Winter wonderland and dressing up

Let’s start some actual blogging about what is happening recently.

First: WINTER! Yeah, I would say, that winter finally really arrived. Although the first snow already came in the middle of September (only a few flakes) till now there were always “warm” winds to melt the snow away again. But since the beginning of November the snow has stayed and will probably stay till April. That means slippery (like really slippery) roads and that means Maria falling over again and again and again on the way to school 😉  And of course it is cold (last week even -15°) but I realised that “There’s no bad weather, only false clothes” is pretty accurate, I’m not cold most of the time. With the winter I got my first real flue here in Iceland but thanks to Dr. Petra Glathe I am perfectly equipped and with my medical education (haha :D) I practice self-diagnosis, so I am mostly well again.

Of course there are nice things about the winter: snowmen, happy children, hot chocolate and candles. And the world can be so quiet and peaceful when it is covered in snow and darkness.

Christmas is coming too and in Iceland you realize that when you are in the supermarket (BONUS!!) and the milk looks different. They have a special Christmas design with the wordplay “mjólk” (mjólk means milk and jól Christmas), dwarves, Grýla (part troll, part animal and mother of the 13 Yule Lads/Santa Clauses) and the Christmas cat (who eats bad children). As you already see from these few characters, the Icelandic Christmas traditions are very complicated and some of them are pretty cruel. I’ll surely tell you more about it at some point but if you want to read about it, here you can find some nice explanations.

 

The second thing I want to cover in this post is the Árshátið of the High school in Laugar. It’s definitely one of the highlights during the school year and is a big ball with all the students and teachers and staff people. I finally had the chance to really dress up again and i didn’t even had to make the difficult choice what to wear, because I only have one dress here 😀 Luckily Rakel has the same shoe size as I have and I found some shoes fitting my outfit, but I  still missed my beloved prom high heels so much! :( Walking with high shoes on ice is another one of my new experiences here, it’s definitely not easy girls! Ok, back to the ball: Everyone put a lot of effort in this event: The location was beautifully decorated, there were professional presenters and some really cool short movies made by the students. The programme started at 7 and lasted until half past 11, of course with some breaks to enjoy the delicious!!! food 😉 We had a really crazy performance with all the teachers, featuring the headmaster topless, with a peace sign on his stomach, wearing a long hair wig and going totally crazy much to the amusement of everyone. It was hilarious! Goethe-Gymnasiums-people: Can you imagine Bodo Lehnig doing this? 😉 After the programme everyone helped to put the dishes, tables and chairs away to make room for dancing. A band from Husavik played all the music you need for such an evening and everyone enjoyed themselves. It was cool to look at this whole school/prom/ball stuff from another perspective and I even enjoyed sitting at the teachers table. But of course it made me think of my own prom and I missed all you people a lot!

Now enjoy the rest of the weekend guys, a lot of hugs and kisses,

Maria :)

Finally the second post ;)

Hi again!

After 3 weeks full of work and travelling and new experiences, I have finally found the time to write an update for that blog.

As announced I will now try to find (not too many) words for everything that has happened in the past 3 months, that I spent in Iceland doing my EVS.

I left Germany on the 18/08, taking a plane from Berlin Schönefeld to Keflavík. My mum and grandma were there to say goodbye to me and my dad went with me to Iceland for one week. Before this last goodbye I already had completed a whole marathon of saying goodbye to all the people that I love, so the prospect of it being finally over, was kind of a good one.

We arrived in Keflavík in the late afternoon and it felt a little bit like coming home, because we recognized a lot of things. Iceland even greeted us with a rainbow to make up for the cold wind. My dad got the car we were going to rent for the next few days and luckily it was big enough for two people and 2 huge suitcases. Packed like that we drove the 50 km to Reykjavík and checked in our hotel.

The first thing we noticed there, was the open window and the heating running on full power – welcome to Iceland! 😉 The evening was spent in the city, eating burgers and ice cream and realizing how well we still know downtown. In spite of all the different emotions we slept tight and so we could start the next day with a lot of energy. Which was good, because we needed it for the 600 km to Laugar. The drive was just amazing, that`s something you can’t really describe, you have to experience it.

With every hour we came closer to my new home and the tumult in me got bigger and bigger: In retrospective I can say, I never have been this excited and scared and nervous before. At some point we really reached Hjalli and I knew after one second that I will be happy here, I just felt it. Cornelia and Alli welcomed us, we brought my suitcases into “my” house and then had dinner together to get to know each other better.

And after that arrival everything started. I visited Litlulaugaskóli, the place I work at the most, for the first time, met my new colleagues and Christina, one of the volunteers who was here for the last project (Chance to change). A huge thank you dear Christina for telling me so much and giving me the feeling, that I could do it! At the end of the first week I finally got to know the children, who I now call “my children”. Especially Valdi greeted me really friendly and told me, that he will teach me Icelandic, what he really does every day. :)

Of course I had a lot of first times here: The first day at the primary school, my first Icelandic lesson with Cornelia, my first movie in the cinema in Akureyri (Monster University in Icelandic :D), my first normal school days, my first day in the kindergarten and at the high school library, the first time at the swimming pool and the gym, my first real guitar lesson and so many more things. And about each one of these moments I could write 10,000 words at least. 😉

Some of my working hours I spent working outside at the farm with really nice weather, cutting sorrel to keep it from spreading its seeds even more and raking hay.

With a lot of work and so many new experiences and challenges the time was running and is still running. Soon one and a half months were over and the EVS On-Arrival-Training (short OA) took place in Úlflótsvatn. During the OA I got the chance to meet 20 wonderful people, who are also volunteering in Iceland right now. In 5 days we learned a lot about EVS, non-formal learning, other EU projects, Iceland, the other volunteers and about ourselves. But beside all the learning, we had enough time to play table tennis, talk, sit in the hot tubs and visit some beautiful places like the Blue Lagoon. I had a great and special time at this training and am already looking forward to the mid-term training in January.

As I came back to Hjalli afterwards, I had the feeling to come home, which felt sooooo good! :)

By now I have something like an everyday-live here, but still every day is special and different and I get a lot of new experiences on each of these days.

The adventure continues!

 

 

Hello world, welcome to the website of EVS at Lífsmotun!

I’m Maria Bischof from Germany and I’m the volunteer of 2013/2014 here at Lífsmotun. My project is called “Change and be the change” and one part of it is to create and run this website. You can already or will soon be able to find information about all the projects in the past and in the future of Lífstmotun, either as a hosting organization or as a sending organization.

On this first page you will find my blog, where you can get a closer look on the things I am doing here in Iceland every day. Most of the time it will be in English, maybe sometimes in German and later on even in Icelandic (a big maybe at this point :D).

I’m already here for 2 and a half month, so I will try to work on a short summary of the things that have happened during this time.

Greetings from Laugar,

Maria!