While visiting our school, the Icelandic teachers, Thorsteinn and Bjarni, were interviewed by a number of our students. You can listen to the interview here
Time passes quickly enough for us to realize it´s already been a week since we came back. Bjarni and I spent six days in Ireland in the first week of February. The program was relaxed enough for us to be able to spend the first day on our own as well as the last preparing for our return back home, which left us four days with the teachers and the students at the Children´s Hospital in Dublin (Our Lady´s Hospital).
The first day was spent getting our bearings. The school was a modest but comfortable classroom (plus kitchen) attached to the hospital. Each day was unique because one never knows at the start of the day how many students will be able to show up, for clinical reasons. We were guided through the hospital and shown the different wards. Meanwhile the only student who could make it to the school that day browsed through books and leaflets that we left behind and prepared for a "radio interview" with us, which was recorded on the computer. We thought that was a clever way of getting the most out of us that day. It was very enjoyable and lead to a stimulating conversation about Icelandic nature and customs. We hope it was informative as well.
The second day: We participated in a workshop on waste along with students and the other teachers. A visitor from "The Rediscovery Centre" talked about waste and how we make the most of it by "upcycling" it (as opposed to "recycling"). In the afternoon we went to visit the centre which was located in the Ballymun suburb of Dublin. It is a most interesting place that redesigns old furniture and bicycles, produces fashion clothes out of leftover materials and reuses old paint, cleans it and resells for next to nothing. We enjoyed browsing through their store as well as talking to the people working in the workshop nearby, while they were breathing new life into these old things. In the evening we went with a few of the teachers to the Chester Beatty museum, which is amazing, and ended the busy day with a thoroughly enjoyable dinner downtown.
The third day: Again the class had a visitor, this time a ceramic artist who makes art using waste materials. We took part in the group activity, as if we were students ourselves (but helping the students the best we could) while we made flowers, pictures or wallets out of all kinds of leftover materials. The students seemed to love the activity and created many beautiful things while we photographed some of the results for future reference. In the afternoon we went to the Natural History Museum in Dublin (Archaeology) and saw evidence of the many close cultural links between Ireland and Iceland. Again we spent the evening together, now in a place called Howth - the head of the peninsula just north of Dublin. It is a charming area with a lot of atmosphere, and a noticeably fresh air, and a great seafood restaurant. Another great evening was spent in good company sharing jokes and stories, while eating mussels, of course.
The final day was short because we had to run a few errands before leaving Dublin. Because of that we decided to do another interview, like the first day, with two new students. They seemed to like the process, which allowed them to be creative and in control. We left the school with our head full of ideas which we look forward to employing at home.
A few more photos: Dublin2014myndir.pdf
Bjarni and Thorsteinn are getting ready for their week in Ireland. We´ll be at Our Lady´s Hospital on Tuesday. We look forward to it.
The photo shows Thorsteinn during a special day we call "non-electricity day". We used no electricity, like the name suggests, except for flashlights. Some students prepared themselves well, arriving with headlights, while most of the teachers used old-fashioned candles. The day was very enjoyable and most of us found it relaxing. We read ghost stories and had a great time together you n the darkness of the morning.
See you later,
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