Tellus: (tel’us), n. 1. [Latin] earth, soil, and the land; a country; the world. 2. a collection of Willamette University student’s insights, stories, photos and thoughts from their experiences studying abroad.

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This picture comes from one of my most impacting trips during my stay in Ireland. We traveled for a weekend to Northern Ireland and visited Belfast and Derry. Some of the most devastating acts of violence that occurred during the conflict in Northern Ireland happened in Derry. Local artists began to depict messages of hope and recovery, remembrance or the remains of long-seeded disagreements on walls and buildings throughout Belfast and Derry and some of the most sobering and awesome were in Derry. “Free Derry” was painted in the middle of the night by a particularly bold nationalist in the 60’s and, although the building is gone, the wall proudly remains as a symbol of the struggle of the people of Derry. This picture and the monument itself are particularly important to me because our time in Derry taught me more about the history and the complications of the Northern Ireland conflict and allowed me to gain a true appreciation for the strength, spirit and heart of the Irish people. There has also been some argument over the name of Derry (or Londonderry). But our (fantastic and adorable) tour guide assured us by the end that regardless of what you feel the name should be, he had a most appropriate name that everyone could agree on: Legenderry.

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