Sendero Group Travel Blog

Follow Sendero travelers on their adventures using accessible GPS.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

 

Way Fun, Ireland/Scotland, last Day

Last Way Fun day, Scotland

“Don’t be daft” says the football announcer as he argues the Celtic game with a fan. I wasn’t unfortunately at this game in Glasgow but am listening on the radio instead here in my hotel room as I make preparations for our departure back home tomorrow.

Most of our group was in fact in Glasgow today. Another batch went into Edinburgh.

I spent most of the day with a film crew in Weymss who are doing a story about Richard Moore, a man blinded at age 10 by a stray bullet in Belfast. Richard is thinking about having an operation to restore his site as I did. We were comparing notes about the issues he might face. Like me, Richard agreed that it was the journey that interested him, not that he needed to have vision in order to be a complete person. I am speaking about the journey to explore the meaning of blindness, low vision and full vision.

Richard just flew in from Malawi where he was visiting one of the divisions of his foundation, Children In Crossfire. He still lives in Darry Northern Ireland and he travels the world from Africa to South America on behalf of his foundation.

We both expressed gratefulness for the lives we have been fortunate to lead in spite of the accidents that blinded us. How many people in the world have a good job, family and opportunity to travel like we do? Blind, that is “mice nuts” compared with the plight of children in developing countries facing daily violence, or even people who struggle with alcoholism or are homeless. We wondered what the big deal was about blindness in the face of so many other plights.

Here we were, two blind men, meeting on the shores of Scotland, one flying in from California and the other from Northern Ireland arriving from Africa just in time for this meeting.

I am sure all of the travelers in our group, blind and sighted, are incredibly grateful for the fact that we have the tools, techniques and where-with-all to be able to vacation in Dublin, Cork and Fife. In the modern vernacular, “how cool is that?” You have to draw out the word “that” for the proper sound of this expression.

Margaret and Armand reported another successful day on their own, locating Tate’s jewelry Store on their own, a place where losing pounds isn’t hard to do. Margaret was justifiably proud that she and Armand found Rose street and the jewelry store on their own with the help of the GPS.

I am feeling a tinge of sadness as this trip draws to a close and we didn’t have yet one more opportunity to toast as a group and to say goodbye. We have created unforgettable experiences and made new friends in our mere 10 days of traveling. Instead of saying goodbye, we said, “where are we going next.”

Once I get home and have a chance to get caught up, we will post more pictures from this trip.

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