry as the only remaining completely walled city in Europe. We had a beautiful view, which I'll post as soon as I get the rest of my pictures. It felt like we were really living, if you'll pardon the awful cliché.

The next night was pretty similar, meeting an Irishman and his sister, along with her boyfriend. Sara and I tore up the dance floor, catching a great deal of attention and making even more friends along the way. We met one boy who hadn't left Derry much who was headed to Oregon, and one of his friends who nervously asked for dancing lessons. Everyone were constantly entertaining, and we grabbed some pizza with our earlier friends afterwards. Sitting on the steps of the cathedral, it was clear the sense of vigor and energy that pervades the mindset of the Irish youth. We met an old man who shared a few jokes and eventually made our way home.

Gotta run, we have another show tonight and I still need to shower! Thankfully, our playhouse is just down the road. Sending lots of love and I PROMISE next entry will have pictures!!!!

Sending so much love from Derry, Northern Ireland :)
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