Tuesday, June 19, 2018


Yesterday, as we were walking around in Donegal Town, we saw a sign pointing to a famine graveyard, so we turned down the lane next to the school and found it. It was a sobering moment of reflection, especially as we were in Donegal Town primarily to buy food to stock our freezer.

I am not sure where the circular flower bed mentioned in the round plaque is--there was a spot in a different part of the field where there was a tree growing and some flowers planted around it. Perhaps that was it. In any case, the generosity and care given by the Choctaw is well remembered here. The famines and the experience of being colonized are not far below the cultural surface and you can see how that cultural history still impacts the culture today. Since we've been in Ireland, and I've started to notice such things, I have become interested in how the cultural histories and stories here and in the US differ and how those things shape the ways people view their countries and their societies today. I'd not considered how much the fact of being formerly colonized would still resonate today and I started to see much more clearly how the experience of being the colonizer impacts how USians continue to see their country. It's also interesting and useful to consider that, while the last famine was not that long ago here, and Ireland as an independent nation is also fairly recent, both serve as a reminder that no empire lasts forever. They rise and they fall. Always.

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