And So It Begins...

Welcome to the 2018 Northern Ireland blog!

In a few short days, our group will embark on a mission to learn about grassroot peace movements, the causes of Northern Ireland’s conflict, and meet those directly involved with rebuilding the communities affected by the violence. This is the first official blog post, so stick with us as we begin our trip into a beautiful and complicated country.

I am so excited to be your blog coordinator for the trip, so before we head off across the pond, I best introduce myself. My name is Stephanie Kletscher and I am a junior double-major in political science and international studies. At Luther I am involved with a variety of activities including serving as a resident assistant, playing basketball for the women’s basketball team, and participating in service projects through the service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. After spending this last semester in DC through our consortium program with other Lutheran colleges, I’ve had the chance to explore how important grassroots movements are and the impact resiliency has on a population looking to rebuild.

The conflict  erupted into a bloody, violent movement following a civil rights march in the town of Derry. At the heart of this conflict was the push towards constitutional rights by the Irish and the hardening of beliefs along Catholic and Protestant lines. Religion and ethnic conflict were not the only reasons behind the violence however and I think that is what will be the most fascinating to discuss about while in Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Getting ready to leave for this three week journey, I am reminded how important these trips are, to be able to step into another’s shoes and see how peace is truly brought about by the people. See you soon Dublin!

Stephanie Kletsche

Feel free to email me along the way if you have any questions!

Steph Kletscher
The wonderful windy Irish roads we are about to be on.