When you think of rural Ireland, you likely think of rolling, verdant hills, sheep, and rock walls. And you wouldn’t be far from the truth! We live in a stunningly beautiful, rugged area of the country that is home to an unimaginable combination of rocks, hills, bog land, mountains and shoreline. Just a quick glance out the windows of our house gives us a view of at least one of those things. And it is breathtaking. The natural beauty of this place is unequaled.
However, in these quaint mental pictures, you likely don’t see the modern conveniences, hip clothing, and drag-racing cars filled with young lads eager to test their metal. On any given Friday night, in any given Irish town or village, you will see those rock walls laden with groups of teenagers with nothing better to do than sit there and hang out, drink, talk, etc.
With rural life comes…well…rural life. Most young people (teens) don’t have their own transportation, as the legal driving age is 18. With public transport being extremely not-affordable (ex. a bus trip to the city can cost up to $10 one way) the teens are left with very little to do.
Underage drinking, drugs, promiscuity, and general mischief-making are on the rise as these kids strive to make some kind of mark on the world.
Most villages have implemented Youth Clubs to help provide safe, fun places for the teenagers to hang out. They provide work-skills training, games, disco dances, all fully supervised and alcohol free. Many of these clubs receive some kind of funding from the government, but if you know anything about the global economy these days….those funds are drying up fast. Many of these clubs are forced to try to raise funds for themselves.
Hubs and I have helped out the Youth Club in our own village since we arrived here (although, it has drastically dwindled since the Man Cub’s arrival). Well, the Youth Club that services two villages down the road from us needs help. Their youth club needs a place to meet, and they are in the process of building it. However, they have fallen vastly short on the finances.
I am so excited, and honored, to be taking part in a super fun way to help this Youth Club raise some much needed funds to give the teens in the area a safe place to hang out.
I will be participating in a Strictly Come Dancing competition!
If you’re not familiar with the TV show by the same name, its similar to Dancing With the Stars, only there’s no celebrities and each couple is comprised of two non-professional dancers. A friend of ours has been participating from the start, and when his partner had to unfortunately drop out of the event, I was given the opportunity to step in and help out!
Each couple will compete in two dances. Myself and my super awesome dance partner, Richard, will be performing a waltz and a ’50’s swing/jive. The entire group – 12 couples – will be participating in 2 group dance numbers: a cha-cha and a Gospel-style routine.
The couple who receives the most votes wins, and the proceeds go straight to the Youth Club!
***The Competition is this Sunday, May 6! Stay tuned for a full report of the night!***