Day Twenty-four

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I fly out today. One last meeting with a member of the ministry. Truth is, I’m not ready to leave. It hasn’t felt like three weeks. My work doesn’t feel done. I am going to miss the people I have been incredibly privileged to meet. It has been an amazing opportunity and I know I have been fortunate. There is a pride in Iceland that many express. I would too.

For me, Iceland, the land, feels ever changing: erupting volcanoes, glaciers developing and receding and developing, steam rising from the ground, plates constantly shifting, geysers shooting high into the air.

For me, Iceland, the land, feels timeless. Last night in a hotpot at the public swimming pool, sitting around talking to an Icelandic man the mechanics of geothermal energy, I watched families with small children bob and laugh, teenagers sit in steaming water playing chess on a Styrofoam float, an older man greet another with a friendly nod when he entered the hotpot and sat next to him. “We only talk to each other when we are both sitting in the hotpot.” It was 8 pm on a work night.

For me, Iceland, the country, feels old. Its history dates back much further than mine. Elements of its culture remain evident in its buildings, holiday celebrations, food, language, and a bit in their life perspective “þetta Reddast” (It will all work out in the end).

For me, Iceland, the country, feels young. One foreign born resident called it child-like. “They are innocent”. Her tone was the same as a man I met who moved to Iceland over a decade ago. He said, “I don’t want them to get hurt and lose their spontaneity, their trust.”

But, this is Iceland. It has survived volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, glacier sized floods. þetta Reddast.

About ndubus

Assistant Professor of Social Work, San Jose State University, USA
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