Monday, June 24, 2013

Completed Project Photos!

Site sketch by Corey August

A quick sketch of our site during a lunch break by Corey August...

A lad that I will never forget by Eric Hofmann

Finishing the rest of our project and enjoying the final days staying on the island of Inishturk, I have learned a great amount about the culture of the island, the construction of our project, and the people of the island.  On this trip, we met an amazing lad named Gus, who helped us out onsite with our project. Gus became more than just a co-worker on the site...he became a "true lad" in my life. Working with Gus every day from morning to dusk whether it was raining or getting attacked by our little gnat friends, was an amazing experience.  He brought life and laughter to the site every single day making everyone of us feel at home.  Even when he wanted his "little elves" for an extra hand on site brought smiles to all of our faces.

Getting to know Gus and even his kids was great.  Days after work on the site having a few pints together talking about life made the experience of the gathering and being on Inishturk so much better.

I am truly going to miss him and remember all of the moments we all had with him. But it's not's see you later, my lad.


Bogland by Seamus Heaney

Heaney is one of the local names of Inishturk, etched on our glass panels commemorating the families of the island.  Seamus Heaney, Laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature may be a relation...

for T. P. Flanagan

We have no prairies
To slice a big sun at evening--
Everywhere the eye concedes to
Encrouching horizon,

Is wooed into the cyclops' eye
Of a tarn. Our unfenced country
Is bog that keeps crusting
Between the sights of the sun.

They've taken the skeleton
Of the Great Irish Elk
Out of the peat, set it up
An astounding crate full of air.

Butter sunk under
More than a hundred years
Was recovered salty and white.
The ground itself is kind, black butter

Melting and opening underfoot,
Missing its last definition
By millions of years.
They'll never dig coal here,

Only the waterlogged trunks
Of great firs, soft as pulp.
Our pioneers keep striking
Inwards and downwards,

Every layer they strip
Seems camped on before.
The bogholes might be Atlantic seepage.
The wet centre is bottomless. 

Laura Bartram

What is your favorite thing about Inishturk?
Every color in Inishturk is vivid. PINK SKY at nightfall and DARK GREEN hills and all the lovely greys of rock and sheep and usually sky. Oh, and every yellow flower--I learned that the yellow flag irises are here called daffodils. Isn't that nice?  I think my other favorite thing has to be the walk to the site (which we are now done doing at 7:45AM!).  I don't encounter hills like that very much in my life in the States. You have to think this walk makes you feel alive, and the pain it brings is an even greater reminder of how fragile it is on an island like this.

What would be one distinguishing characteristic of the Irish people that you've met?The Irish people I've met are all very resourceful, which I think comes from their willingness to teach and share and to learn over and over. I see this in all the construction workers who've helped our novice hands shim rocks into place, or teach us Irish slang (perhaps I should say shlang?), or even the poet at the Inishturk pub who let Tara and I read his poems. Sharing without an expectation of expertise. But they are also incredibly mischievous, in a way I do not always understand. A glimmer of the eyes.

Most surprising thing you've experienced?  Finishing the project in nine days! And the winds!

Favorite food so far?Lamb from Inishturk. You can taste that these lambs had a great life. And obviously, BANOFFEE.

Words to evoke the five senses of Inishturk.  Sight, smell, taste, sound, touch.sixth sense?  SIGHT: hewn ROCKS with even striations across the whole island, yellow flowers, dogs runnin' wild.  SMELL: moss, salt spray, seaweed, the oaty musk of Guinness and the slight twinge of sheep defecation.  SOUND: wind boxing my ears, the generator running, dancing Irish voices, the folk music at the pub, and the crashing exhales of the ocean.  TOUCH: the texture of the inside of my work gloves.  SIXTH SENSE: banshees on the walk back from the pub.

How will you see stones differently from now on?  With a little resentment to my own mind for presuming that all stones form a wall.

If you had to pack all over again, what would your bring more of and less of?  I packed the perfect amount. No more, no less.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Day 9 of Construction (Wednesday, June 19)

A few last finishing touches remain, and we're DONE!!

More Day 8 Photos...

Here's more from Day 8:  sodding day!

Laura Bartram

Larry Oleniak

Tara Davis

Corey Manno

Jessica Burns

Corin Capodilupo

Corey August

Joe O'Toole

Graham Rice

Gus O'Toole

Eric Hofmann

Jessica Burns

Samantha Giangiuli and Laura Bartram

Janell,Sam,and Laura