One of my favorite memories of Ireland involved what I thought was an imaginary story of Algerian pirates kidnapping an Irish village. Apparently, in 1631 pirates stole the entire village of Baltimore, Ireland and then sailed back to North Africa with their ships full of new slaves. Only two people would ever return.
Kieran entertained me with this story while I was in Midleton, Ireland. The concept of a stolen village seemed implausible, but when I returned home and googled it – I found out it was true! In fact, I would later find references to the mass kidnapping in a couple of Irish history books I already possessed. I felt bad for laughing every time he tried to tell me the story.
Anyway, he promised to mail me the book, The Stolen Village, and a handwritten letter. I waited for what seemed an eternity, but tonight when I opened my mailbox – there it was! I absolutely LOVE mail that isn’t bills. It takes time and effort to write a real letter, and people just don’t do it anymore.