Inspired by Iceland
SEEDS 54. Eyrarbakki - Stepping back in time
South West
SEEDS Iceland
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From 02.08.2011 to 16.08.2011
Type: Festival / Cultural
Number of volunteers: 8
Language: English - high proficiency is not required
Accomodation: Local housing; mattresses on the floor; tents; sleeping bag needed.
Participation fee: 160 EUR
Extra: Geothermal swimming pool, horseback riding, kayaking.

WORK/PROJECT: For the second year SEEDS volunteers have the opportunity to work in cultural and environmental related tasks in Eyrarbakki, a village in the South of Iceland which is very rich in culture and history. We will work together with the locals preparing the village for and running the festival Aldamótahátíð (Turn of the century festival) which is held 13th - 15th of August. We will help preparing the town for hosting hundreds of visitors by painting houses and fences, maintaining and beautifying the harbour area and assisting in various tasks in the public areas of the village. During the events we will work in various places such as museums, the church, open country market, the old cars exhibition and the coffee house. Some of us will wear old-style Icelandic costumes and participate in a welcoming team by the entrance of the festival. This creates a welcoming and ceremonial atmosphere with an international tone. We will join and perform with the street theatre and prepare events during the festival. Volunteers with artistic skills or just enthusiasm to perform are welcome to develop their ideas and the local hosts will try to include them in the schedule. Our host will assist us organising an international evening where locals will be invited to try, taste and learn about food and traditions from our home countries. As many events and happenings will be going on at the same time during the festival, we may work in teams in different stations at each time. We are encouraged to use the opportunity to explore and learn about the Icelandic culture and history.

ACCOMMODATION: We will live in a local townhouse in the village, partly taking care of cooking for the group and partly receiving meals from the community. Please bring your own sleeping bag. Do not forget some traditional/typical food from your home country for the international evening.

LOCATION: The project takes place in Eyrarbakki, a small village in South Iceland. The town played an important role in trading; the towns' prime time was from middle of the 18th century to the early 19th century. During that time the town life flourished and expanded around the houses of the Danish trading area. The population grew fast and at its peak, the inhabitants were around 1000 at 1920, but decreased to 530 - 550 during the last decades. The historical importance of the town is directly linked to the port, which was an entrance to the country in international trade, churches and bishops in the country had their goods and material for building delivered through Eyrarbakki from abroad. In the mid 18th century Danish merchants were permitted to live in Iceland all year which led them to start building and importing houses and settle down in the town. The town is renowned for its charming old houses and one of oldest house of Iceland, from 1765 is located in the town. Other old houses are there and locals have put effort and energy in maintaining and renovating them, so the town holds more to its original outlook. Few kilometres out of town is Flói Nature Reserve, a paradise for wetland birds, with a marked circular hiking trail through the marshes.

LANGUAGE: English will be the official language in the camp; high proficiency is not a requirement.

TERMINAL: Closest International Airport: Keflavík/Reykjavík (KEF).

SEEDS organises the 'minibus option', a shared transport from Reykjavík to the camps and vice-versa, which apart from being cheaper and more convenient, allows volunteers to meet fellow campers and have a relaxed trip, while stopping on the way for interesting and tourist sites.

EXTRAS / SPECIAL REMARKS: Participation fee EUR 160.

Artistic volunteers are encouraged to join! We will have free access to a nearby geothermal swimming pool and we will organise horse-back riding or kayaking for SEEDS volunteers.

AGE: 18+

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