Kangaroos, not native to Ireland. Minus a few in the Dublin Zoo they have absolutely no presence in Ireland, but what you can find in Kangaroo meat. Let me tell you something kangaroos are delicious as they are cute. You may be thinking that its terrible, they are like an exotic animal why would you eat such a creature. Well I’ll give you quite a few reasons! For one it produces far less biological waste than cows do while also causing less damage to the ground. All though they are a protected species there exists such a large population of them and they reproduce so quickly that they are regarded as a pest in Australia. All this aside they are an extremely healthy meat. It contains far fewer calories and fat (<2%) then similar farmed animals such as cows. It has very good protein, omega-3s, and B vitamins. Next time you have the chance I highly suggest you try some kangaroo meat.
As some of you may have noticed I am falling behind on my blogs. I get so invested in a single blog that I end up working on it for 3 or 4 hours and never get to the other one I need to do. So in an attempt to catch up these next few blogs will be a little bit shorter, I hope…
So today (a few days ago now) we started by visiting Queen’s University Belfast. This beautiful college was initially built in response to the construction of Trinity College Dublin. It was planned as a nondenominational alternative to Trinity college, and to this day contains an eclectic unbiased mix of religious and cultural backgrounds. Its Alumni are also regarded as having contributed a great amount to this world across all fields. I have a friend who attended QUB on a study abroad last year and she absolutely loved it and attested to the fact that it is a wonderful university.
From here we trekked across the entirety of Belfast to the Titanic Museum. Let me tell you, if the Guinness Factory was the Willie Wonka factory of Beers, then this Museum was the Willie Wonka factory of…well the Titanic I guess. I wasn’t able to take photos today due to issues I have been having throughout the trip but suffice to say this place was amazing.
Architecturally its brilliantly designed. Each one of the corners is set to the angle of the prow of the Titanic. After entering it and looking around it seems so tiny, like it should just be a short little stroll through the exhibits. We spent three four hours wandering around the halls and could have spent so much more time in there. They have completely re imagined what it means to be a museum and how to educate. The use of technology in the exhibits was far from gimmicky as it seems to be in most museums. Instead it was perfectly integrated to create a powerful learning experience that was enjoyable and quite interesting.
From their use of full room interactive projection screens to a dark trolley ride through the construction of the hull of the Titanic, it was a nonstop enjoyable experience. All nine of the gallery’s were deeply engaging. I could go on and on about the use of technology and how amazing this museum is, but why not spread some of this knowledge that I learned on to you? One of the exhibits I personally enjoyed was the map of the routes that each person of the titanic would have to take. An officer just sticking around the top deck without ever having to travel to any other part of the ship. On the opposite end of the spectrum was one of the most tiring jobs, the 1st class stewardess. She would be housed in the lower decks, run out to treat passages in the upper decks and have all the necessary to treat the passages located in the middle decks. Her days were spent running up and down back and forth across the entire ship.
As for the actual tragedy of the Titanic there is not much to tell in this post. The exhibit housed numerous personal accounts of sacrifice and loss that took place during those last few harrowing hours. These stories tugged at my heart-strings, and I felt the twang of loss and empathy for those on board. My words would do no justice to the ghostly words of those who survived. One thing I can say is that it truly was women and children first. I always knew this was the case for the Titanic but I really wanted to see the statistics of the amount of women vs men who survived the icy depths. Only 16% of the men who boarded the Titanic would ever see land again, whereas 72% of women survived. Of course we can’t forget the children, in which 50% perished.
Seeing these numbers in front of me combined with the personal accounts really made me realize the scale of the Titanic disaster. Before today it had been nothing more than a great tragedy which had inspired a movie I had seen as a child. Yet I feel like movies such as these are essential for our generation to understand the lives of those before us. The movie Titanic never resonated the true feeling of tragedy and loss of the actual event, it only gave a glimpse of it. But this raised awareness triggers to desire to seek out more knowledge and a better understanding of this history. The same can be said for the Irish troubles and this entire Irish trip. Sitting behind a desk back in Denver learning about the history of Ireland was interesting and all but it all seemed very distant. Only by engaging directly with the material, from first and second-hand sources was I able to truly start empathizing and understanding. As the days go on, I begin to see deeper and deeper into the soul of this amazing people and the rich history that they bear.
*While walking back from the museum we passed through a food fare in which I had an amazing kangaroo burger, hence the opening paragraph. Seriously though, eat one! ”