It’s been about three weeks since I returned home to the U.S. from Ireland, and settled back into the rhythm of everyday life.
Many wonderful people made my walk, or pilgrimage, across the North of Ireland possible. I am grateful to each and every one of you for your support, and I am appreciative of the many kind notes I have received encouraging me along this important journey.
I like to first thank David Turner, Nina Mankin, and Rebecca Hart, three wonderful housemates who allowed me to stay in their homes at different periods of time between 2016 and the present as I began organizing walks across Massachusetts, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and most recently the North of Ireland.
Shortly after returning to Amherst from Memphis in April 2018, I read an announcement in the Amherst Bulletin submitted by the Amherst Irish Association for their annual Margaret Maher Essay Competition. Excited by the idea of connecting my Civil Rights walk across the South with another in Northern Ireland I spent a day clicking away on my keyboard writing about my interests in Ireland. Six months later I was surprised when I was asked to read my essay as one of four finalists. I was humbled and blessed when the committee selected my essay as the winner, providing free round-trip air to Ireland as the prize.
Getting to Ireland required a lot of planning, and being an ENFP (Myers-Brigg Type Indicator) a lot of external organizing of my thoughts.
My heartfelt appreciation goes out to everyone who listened and offered advice as I planned my trip.
To all the people who live, work, and volunteer in the communities from Belfast to Derry – thank you for your kindness and support.
Sofia Ameen-McCabe, Gus & Valerie Martins, Frank & Carol Thompson, Cathy Johnston, Olivia Johnston, Haile & Tatiana Johnston, Keir Johnston, Linda Fernandez, Michael Richardson, Martha Richardson, Grete Viddal, Greg Jones & Arden Pierce, Bobby & Olivia Davis, Michael Moriarity, Íde O’Carroll, Leah Wing, Monte Belmonte, Cristina Cabrera, Pasang Norbu, Blake Walton, David Sokol, Seanachán ÓCinnéide, Jonathan Kennedy, Myriam Quinones, Carey Baker, Carol Bevan-Bogart, Tim Goodhind, Shemekia Cooper, Phyllis Cureton, BJ Hill, Keir Johnston, Jessica Payne, Steven Miller, Erika Zekos, Anne Griffin, Jylle Joyner, Susan Walton, Jessie Olson, Andra Rose, Theo Moore, Motoko Inoue, JimPowers, Elisha McCallion, MP Foyle, Paul & Bronagh Bryson,Beth Girshman, Deirdre Godfrey, John Mitchel McLaughlin, Pat, Chip Costello, Jaki O’Neill, and Christine Kinealy.