June 2006 Reflection

Hmmm. Now that I’ve already discussed the London IKEA, gym mirrors, and the benefits of surfing in Portugal, I might be out of discussion topics. Nevertheless, I have devised a plan for this journal entry. Here’s how it’s going to go:

I will choose discussion topics using the following methods:
1) turn on the television and note the first thing I see
2) note the topic of the first article of the third page of a newspaper
3) will have my aunt (who I am currently visiting in Germany) pick a random topic

I will then try and relate these three topics back to Ireland in some way…possibly even back to Irish-American relations. I will close with a quick update on my life, since I can only write so much about random stuff.


Television Result: Gorbachev
Some program about Russian history is on, and your man Mikhail was the first to show up on the screen. Honestly, nothing comes to mind when I think about Gorbachev and Ireland, so I had to google it. Here’s what I found out. (1) Gorbachev was the first Russian head of state to visit Ireland. Apparently he stopped for two hours on his way to Cuba. (2) There also appears to be some kind of connection between Gorbachev and Bono. Either they were both at the United Nations together or Mikhail showed up at Bono’s doorstep with a four-foot teddy bear…can’t be sure if either is true.

Newspaper Result: “Bar Beppo Ist Jetzt Identifiziert”

Beppo is the name of a bear that is running around loose in Bavaria, Germany. Apparently the plan was to shoot Beppo, but lots of people wrote the local newspapers to complain. So, now they are just keeping a close eye on Beppo as he continues to make the newspaper day after day. In this particular article, it was explained that authorities now believe Beppo is Italian and was part of a dysfunctional bear family. Supposedly, this explains why he may have run away to Germany. Not sure that there is a great connection with Ireland here, but the thought occurred to me that Beppo could catch a train to France and take a ferry over to Ireland (I think there is a direct ferry). With somewhat limited zoological resources at hand, I can’t seem to figure out if Ireland has bears…Beppo could be one of only a few. I’m guessing the Dublin Zoo probably has a couple. On the topic of bears and Ireland, it is worth noting is that there was abused circus bear incident in Ireland with a bear named Molly (the source here is sketchy at best).

Aunt Result: Mediation
Yeah, not as exciting as roaming bears or Irish-Russian history, but, nevertheless, the topic my aunt gave me. I probably could have made something up and nobody would have noticed, but this would have reflected poorly on my integrity. Anyways, the deal with mediation is that it is used to solve conflicts between groups of people. My aunt had to take a class, so that she can mediate between her co-workers. I guess these sorts of techniques have probably been used between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. I think that is more Carrie, Ben, and Geoff’s area than mine. Not much mediation in the fire service because decisions have to be made quick. Switching topics back to the more exciting Beppo the bear, my aunt just told me that Beppo is short for Joseph and that her boss at work also goes by Beppo.

Okay, so enough fun with random topics. Here is the deal with me. Things with the Dublin Fire Brigade are going great. I’ve been working on some ambulance response time projects and hitting the streets with the advanced paramedic unit. My Fire Safety Practice program at Trinity is almost done with my last test coming up in about a week. SCUBA club and catamaran sailing are still a blast, especially now that its starting to warm up a bit. This month, I’m going to fly back to the States for about three weeks. After that, I’m back in Ireland working for the DFB and hopefully enjoying some good Irish summer weather. I will finish off the Mitchell experience by spending four months in Africa on my USIT stipend starting at the end of July.

I think we have one final journal entry left, so if you want to get a more serious summary of my year, keep a look out for that one. In the meantime, I hope you enjoyed my ten minutes of random thoughts. Later on.

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