By: Jenna Gilder
On Saint Patrick’s Day weekend I went with a group of FIE students to Causey Farm. We left early in the morning on an hour-long bus ride. Once we made it to the farm, we were immediately welcomed in by the kind owner and her many sheepherding dogs. The first activity we participated in was bread making. We made traditional soda bread that we later enjoyed eating with our lunch. The eggs we used came from the hens on the farm. After making the bread we were introduced to all of the farm animals including lambs, goats, and pigs. We were also able to hold puppies that were only 6 days old.
One of my favorite parts of the day was when we were able to play the traditional Irish instrument called the bodhrán. This Irish drum is made out of wood and goatskin. The drum can be bought in many different sizes and the larger ones were used as war drums. I also saw this instrument being played in an Irish play we went to at the Abbey Theater called Sive. After playing the bodhrán, we learned a traditional Irish court dance. Although the dance was difficult to learn since it is usually taught with more people, it was a very fun experience.
After dancing and playing music, we ate our packed lunch in the main house before taking a tractor ride. We ended the day learning how to play “hurling” which is a very difficult sport to learn. The GAA states that hurling is thought to be the oldest type of field sport. Hurling has been played for over 2000 years. One way that hurling is unique is that a player is allowed to hit the ball with their stick when it is on the ground or in the air. Hurling, like other sports, can result in physical injuries, so while playing it we wore helmets that protected our heads as well as our faces. I really loved my day at the farm and I hope that I can return some day in the future.