By Jessica Fresques
Derry is full of hospitable people. They are more than happy to give a helping hand and they love to converse.
Tonight I met two Jerry's from Derry (men named Jerry who smiled with a friendly laugh when they rhymed their name with their city). Out of both men, one of them stood out more. I met him at Peadar O'Donnell's bar. He saw me and said "hola" with an Irish accent (it caught me off guard hearing Spanish in Ireland). However, I conversed with him for a while and he shared his perception of the troubles of Ireland in comparison to America. He told me it is similar to the trouble's that the black people experienced in the Americas; and, that it shouldn't matter the color of our skin or our religion, we are all human. As I sat and listened he shared with me that times are getting better.
Meeting individuals, I am learning so much. This overall experience has brought to the surface a part of history I never learned. I believe it is important to know and understand the troubles Northern Ireland has suffered and how community members are progressively working to build peace in their community/communities.
The most impact full thing I've learned thus far is how storytelling is a means to healing for the Irish people who lived through the heights of the troubles. This just shows the I importance of dialogue in peace building.