As I got off the coach bus, a community full of life struck my eyes: Cloughjordan’s eco village. Community, the idea of sharing attitudes and interests in common, is the nature of Ireland. As travelers we are a community coming together with the Irish community to learn, grow, and educate ourselves through the resources the individuals use. The eco village is made up of over 100 people who all know each other and strive to make Ireland as a whole a better community every day. On their website it states, “In order to build our community’s resilience and adaptability we will need to nurture relationships with stakeholders at the local, regional, national and international level and innovate.” Therefore, not only is the community in the eco village supporting relationships with Ireland, but other places around the world.
During our three day stay, I recognized the community in the eco village as well as the town. In the village, Johanna, our chef, instantly became part of the community through adapting to the lifestyle and resources they use. I was shocked at how close and friendly the people who live there are. I believe Ireland is the way it is because of the community it has developed over the years through many different things. On my journey, something struck my ears in a lovely tone: music. The theme of music has followed us throughout the entire trip as a part of the Irish community. Folk, polka, and jigs are played in the bars and for many people in the community to gather and sing and dance.
Life is inspirational by the groups of people who come together to make it this way. It is easier to form powerful communities in a place with not a lot of people. I’ve learned that Ireland is a small country where the lifestyle is friendly and is this way because of the small communities in each county/town. The eco village as the first stop was a great introduction to understanding the community in Ireland. For example, in Cloughjordan I recognized all of the children in the community were playing basketball outside and engaging with each other. Not a lot of children play outside anymore, but they do in the eco village because of the strong community that was formed there involving their parents raising them. Stronger communities form from children bonding at a young age and growing as a community as they get older.
Johanna, our chef, in the Bandana with other members of the Eco Village “Community”. The bottom photo is Bruce who takes care of the farm.