Well today has been quite a long day I have to say that, so much has happened already and so much has yet to come.
I took off from Toronto yesterday at 9:10 home time and arrived in Iceland around 6:20am here. (4 hour time difference). I met 5 others in the program and we all sat together on the flight chatted a bit but I really just tried to sleep as much as I could. I woke up at one point as we flew over Greenland and can I just say wow! It was pretty incredible to see, I don’t even know how to explain it, just really incredible. I’m really not a fan of the overnight flights but it wasn’t too bad. The flight was really smooth and we even had the emergency exit seats which was pure luxury.
The flight itself was rather uneventful until a woman passed out right in front of us. Pretty scary! In a daze of what the heck just happened it took me a second to find the attendant button but they came right away with oxygen and she was better and off to her seat after about 30 mins… Anyways when we landed in Iceland we had to go through and have our passports checked which was amazingly easy. The man who checked mine was hilarious, he looked at me with all seriousness and asked “What’s your favourite television show?” I was completely thrown for a loop and tentatively replied “… Survivor” to which he responded “Not Keeping up with the Kardashians?!” To which everyone around us started laughing… That was the moment I knew everything was going to be ok and that I would get along just fine with Iceland.
The drive in was a tad surreal, I knew that I was in Iceland but was also somewhat falling to sleep… so it was a beautiful blur. We drove into Reykjavik and to the Guesthouse we are all staying at, choose rooms, ate breakfast and then took a nap. When I woke up, my roommate Jolene and I decided to go for a walk and explore a little before our meeting to head to The Culture House to see old medieval Icelandic manuscripts and learn a little about them and post medieval manuscripts. The writing in the old manuscripts is so well done, penmanship really isn’t what it used to be. There was a great quote from one of the scribes who described the physical pain his work caused him, saying “þrír fingur skrifa, allur líkaminn þjáist” which translates to “3 fingers write, the whole body suffers”
After vising the Culture House we met with Asta Sol, the program organizer/amazing lady, to go over a bit of an orientation and learn more about the program and what we will be doing. The next two weeks here are looking pretty fun. Tomorrow we start the morning off with language classes followed by Icelandic history, lunch then genealogy and a trip to the American Embassy followed by a picnic scavenger hunt. At the end of the meeting Asta gave us all a welcoming present from Alrún Nordic Jewelery one of the program sponsors. Jón the jeweller was given all of our names and a little bit of a write up from Asta and he picked us all a specific symbol. My symbol means heart and the card says to bring courage and warmth.
After our meeting we went out for a fabulous dinner where the catch of the day was fresh catfish and the meal was simply amazing.
Anyways it is now 10:00 and still sunny! Maybe I’ll go for a walk?.. no probably going to crash…