HABITAT: Of history, snakes and beer

With ancestors who came here from Ireland during the Potato Famine, I am embarrassed to realize I know very little of Irish history.

So when a co-worker gave us a brief, nifty St. Patrick synopsis, I did what any other info seeking person would do – I Googled.

And found out there are a ton of differing stories about the Patron Saint of Ireland. For example, I only today learned that he was not Irish at all, but was likely born in Wales – or Scotland – or England – in the late 4th Century.

According to various accounts, he (whose name was said to be Maewyn) was sold into slavery at the age of 16, or thereabouts, by a group of Irish marauders.

During his captivity, he felt God was calling him to return to Ireland and convert the pagan Irish to Christianity, which he eventually, quite successfully did. Our modern celebration of St. Patrick’s Day commemorates the date of his death.

Apparently that snake story is pure myth, although it makes a cool tale.

There are no snakes in Ireland, true, but it seems there never WERE any there and, although they are kind of creepy and slithery, they probably are not the spawn of the Devil.

Did you see the little news clip on CNN that showed some guy in hip boots wading around in a white house fountain, pouring green dye into the water, in the middle of the night? Details at 11.

My Habitat segue is simply this – one of the things that makes Habitat for Humanity the dynamic organization that it is, worldwide, is the diversity of the people who support it. You will find men and women, young and old, from virtually every walk of life, white collar, blue collar, no collar, rich, poor and in-between, working side-by-side – literally – with homebuyers to build simple, decent homes – so far having built more than 400,000 houses, sheltering some 2 million people worldwide.

Including Ireland.

Currently, Habitat for Humanity Ireland is launching their new A Brush with Kindness “programme.”

Our own Indian River Habitat launched its own Brush with Kindness program last year, in which we provide fresh, new paint jobs for qualified homeowners in need of such refurbishment.

According to our Irish Habitat friends: “These partnerships allow Habitat for Humanity Ireland to serve the community in Dublin more broadly and to have a greater impact in the alleviation of poverty housing and homelessness.”

As to the Green Beer: I’m certain it can be found in several local pubs, hopefully including Bobby’s, for those of us who fondly remember it as THE gathering place for Dodger fans and players in the golden days of Peter O’Malley.

Sigh.

Have a good one.

Sam Baita, Public RelationsIndian River Habitat for Humanity 772.562.9860 X220sbaita@irchabitat.org

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