The workcamp was divided into two separate tasks in two different locations.
Team A (us) were in Kirkubæjarklaustur, whilst Team B were in Skaftafell National Park. Team A switched with Team B after the first week. For the first week the task was to build a Viking wall near Hotel Laki in Kirkubæjarklaustur. Volunteers stayed in a summer house owned by Hotel Laki, a hotel located about 4 km from Kirkubæjarklaustur. Food was provided by the host in Hotel Laki, with volunteers eating from the hotel buffet for breakfast and dinner. The food was great especially the waffles!
The work in Kirkubæjarklaustur consisted of using turf from the ground to build a Viking wall. Tasks were divided so that some volunteers were responsible for digging turf, others moving the turf to the wall and others digging soil to place on the wall. The work was hard but by the end all of us were proud of what we had achieved! Best Viking wall in all of Iceland!
In the second week volunteers worked in Skaftafell National Park. The volunteers stayed in a cabin which was located close to the campsite. Volunteers were provided both cooking facilities and ingredients to cook with. In Skaftafell the work was more varied.
Volunteers were working on hiking paths for the week and built water bars, widened paths and helped correct parts of the path that had become eroded. The work was great, and working in such a picturesque environment was perfect. The view from the work place, of the Vatnojokull glacier, was so beautiful that you almost couldn’t concentrate on your work!
Free time activites in the workcamp involved trips to the local swimming pool in Kirkubæjarklaustur, hiking Skaftafell National Park, and a trip to a natural hot pot. Everyone wished that they had more time to explore the natural environment in Skaftafell.
The international evening took place in Skaftafell, with all the local hosts invited. It was a great success with food being cooked from all over the world. Food cooked included carrot soup from England, a rice based dish from Japan and crepes from France. A quiz asking questions about our countries was also prepared and was an enjoyable exercise.
Two environmental activities took place, 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. The second activity was ‘Country of Derdia’, a cultural activity where volunteers were divided into two groups. One group were residents of the country of Derdia and were asked to act in a certain way (e.g. greet by kissing on the shoulder). The other group were asked to construct a bridge and demonstrate the ‘Derdians’ how to build this bridge in their own country. The exercise was a success and invoked a good discussion on different cultures and different customs within these cultures. It was particularly funny exercise as the behaviour of the bridge company offended the volunteers playing the Derdians, as they didn’t understand their culture!
Thank you to all the volunteers and both hosts for a great workcamp!