Friday, September 25, 2015

The Koreans in Northern Ireland

Three of us spent the last week of May
in Northern Ireland,
touring with the guidance
of local folk known
through mutual friends
and internet connections.

Our mutual friends
arranged for us to stay at Skainos,
a community center in the inner city of Belfast.
The accommodations were simple
but the people we met were lovely
and rich in hospitality.

When Gary gave us a tour of Skainos,
he explained the deep symbolism
in architecture and decor,
with all the elements of the building reflecting
important concepts of theology
and identity with Belfast.

I usually had no trouble
understanding the Northern Irish accent,
but when Gary talked about the recurring importance
of the color yellow in the decor of the facilities,
I was a bit confused.
"It represents the Koreans."
What Koreans?
When pushed, he finally explained,
"the yellow CRANES, the H&W cranes
in the shipyard, visible from many parts of Belfast.
Right.  The Koreans.
Sometimes we just need to retrain our ear
to hear simple truths.

Photos: 1) The biowall in front of Skainos. 2) A yellow crane through a window at Skainos. 3) One of the two H&W cranes, pictured from the vicinity of the Titanic museum.  4) Another view of a crane from my bedroom window at Skainos.

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