Category Archives: Uncategorized

All good things must come to an end

28th of November

Time flies, it’s the end of November and my project will be over soon. Since Thanksgiving was yesterday (although it’s not a German nor Icelandic tradition), I want to notice all the things I have, how blessed I am and be thankful for the things I have been given.

The last months have gone by so fast, I barely noticed. In August I worked in the garden and for 2 weeks in the kitchen. I found it very interesting, the differences between Icelandic and German kitchen work. I was allowed to work on my own, the noticed my experience, and it was nice to be appreciated in that way. I am so lucky with my colleges, the take their time talking to me, explaining things I don’t understand and they are always there for me when I need them!

In September my workdays contained mostly of garden and house work. The last week I got a visit from my girlfriends in Iceland, and Maria (EVS Volunteer with Lífsmótun). We looked ad Munich, went to Ulm, but first and foremost we enjoyed having each other! We had so much fun, I am so grateful for having such lovely friends I can trust.

My beautiful friends

October came very fast and so did the end of it. I took 2 weeks vacation in October, the first week, because of birthdays in my German family, and the last week, because my grandparents from Iceland came to visit. We spent time together and had lots of fun, it was great!! I am so thankful for my family, they mean everything to me, I’m the richest person in the world. I miss them every day, but Skype makes it a lot easier to be apart.

My grandparents and I

In November I had my last Natur Erlebnis Tage with a school class. We had the Theme Autumn and how the animals survive the winter. Every time it has been very interesting, because many of the things, we teach the children, I didn’t know before. One day, as we were walking to the woods with the class, we stumbled upon a Hedgehog, the cutest little thing. For me it was amazing, because in Iceland, there are no Hedgehogs. I have a new favorite wild animal. I am sure I learned more here about all sorts of things in the nature than in my years in the school in Iceland, so many things we don’t learn, because they don’t exist in the cold north. Like this little cutie:

The cutest little thing.

Now November has gone so quickly and I am seeing the end of my project. My work now involves around all the things a EVS volunteer needs to do when the projects coming to end. I spend the days in my office, writing my Youthpass and my final report, thinking about the future.

During my work here, I have always wondered if this picture is of the Icelandic musician Björk. It is.. I was very amused, to find a photo of an Icelandic singer in a Youth center in the middle of nowhere in Schwaben, Germany.

Björk

In December I have 3 weeks of work, and then Christmas holiday. I come back for work in January and have 6 days of work, then my project is over. I am sort of looking forward to the end, but also dreading giving up the luxurious life of a EVS voulunteer, and having to say goodbye to everyone. For all the things this year has brought to me, I am glad, moved and very thankful (Yes I say thankful a lot).

But enough for now, I have to get back to my Youthpass!

Thank you for taking your time to read my blog.

Rakel Ösp Aðalsteinsdóttir

 

Of different abilities

7th of August

It’s August already? Time is flying. I have finished the half of my projekt here in Babenhausen, but it stil feels like I just arrived. Summer still is in control, although there are some rainy days, I love them.

As I told you in my last update my mother and brother visited me in June. I took a whole week vacation so that I could spend time with them and my grandparents. It was helpful to get out of Babenhausen and see something else. Don’t get me wrong, I love this place, but staying here alone all the time can be hard.

My brother, me and my mum

In end of July I moved out of my appartment into the bigger one, so that the volunteers will all be living together. There are only two of us left now, and the other one is leaving next week. Then it will be just me, until the beginning of September.

After they left my life went back to the normal routine. In July I helped out with a German-Chinese exchange workshop and it was really interesting. The youngsters were in the age of 14/15. One class from Babenhausen, the other from China. There were big cultural differences, as to be expected, but it was nice seeing them working together as a group.

Later in July I took part in an German coach projekt called: ,,Schule ohne Rassismus-Schule mit Courage” (or in a rough translation; School without racism-school with courage) wich I think should be started in Iceland as well.

More information: http://www.schule-ohne-rassismus.org/startseite/ (in German)

Last weekend, my sister and her friend came to visit me in Babenhausen. We had a lot of fun, I laughed more than I have in months. It was so nice to speak Icelandic again, not having to think how you could get the words out, just doing it.

For the last weeks, we have not had any groups of children in the house, so I have been working along with the house staff in some smaller projects. I took over the night shifts this week and have learned a lot of new, technical stuff.

Yesterday, I went with one of my coworkers to Ulm, to bring the work car to be repaired. We got a rental car to drive back, and I drove, imagine that. I was so sure I would never drive the freeway in Germany, it was just to scary, but I did it. Proud moment for Rakel. I did the same thing today, got the car back from Ulm and drove the freeway again. Nothing is impossible.

The next two weeks I will be working in the kitchen, testing my skills and using the once I already had after my Chef work in Iceland. It will be interesting to see what differences are in Icelandic and German cooking and kitchen work in general.

So as you can see, my work is getting more challenging, I love it. While working in all those different fields I notice where I am strong, and where I have to do better.

Tomorrow is my birthday (yay) and I will go to Würzburg for the weekend and spend it with Max. I took a vacation day on Monday, because I have been spending the entire last month here, I have to get away for just a weekend.

Love from Babenhausen

Until next time

Rakel Ösp Aðalsteinsdóttir.

Ekki bless, bless heldur sjáumst…

Dear friends,

today was my last day as an EVS-volunteer and I guess it’s time to write a last post. I signed my Final Report and my Youth Pass, I had my very last work day and I only have 4 more days left in Iceland. I took part in the closing ceremonies at high school and primary school, said goodbye to the kingarden kids and to a lot of other people. With every day my suitcases get fuller and Vadshólar emptier and it all feels very weird. I’m going to miss everything here, the swimming pool, the schools, the kids, my work, the food and all the wonderful people I got to know during the last 10 months. But at the same time I am excited about going back home to Germany! And somehow I feel ready to go home, because of the old friends and new challenges that await me there. And because of all the good memories and changes I experienced here. I know that the things I learned and did here in Iceland will never leave me and that I will always be welcome to come back here. And oh, I will come back! 😀

I’m going back home, but I also leave home here, which makes me feel sad but even more, it makes me grateful and confident.

Thanks for all the support, love and friendship in the last 10 months – Takk fyrir mig!

Sjáumst,

Maria :)

IMG_1278[1] IMG_1281[1] IMG_1284[1] IMG_1293[1] IMG_1316[1] IMG_1306[1] IMG_1309[1] IMG_1327[1] IMG_1338[1] IMG_1374[1]

Summer is coming!

8th of June (Achter Juni; Áttundi Júní)

Wow it has been a while!

The last months in Babenhausen have been full of activities and surprises. The weather has been really nice, but at times it is just too warm for me!

Appletree in the "Jubi" gardenIn the "Jubi" garden
In March I went on my On-Arrival-Training in Bornheim (Near Cologne (Köln) and Bonn) along with 20 other EVS volunteers in Germany. The seminar was 10 days long and took place in a Youth Center a bit outside of the town, so it was quet and really comfortable (except for my allergies).
On this seminar we learned about all sorts of stuff connecting our EVS projekts and our rights as volunteers, also about German history and culture.

The half-done plan for my seminar.
One day during the seminar, we went to Köln (Cologne), were we visited the “NS-Dokumentationszentrum”, located in the EL-DE building, site of the Gestapo (secret police). The museum deals with political and social life in Köln during the Nazi period. In the basement is a memorial site, showing the cells prisoners were helt in and you can still see their drawing and writings on the walls.

We also visited Bonn, the former capital city of Germany (I did not know that, thank you Icelandic school system). There we went to the “Haus der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik Deutschland”, so basicly a museum about german history.

The handwriting of J. F. Kennedy, Ich bin ein Berliner.

Afterwards we had some time for us in Bonn, so I met up with a good friend of my mothers, and her husband, and we went for dinner in a lovely Italian restaurant.

20140314_192602

After that seminar I went back to Babenhausen and continued my regular workingdays in the “Jubi” in Babenhausen. Most days I work along with house staff on a regular basis job (like preparing grouprooms, going to the postoffice, assist guests and more) and some days I am lucky enough to assist with the seminars for children and youngsters.

In preparation for the “Europe moves” projekt, me, along with the other volunteers, made a Europemap:

The outlines have been drawn. Starting to paint the ocean around the countries. Starting to see the picture here. Done with the ocean. Starting to paint the countries in different colours. More painting. Starting to look really nice ... And done, all countries not in the EU are white.

In April we had a week long “Europe moves” seminar for youngsters (14-17) from Babenhausen, München, Croatia and Spain (hope I didn’t forget anything) and I got to assist in some topics, along with the trip to Strasbourg were we went to the European Parlament and also looked at the city (Although we did not have much time, to bad).

European parlament seen from the outside. European parlament, inside. Reykjavík; 3300 km. Inside the Notre Dame Strasbourg

In May I went home for a short vacation, to see my family and friends, but also to accept my diploma and be there for graduation. I actually surprised my family, I had told them that I would land very late on the 22nd of Mai in Iceland and come home on 23rd, so when I showed up late at night on the 21st, it’s safe to say they were surprised!
I had lovely days with my friends and with my family and I miss them already.

On the way home, to my beautiful Iceland.                                                       Got my diploma!

Next week my mother and little brother come to Germany and I will spend a whole week with them, showing them around Babenhausen but also going to my visit my grandparents and some other relatives.

Now I have a long weekend and I am staying at home. Yesterday I went with Barbara (The woman in Babenhausen who owns the Icelandic horses), and her husband, to Ravensburg. Today I went horsebackriding with Barbara in the sun, it is so warm so the poor horses did not have much energy, but nontheless, it was great!

Now I should go outside again in the sun, around 30° today, so I am red as a tomato and sweating like a pig.

Now I’ll go to the “Strawberryfield” and get my some strawberries.

I’ll keep you guys updated; hopefully it wont take as long as till now to update my blog…

Love from the sun in Babenhausen

Rakel Ösp Aðalsteinsdóttir