Arrival in Babenhausen Schwaben


3. March 2014

Well it’s about time that i write my first blog for my year in Babenhausen. I’ve been here for a month now and so far, it has been good. On my arrival I was shown around the “Jubi” and the town and got the keys to my very own appartment. Since I had already been in Babenhausen, last year in September, I had already seen the “Jubi”, but still it was great to be back. My appartment is in a house next to the “Jubi”, like 3 minutes walking distance. I have a large bedroom, a great big kitchen, livingroom and a bath, with a large bathtub all for myself, the other volunteers live in an appartment below me.

The windows in the roof are from my apparment. My doorbell.

My projekt didn’t kick off to the best start, i got sick and had to lie in bed for 1 1/2 days, but after I got better I started working. The first week here was a class of young girls that did a course with us about the trees and the forrests. I got to help out and could use my skills that I had learned myself when I was their age. In this last month there were no other groups of children who had a course with us, only groups with their own programms, so I worked in other fields. Most of the material that is used for groups here, is made by hand, so I have been prepairing alot of it. I have also been in the garden, greenhouse and with the other staff.

The "Jubi" greenhouseThe "Jubi" green house

At first, it was a bit lonely, I didn’t really know what to do with my spare time. But that is a part of being a volunteer I think, learning to take care of yourself, finding what your passions are and doing what you want with your time. I am beginning to appriciate things i didn’t before, learning to keep myself company.

In my first two weeks here, I went to city hall to be registered as a citizen of Babenhausen and the woman in the reception just could not understand my name, nationality and the Icelandic letters “ð” and “ó”. I wound up writing my name in to the computerfiles for her… Same thing in the bank when I opened an account. Last weekend I went to have my eyes checked out and it turns out I need glasses. The staff there also didn’t understand my name, couldn’t write it down and certainly not speak it out so I had to spell it out. They didn’t understand my spelling, so I showed them ID.. Man I have got to get myself a easier name.. Turns out; Icelandic is too complicated for most germans.

Many of the people I have met are excited about my nationality. Most of them have mentioned that their cousin, sibling, friend etc. have been to Iceland, like they are thinking; “well maybe she knows them”.. Well the country is not that small my friend.

The "Jubi"

My coworkers are mostly excited and curious about Iceland, some of them have tried to learn my last name, Aðalsteinsdóttir, but nobody can really speak it out correctly (usually comes out Adalschtænsdödirr, yes try and say that outloud, its almost more complicated than the real thing).

One of my coworkers who works with the children has been to Iceland, worked there for almost a year, and speaks a little bit Icelandic, like “Góðan daginn” (Good day) and “Hvað segir þú gott?” (How are you doing). It really freaked me out, the first time we met that she adressed me in Icelandic. I thought she was speaking german (being used to it I guess), but then I was like, wait what.. Thats Icelandic. I was so surprised I couldn’t answer and just stood there like an idiot for about 30 seconds until I was able to mumble out; “What, was that Icelandic?”

The "Jubi" garden

In Babenhausen, many people have horses and there are two big farms with great . I got in contact with a woman who has Icelandic horses and got to go horsebackriding with her. It was such a great feeling to smell the horses, work around them and cuddle with them, oh how I miss my horse! The horses have Icelandic names, Depill and Dagfari and they were just great. I got to ride Depill and he “tölt’ed” so beautifully.

The "Jubi"

On friday I am off to Bornheim for my on arrival training. I will stay there for 2 weeks along with other volunteers in Germany. At first I was a bit nervous going there, but now I am so excited. Its pretty far away from here, so i will be going there by train/bus.

I think that would be it for now, thank you for reading, I really appreciate it. Leave comments if you want to.

Rakel Ösp Aðalsteinsdóttir (Adalschtænsdödirr)