June 26, 2015
Hey, my name is Ashley and I am from Memphis, Michigan. I am currently attending University Michigan studying anthropology. When asked why I came to the Blackfriary site I honestly don’t have as clear an answer as other students here. It was really on a whim I decided to come. I was looking for a field school through my university and I found that one of our professors had a link to a site which led me to the IFR website. I didn’t realize that there were so many more options than the dig he was doing through IFR. I began to surf the site and the Blackfriary site really stuck out to me. I’m really into bioarchaeology and from what I read and saw it seemed that there was a likelihood that burials would be excavated. I’ve also always wanted to go to Ireland so this opportunity looked perfect for me. At this point in my education I am trying to figure out if archaeology is the career path I want to pursue. I love all aspects of anthropology but I always had a bigger interest in archaeology and I really hope this experience will help me figure out if it’s the right career for me.
So far my experience has been really great. Everyone here is really nice. I’m not a very social person so I was a little concerned about talking to people and getting to know everyone. The group of student I came with has been really friendly, we haven’t stopped talking to each other since we all met that first day. Before I left I felt like this experience was very scary and nerve wracking (this was my first time out of the North America). I worried about everything from figuring out transportation to wondering what my homestay family would be like. Now that I have arrived and met everyone I feel much better. My homestay family is great! My house mom keeps me really well fed (I think I eat better here than I do back at school!). I’m really looking forward to the community aspect of this experience. I think it’s really cool that you are in the center of this community here and the local people recognize what we are doing. It’s really cool walking to site in the morning and having members of the local community smile at you and say encouraging words or ask you about the site and what you do. I have already loved the feeling of living here in Trim and feeling like I am part of a community. Even if I came here and decided that archaeology wasn’t for me, I would still treasure this experience.