Beginning of the Week & Independence Day!

Trip Start May 28, 2010
Trip End Jun 27, 2010

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Flag of Iceland  , South,
Thursday, June 17, 2010

Hey guys! This is the second entry I've worked on today, so if it gets a little stranger than normal, its because I'm tired, though the fact that I have a cold probably doesn't help either. Anyways, so Monday not much happened as many of us were still very tired from our long trip the day before. Though we did have character debates on five of the main characters from the Laxdaela Saga. Oh and I worked on a paper that was due the next afternoon and that was basically my Monday.

Tuesday, we had class in the morning and then after lunch I finished up my paper and got ready to go visit and eat dinner with a local family. We split up in pairs, so I went with Michelle to María Sól's family farm. I had already met María Sól when we went to Reykjavik. She came with us to the Althingi and then that evening I went over to her apartment and with some of the group and hung out with her and her friends for awhile, along with Drs. Novak and Grathwohl. But yes, we went to her family farm and go a tour of the greenhouses. Since Iceland is so far north, they either have to import their fruits and veggies or grow them in greenhouses. But yes, so we hung out with her and her cousin and their next door neighbor, and they were both very sweet girls. ^^ Anyways, in the greenhouse, they were growing tomatoes, chili peppers, all sorts of herbs, apples and cherries. I probably missed some stuff, but that is ok. They also had a really awesome maze, that reminded me a lot of the corn mazes we have at home. Actually Michelle and I told María and her family about them, and they all sounded really interested. Oh and Michelle gave them some collard seeds, since that's what her family grows at home on their farm in NC. Um, for dinner we have grilled pizza, and it was very wonderful. I'm pretty sure all the veggies on it were stuff that they had grown which just made it more awesome in my book. But yes, that was all that really happened on Tuesday.

Wednesday or yesterday was especially interesting. We were supposed to have class in the morning, but that didn't happen. Instead we worked on independent travel stuff and then after lunch we loaded up the bus and went to see the volcano and other stuff in that area. Our first stop was actually called the Saga Center and it was a museum that gave background about and then told Njall's saga. And it was very interesting and informative. I didn't take any pictures while we were their for some reason, but other people did, so I need to steal their pictures for somebodies Facebook. But after that we drove on and stop south of the volcano under the glacier (aka Eyjafjallajökull) and picked up some ash (yes, I will probably have enough for anyone who wants some) and took a ton of pictures. some of which will be posted. It was really interesting to go and see the area, as I had seen a lot of pictures of the farms covered in ash, though they weren't when I saw them that afternoon. From there we continued on to another museum called Skógar-Museum. And while the main museum building was closed, we were still able to walk around and look at some of the other buildings outside. And they were cool because several of them had turf roofs. Actually I think the whole thing was one farm, that was just added onto as the family got bigger and the years went by. They also had a giant whale bone out by the parking area, which we sat on and got our picture taken with. But yes, from there we stopped at a huge waterfall called Seljalandsfoss. And I had the pleasure of walking behind it in Dr. Grathwohl's rain coat, as I did not bring my own for whatever reason. Probably had something to do with the fact that I was feeling particularly miserable that day. But all this traveling really helped lift my spirits, so that while I has feeling terrible and couldn't breath, I was happy. Took lots of pictures at the waterfall, which as I said huge and awesome and their was a rainbow. Ok, so then we turned around and traveled on some gravel roads to go up on the other side or the North side of the volcano under the glacier (aka Eyjafjallajökull). We actually were able to get decently close, and their is no need to worry because the volcano has been calm since before I came. Actually I've only seen one puff of stream from it the entire time I was here and that was on the south side the same day. But anywho, there was a lot of ash and stuff up on the north side as well, though we already had ours, which is currently sitting outside. It needs to dry, as it is currently all wet from the rain we had been having the day before and over the weekend. After we had our fill of the volcano, we stopped at a gas station and got some dinner, as it was well past time to eat back here at Skalholt. And that pretty much covers Wednesday.

Today is a very special day, as it is Iceland's Independence Day. ^^ So this morning after we watched a movie called the Juniper Tree, which was strange but interesting, and lunch we went to the local town of Reykholt for their celebrations. A lot of the other girls saw the families they had visited on Tuesday afternoon/evening, though I didn't see anyone except the girl from across the road. Oh but one of our cooks named Steinunn planned a lot of the stuff that went on, so we were all very proud of her. And I stole some pictures people took and they shall be posted. Oh and Dyfrinna gave a speech and we were all very proud of her too, even though we could understand a word of it because it was in Icelandic. But after we heard them speak, we went and watch a competition that took place at the pool (We were at a local school for all of this by the way. The speaks were in the gym.) between the pool staff and some greenhouse workers. It was really interesting because both teams were dressed very interestingly. After that we went and got our faces painted. Most of us just got Icelandic flags on our cheeks, though Michelle and Dr. Novak got something a bit more. Dr. Novak had the flag painted on top of his head and Michelle had her entire face painted. Oh and María Sól had gave Michelle and I flags so we had those with us all day and we actually took some pictures together this evening to send to
María Sól and her family. So after we all were finished getting the face painting done, we went and watched Steinunn and a bunch of others play football (aka soccer). And that was really awesome, as once again one team was dressed really interestingly and the other team, was in normal clothes, which made me wonder if they knew they were going to be playing or they just volunteered. *shrugs* I don't know for sure though and I don't guess I will. But anyways, after that we watched the younger kids in box car race. One person had to push and the other had to ride. And their were definitely some interesting looking box cars there. After that we left and came back here to Skalholt and I started working on my journals and uploading pictures. Which is basically what I have been doing all evening, except for the small break we took to tell Icelandic folk tales to each other. Mine was especially short, but no one gave me a hard time since I haven't been feeling well. Speaking of which I need to go take that horrible medicine before I go to sleep. But yes, the stories were all really interesting. And I really need to read for class tomorrow, so I think its time for me to sign off. So TTFN! Oh and Aufram Ísland! (Go Iceland!)

P.S. Two quick things. 1) It looked amazing outside so I took at picture of it and uploaded it for your pleasure. 2) Check out this awesome video by following this link. It is a video made by Iceland to encourage tourists to come because the volcano has calmed down. It was shown to Michelle and I by Maria Sol's mother. And she was very excited about it and thus, so were we. ^^
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Miaka__M on

Argh, I can't stand mazes T.T There's a rainbow at the waterfall! :D You know, I thought that I saw a face in the Oldest house picture, I looked twice to make sure >.<'

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