Celebrating Language Connect’s 10th Anniversary in Galway
September 2013 marked a proud moment in Language Connect’s history as we celebrated the company’s 10th Anniversary. What better way to mark the occasion but with a day of sampling oysters, Guinness and Irish hospitality at the Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival. Held during the last weekend of September, Galway hosts one of the most recognised Irish festivals and attracts hundreds of visitors from as far afield as Japan and Singapore.
For most of the Language Connect party, the day started quite early with a flight from Heathrow Airport to Shannon, followed by a drive to Galway. After a swift change into more glamorous outfits, we arrived at the festival marquee at Galway Harbour, which welcomed us with tempting aromas of seafood and lively music by the upbeat West Coast Big Band. Whilst admiring the couples twirling on the dance floor, we enjoyed some of the tasty treats from the Food Village, the most important one being, of course, the oysters. It can be said without a doubt that you either love’em or hate’em, but as the saying goes: ‘when in Rome do as the Romans do’, you had to at least try one.
The festival’s Saturday highlight was definitely the World Oyster Opening Championship. You could feel the tension in the air as the 18 participants, 17 men and 1 woman, from all around the world showed off their skill in shucking (the technical term for opening shellfish!) thirty oysters as quickly and cleanly as possible. Without a doubt the most dramatic performance was given by the Italian participant. The merry crowds, enthused by the atmosphere and hospitality of the bar, cheered for their favourite contestants as the competitors battled against the clock to claim the prestigious title.
The next attraction of the day was an amazing Riverdance-style performance of the Irish step dance with its rapid and equally graceful leg movement. The professional dancers moved graciously across the floor mixing ballet movement with high kicks and flicks to the baroque-like traditional music. At the end of this spectacle the volunteers from the audience were asked to take to the floor and try their skill. LC was proudly represented by our MD Ben leading from the front and showing us all how it’s done.
At the end of the day and after long deliberations by the judges it was time to name the Oyster Shucking Champion and present the awards. The victor was the Danish champion who managed to de-shell 30 oysters in just 2 minutes and 17 seconds! The evening then continued with dancing to live music provided by highly talented, local music groups. Team Leaders Karen, Chiara, Sabine and Amy took to the floor first and it didn’t take long before their team members followed. Everyone had a wonderful time filled with great food, Irish hospitality and most importantly shared with the best colleagues!
A very big ‘thank you’ goes to Ben and Iwona for the fantastic trip to Galway that we could enjoy together. Congratulations on the last 10 years’ achievements and best wishes for even greater success over the upcoming future.