By Holly Harestad
On our way to Scotland the other day, I got to thinking to myself, what do I really know about Scotland? Well, I figured every guy would be in kilts, I’ve heard of Scotch whiskey before, and I thought the scenery would resemble Ireland almost exactly. In my second day here, I’ve come to check up on my knowledge and fill you in a little: 1.) Not every guy here wears a kilt (bummer?) but there are definitely more than you will find in the United States, 2.) Scotch whiskey turns out to be the only thing that comes from Scotland that is actually “Scotch” rather than “Scottish” or being referred to as “Scotts” (Really, I’m just full of knowledge now, ask me anything) and 3.) Scotland resembles Ireland to some degree with big, beautiful rocky hills, however with a little bit ~older~ feeling to it.
Either way, I’ve been having a great time here! Today was a pretty hazy, rainy day but we managed to keep our spirits (and some of our drowsiness) alive by starting out with a tasty breakfast at the cafeteria which is seriously so delicious and looking at all the cute rugby boys staying at the college too!!! (Kidding, lol I’m only here to study, duh.) After, we headed to the National Museum of Scotland! Once the whole group arrived, we were free to explore all six levels, and then the seventh and final level for a roof top view of Edinburgh!
Looking around the museum there were tons and tons of artifacts. Everything from Ancient Egypt, bagpipes, rocks and minerals, and even fashion. Something that really stood out to me were all of the different kind of rocks that were inscribed. There were rocks and minerals engraved that ranged from to everything from grave slabs to parts of freestanding crosses from hundreds of years ago. The history behind them and for how long they have been around is always the most interesting aspect of century-old things to me, mostly because it just proves how short our time here on Earth really is.
This same idea was reiterated for me two days ago when a man walked into a gay nightclub and proceeded to shoot. This turned out to be the biggest and most deadly mass shooting in the United States ever. It is tragic and heartbreaking to hear about the events that have occurred in America and being in another country while it is all happening, it really brings a lot of perspective to the entire situation. It’s sad that I almost feel a greater sense of safety being over here. It’s sad that the attendants of the club that night felt protected going to a place that made them happy before 49 lives came to an end. The lesson and understanding that I am taking away, being abroad and hearing about tragedies such as this is that once again I really do count my blessings everyday for opportunities like this, my family and my friends. I wish that there wasn’t such a presence of hate in people, and I wish that fear was not such a common feeling amongst groups of people throughout the world.
To all of the victims and families that were affected on June 12th, 2016 – we are praying for you and you will not be forgotten.