ICELAND / TRAVEL STUFF

viltu dansa?

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Tuesday morning started off with a little volunteering at an old folks home in downtown Reykjavik. I wasn’t really sure what I was going to be doing, and to be honest I didn’t do too much. Each morning the residents are brought to the hall (if they want to go there) to do little exercises, listen to someone read a book and the newspaper and then dance. There was a child choir there that morning singing for everyone which seemed to bring a lot of smiles into the room. After the children left it was time to make a dance floor and this was really when I got to help out. Those who wanted to and were able to dance came up to the front of the room and we stood in a circle holding hands and danced for around 30 mins or until 11am. After 11am everyone went back to their different floors and I called it a day.

After volunteering I had a some free time so I walked around the city, grabbed some lunch from a grocery store (skyr and fruit), found a park and enjoyed the weather. At 2:30 I made my way over to Landsbankinn as Asta Sol had set up a meeting for me with Elín and Þórmundur from the marketing department. I had spoken with Elín during the group session with Landsbankinn about how I was interested in the re-branding process the bank had been going through since the economic crash in 2008. It was a really interesting meeting and great to hear about what the bank had done/is working on. Just a little information … after the crash the 3 banks in Iceland went bankrupt and became owned by the state, currently of the 3 banks the Landsbankinn shares are around 80% state owned where as the others have become more private (the state still owns shares but not a majority … from my understanding). While all 3 banks are ‘new’ they still have a foundation based in their old banks and of the 3 banks, Landsbankinn was the only one to keep its name. The company seems to be working really hard to try and be as open as possible with the public about its operations. One of the marketing/public relations campaigns that they did presented itself very much like a political campaign, providing 28 promises they were looking to achieve as a company. The first being town hall style meetings held across the country in 9 different location. They were held in 2010 and while some time had passed it was really one of the first times for people to have the chance to air their grievances with the bank, and also provide some ideas for changes. The company also did a complete overhaul of its internal operations, hiring a new president and 8 new vice presidents. Anyways it was a very interesting meeting and they provided me with a lot of great information and some print outs in English that I look forward to reading in preparation for Humber PR this fall. At the end of the meeting they joked how this was probably the first meeting they had done in English in 4 years since the crash happened! Well, they seemed pretty happy to be sharing this information with me and asked me to keep in contact with them and let them know how I was doing/liking the field.

That night I was invited to dinner at Jón Þór’s house. He came by and picked me up around 7 and I didn’t get home until around 1:30. I had such a great night with the family and enjoyed some delicious ribs. I shared some photos that my family had posted on facebook and we had a lot of conversations about a variety of different things including life goals and possible plans for the future which included an idea for a way for me to stay/move part time to Iceland – and this time it didn’t have anything to do with marriage! Ha! Anyways, my mind is now racing with different ideas and possibilities and I couldn’t help but think that it had been Jón Þór’s plan all along. (He claims it wasn’t) Just before I was going to leave he ran into the garage and grabbed a bottle of red wine that he had made organically from Icelandic blue berries! Then he grabbed a white made from Icelandic rhubarb! He had made the bottles around a year and a half prior and poured a small glass for us to taste. I was a big fan of the blueberry red, and would definitely want to share a bottle of both with friends from back home. Oh! I must also comment about Irina’s rhubarb pie. So good! My taste-buds are going crazy just thinking about it! Yumm!

This morning I woke up to head to the old folks home again to help out. I did a little bit more today – walked around helping bring people to the room, served coffee and danced again. It was a nice morning but I felt bad that I couldn’t communicate when people were trying to speak with me. Also, I feel like very few people know this about me but I hate holding hands with people. I have a problem. Almost as soon as I start holding hands with someone my hands start to sweat and I can’t control it. Matter of fact, the only thing I can control is making them sweat more. I play this game with my mom where I will hold her hand and we wait to see how long it takes to start… if the thought of sweat or holding hands even crosses my mind then poof. Its starts… If I’m being honest they are quite clammy right now. Too much information? Perhaps. Anyways I feel bad for the people who had to hold my hands the past two days.

After volunteering I drove back to Adda’s, made lunch and then went on a little walking adventure around the neighbourhood. This evening we went over to one of her daughters, Rebekka’s, house for dinner where I met her, and her husband, their son Þórir, his wife and two kids (1 and a half and 7), another woman whose name is escaping me right now who is married to one of my frændi’s and her son who is a year old and shares the same birthday as me! The house was gorgeous and the meal was full of colour and flavour and oh so good! I had two big helpings of salad which is something I feel like I’ve been missing this past month. It was nice to get to meet everyone, chat and play with the little kids a little bit. At one point they were saying how I looked like someone in the family… or something like that? I understand a little Icelandic but not enough. It was a really nice time and I’m glad I was able to meet everyone. Tomorrow Þórir and his family are planning on picking me up and taking me to the blue lagoon which should be a lot of fun! His 7 year old son seemed a little shy to speak English with me today but boy does he know a lot of English! He was singing along to almost every song and seemed to understand everything I was saying and said a few things to me. Hopefully we’ll help teach each other some stuff tomorrow!

Anyways I should head to bed now, busy day tomorrow!

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