As I told you in the previous post, our organization took us to a town east of Iceland called Eskifjördur. A small village of about a thousand inhabitants, with only two streets and nobody in its.
In this town our organization (worldwide friends) has taken control of the building that was before school, with the intention to reform and make it habitable and convert it in a meeting point between young volunteers and local people.
For this reason, the current residents of the house (reeli, Martin, Stepan, Katka and Lisa) decided to hold the first “Old school open house”, an open day where they explain to the neighbors what is the job that Worldwide Friends does.
The preparation of this meeting was made aware during the entire previous week: we repaired the paint of radiators, we repainted rooms and we designed lampshades for the lamps of the corridor, we painted posters and banners, handed out leaflets and posters by houses and shops … it was important that all the people knew about this initiative.
Also for decorating the house, Katka made a lovely painting about “Midgard”, an old world German of the pagan mythology, who was surrounded by a snake biting its tail, representing the cycle of life, the beginning and the end.
Stepan surprised us with two giant homemade breads for bring to our guests and several other dishes. Everything was ready.
I wanted to do some interviews on the street to project them into the house, but everyone said a resounding NO. I guess because is a small town and people are very reserved and closed. Perhaps, because of my experience with the timidity of the premises, my confidence in attending the event, dropped dramatically.
After the final touches on the cleaning and decorating the house, there was only ready and waiting at 15h, official time for the start the event.
What was my surprise to see people get a few minutes after the scheduled time. First a father with his two daughters, then a group of elders who had studied at the school, also some grandparents with their grandson, Axel, a beautiful child I fell in love with his laugh and get me to accompany him to play. Our neighbors went for a coffee and a chat with us. And they all were to listen to what the volunteers had to say in the presentation about the partnership and volunteerism, our contributions, our expectations, intentions of the organization concerning the integration of rural areas volunteerism and concrete plans regarding the renewal of the house.
The presentation was a success, all attendees were delighted with the work done and even two young icelandic guys remain in the house for hours talking to us.
Now in Eskifjördur people know about the EVS and that our association ha always the doors open to them.