Inspired by Iceland
SEEDS 35. Window into the Viking World
South West
SEEDS Iceland
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From 19.06.2011 to 02.07.2011
Type: Environmental / Construction
Number of volunteers: 8
Language: English - high proficiency is not required
Accomodation: Local housing; mattresses on the floor; sleeping bag needed.
Participation fee: 120 EUR
Extra: Green architecture, eco-culture, design and artistic work. Weekends in Reykjavík.

WORK/PROJECT: For the second year in a row, SEEDS volunteers will get an introduction and a chance to try to work like the Vikings used to! We will, among other things, be building old style turf- and stonewalls using ancient tools and methods. The project´s objective is to reconstruct and keep in good shape old Viking traditional turf farmhouses.

The tasks are done using ancient tools and elements keeping the work with the same style and final details as the turf houses were originally constructed. The tools are reconstructed like the actual tools the Vikings used for similar work, since their methods still proof to be the best for this work. We will get guidance from professionals and experts, will be taught the techniques and the methods used in the old times. The concept uses Icelandic, natural local materials for the turf walls and roofs, as in the interior of the houses, using turf, soil, rocks and wood.

There is a strong aspect of learning during the working process and on the social importance of the work. We will receive practical lessons in turf cutting, turf-walling and in stone construction; which are the traditional Icelandic crafts, then to produce turf material and use these skills for the work on the turf, stone walls and other constructions.

We will work closely with one of few Icelandic specialists on turf constructions. Additional tasks depending on the needs might come up during the camp.

The work is very interesting and fun but also physically demanding.

ACCOMMODATION: We will be lodged in a house, sleeping on mattresses on the floor. Please bring your own sleeping bag. There will be an opportunity to sleep for at least some nights in the traditional Icelandic turf houses.

Volunteers will receive food and be in charge of the different cooking & cleaning activities. Please do not forget some traditional/typical food from your home country for the international evening.

LOCATION: We will stay in the south of Iceland, around 60 km from Reykjavík. The place consists of few typical traditional farmhouses in the South-Icelandic style. Very few similar farmhouses remain in the country and these ones we will be staying and working in, are the last in the district. A dedicated effort has been made to develop and conserve the place as the farmhouse tradition embodies an important element of Icelandic history and the Icelandic way of life over centuries.

The largest town in the district is Selfoss (pop. 6000). The workcamp site is located about 15 km from Selfoss. We will be able to explore and enjoy the south Icelandic lowland, which is made out of sand and rock sediments delivered by the river Þjórsá during the last centuries. The land is covered mostly by green grass and the closeness of the ocean can be felt in the air. The Southern district is known by its geothermal activity which helped to develop important greenhouse agriculture.

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

STUDY THEME: This project has an educational approach to building with ancient tools and techniques. We will also receive information on the historical relevance of the project and its present usefulness.

TERMINAL: Closest International Airports: Keflavík /Reykjavík (KEF), the closest bus stop is in Selfoss.

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.

SPECIAL REMARKS / EXTRAS: Participation fee EUR 120,- (Euros). This project is ideal for those interested in green architecture, eco-culture, design and artistic work.We will have the opportunity to spend the weekend in the city of Reykjavík.

AGE: 18+

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