SEEDS 07. Suðureyri. Like in the old days!! (1)
The workcamp was located in the West Fjords, near Bildudalur in a small area called Suðureyri.
The landscape was beautiful (as always in Iceland!). The volunteers stayed in a small house at the end of one of the Fjords, near an old whaling station. The workcamp was very isolated and involved a 20 minute drive along primitive gravel road in order to get to the house. We had no electricity and no shower! Subsequently trips to the local swimming pools and hot pots were common. The hot pots, in the middle of the fjord, and the view was beautiful. Sitting in the hot pot at 3am with a beer was definitely one of the highlights of the workcamp!
The work involved renovating an old whaling station located 100m from the accommodation. The whaling station was in poor condition when the volunteers arrived, and the aim of the SEEDS volunteers was to cement the tower and the walls below in order to make the walls more sturdy and strong. So cementing the walls for two weeks followed. Cementing the bricks on a tower on scaffolding was a challenge with only the bravest volunteers daring to climb to the top.
One group was also in charge of fishing in the sea next to the accommodation. The local host had provided a small boat and every day a group of volunteers would go fishing and berry picking in the mountains. Our record number of fish caught was 13 caught by Czech, French and Belgian volunteers. Despite this success, a mishap with the fishing boat occurred, with the boat somehow managing to come untied and drift out to sea! Fortunately, Bingen, a Basque volunteer from Spain was onhand to swim in the freezing sea and rescue the boat.
On free days, we moved into local accommodation owned by the host in Bildudalur. Free time activities involved hiking one of the fjords located next to Bildudalur, a boat trip to a nearby fjord, trips to nearby hot pots and a night watching a local musician play in the ‘Monster Museum’ in Bildudalur. The hike up the fjords was a highlight, with the view from the top of the fjord being breathtaking. The host asked us to write in a book at the top of the fjord, and so we all wrote our names and also a short poem was written.
During freetime the local host cooked traditional icelandic food including sheep's head and sheep’s heart. This was a great experience of Icelandic culture and some us even tried sheep’s eye. The local host also cooked horse meat, raw whale meat, fish and lamb. Takk fyrir.
Three environmental activities took place in the workcamp. The first activity was the World Trade Game, a game which is intended to be a simplified version of the world’s economic trade, with volunteers having different resources and trading with each other in order to make products out of paper. Other activities included an activity involved hydropower and dams, where volunteers were asked to create a court room (with jury, defence and prosecution) putting Landsvirkjun, Iceland’s national energy supplier on trial. The last activity was a small fun activity involving quizzes and other activities to do with water.
Overall, the workcamp was fun, enjoyable and a great experience. Thank you to Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, and England for your volunteer’s participation in the workcamp!