So one minute we are sitting in class after being told by our program director to dress nicely yesterday, and the next minute we are sitting in the 3rd row of the Great Hall on campus here listening to Former President Bill Clinton give a speech about his economic ideas and goals for Northern Ireland as well as challenging us, "the Youth", to become more economically aware!! I don't know about you but I think that is pretty stinkin' cool! Bill(we are on a first name basis now) talked about how it was a huge honor for him to be a part of the peace process in Northern Ireland in the 90's and how impressed he was to see that both the First Minister, Peter Robinson, and the Deputy First Minster, Martin McGuinness, are working together to work toward a brighter future in Northern Ireland.
Oh and did i mention that both Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness were present for the speech and met up with our group and took pictures with us afterwards? oops. oh and did i mention that John Hume(known to be the man that started the effort towards the peace talks in Northern Ireland) and his wife were also sitting literally 2 rows in front of me as well as the speaker of parliament William Hunt! Not to mention that the hip and trendy 27 year old mayor of Derry as well as the deputy mayor of Derry were present and sitting right in front of us as well! I was so star struck with all of the absolutely HUGE names that were sitting right there in front of us that I almost didn't notice that Chris Matthews of NBC news was sitting right beside the other half of our group that was 2 rows back!!!!
After the speech was over, Bill walked towards our group and I was lucky enough to get to reach out and shake his hand! He looks so much older and more frail that I would have imagined him to, but it was still extremely cool to get to shake his hand. Also after the speech Amanda and I got whisked away by our program director to get interview by the NATIONAL NEWS!!!! so cool! we ended up just answering questions about what we thought about his speech as well as if we were impressed by his status and his stances on the economics of the region. I said that I was!