Impressions from a German au pair who enroled on the course to see and learn about Iceland and meet the people

My name is Isabell,I´m from Germany and I´m here in Iceland as an Au-pair girl.The family I live with is very,very nice.The children are 12 and 4 years old and I have to take care of them and help in the domestic work. My host mother is a member of the parliament which is very good for me, because she knows a lot of people and so I have many possibilities to do everything what I want.This is a funny thing in Iceland that everybody knows everybody and if you need help and ask for it you can be sure that the answer will be:"Ju´, I know someone and his wife has a friend and the friend from this friend he can help you!"

Anyway, that´s how I came into the course"Geological history of Iceland" in MH. This was a very good experience for me, because there are only Icelandic students and I think it is very difficult for an au-pair to get to know Icelandic people and not only other au-pairs,if you are not in touch with the "real life". Now I have been and it was great! It was also very good that this course was in the Icelandic language and, although I didn´t understand so much, I have learned a lot. The best things of course were the excursions. I think it is very important for foreigners to see the countryside,because Reykjavik is not Iceland.

The first trip to Lakagigar was great. Because it is my third time now here in Iceland it was not new for me to see the spectacular landscape. But Lakagigar is a very special place. It is between the two biggest glaciers in Iceland (Vatnajökulland Myrdalsjökull), you can see them both (if the wether is ok) and this is a very fantastic feeling. You can sense that the glaciers are alive, that the whole earth under your feet is alive and if you imagine the power of the eruption in 1783 you have respect for nature.To see and feel the landscape was one thing on this weekend. To experience how Icelandic students behave in the weekend is another! We slept in an Edda hotel in Kirkjubæjarklaustur and the whole night was "party" and everybody was in good humor. The next day we drove to the place,where the flood emerged in 1996 after the eruption under the glacier.It was unbelievable to see this.

The trip to Hekla has also been very interesting. We have seen not only volcanics, but also we have seen something of the way of life in the old days in Iceland. We have been in an old farm house called "Stöng" and you could imagine that it was not very easy to live in the countryside in those times. So I know now that our way of life is really very luxurious and convenient

To be on the "Westman Islands" has also been great. To see the cliffs and the bird son them. We walked on the top of Eldfell, the new volcano from the eruption of 1973. It is still warm!!! After 24 years! Then you realise that 24 years are not along time, and you think every moment this could happen again. Hemaey is a very nice island, but it is very small and so a very special place. Everybody knows each other and you can´t go very easily to another village. I couldn´t live there, but anyway it was a very good weekend.

Now I am a little bit sad that the course is over, but I know now some people better. I love Iceland and I think it is very good to live here (no pollution, great nature, interesting people etc.) But if you come some time to visit: be careful, the "huldufolk" or fairies are everywhere!

Isabell