“I went on the Bilingual Connection trips to Achill twice, in the springs of 2011 and 2012. As a staff member (I was a Youth Assistant), I remember being blown away by the people I was working with in Achill. Incredibly accomplished and skilled professionals, I immediately felt at ease on the trips.
Achill Island is a beautiful world where man meets nature in its most raw form. The groups got immediate and wonderful exposure to it, from biking to hiking, surfing to gorge exploring. I remember going on a particularly stunning hike along the ridge of some mountains/hills, and, in the middle of a conversation with a participant, suddenly stopping and appreciating the beauty of what surrounded us. On some of our field trips, we got to explore even more of the Irish landscape, going to natural reserves or even descending into caves. However something that I appreciated even more on these trips was how quickly we were immersed into and accepted by Irish culture. Our host families were warm and affectionate, but we also got to visit local Irish schools, do Irish dances (“ceilis”), hear Irish music, play tin pipes, and much more.
All in all these trips were a great moment for me to learn about and appreciate a different culture, while getting to explore one of the most incredible landscapes out there, in great company.”