Worldwide Friends

Worldwide Friends is the volunteer organization running the work camp I’m participating in.  It’s based in Reykjavik and was established in 2001, starting with 3 camps the first year, and are now up to  over 40.  Three work camps started the same day as mine, so there are a total of 25 of us from places all over the world.  Interestingly enough, English is used by everyone but there are only 2 native English speakers in the group (myself being one).  There are people here from: Italy, USA, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Russia, Mexico, Israel, Korea, Croatia, Spain and France.

There are 9 participants in my group, and we are housed in a flat over the WF shop (similar idea as 10,000 Villages in Canada, but smaller).  The “work” part of the work-camp has been gruelling….

  • Day 1: May 3 at 2:00 is the official first meeting time; we basically introduce ourselves and play games to try to remember everyone’s name.  Then, move in to our new home for 2 weeks, and go to the swimming pool before dinner.  Now, the swimming pools here are quite impressive – yes there’s a pool for swimming, then there’s another large pool about thigh deep that’s a little warmer, and then…the “hot pots”!  These are 4 smaller hot pools in varying degrees of temperature ranging from 38C to 44C.  Did manage to sit in the 42C for about 2 minutes.  There’s also a steam room and water slide.  And the best part, for us they’re free! 
  • Day 2: Work starts at 9:30 (generally supposed to be 9:30-1:00, lunch break to 2:30, and work again until 5).  So we were given a tour of the workshop and the store, then played another name-game, and then started to select stones and practice using a diamond-bit “etcher” (for lack of a better word at this early hour) to mark the symbols on the stones. After lunch – went to the museum. And back to the pool…
  • Day 3: Field trip to Snaefellsnes  Peninsula to gather stones on the lava fields (actually at the beach were the lava flows into the ocean). Fabulous!!! Stay tuned…..
  • Day 4: Because the weather was good, the weekend was moved from Sat/Sun to Fri/Sat so that the excursion along the south coast would have nice weather (didn’t go as I’ll be heading that way after my “work” camp ends on the 15th).

 And that’s pretty much week one….

Random thoughts:

  • Geothermal energy abounds, so although it may be cold outside, you need to peel off the layers to a t-shirt and shorts inside.
  • The water is reeking havoc on my hair…again, that geothermal energy….hot water smells (and tastes) like sulfur…not pleasant when you’re brushing your teeth and go to rinse and realize you’ve got some hot water in the mix!!

Ok, breakfast time….


~ by betweenthelatitudes on May 9, 2011.

2 Responses to “Worldwide Friends”

  1. interesting. brings to mind a question about languages. what is the native language there? feeling kinda jealous. i love volcanoes too…


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