April 20, 2010

People in Iceland - How Are You?

Although I haven't waded through the 14,000 news items provided through Google News about the volcano Eyjafjallajokull and the havoc its ash is reaking, I can't find anything on how the population of Iceland is faring. Iceland has a tiny population, about 320,000. But are they walking around with handkerchiefs pressed to their nostrils? Are kids missing school? Is livestock able to graze?

They've had a terrible year financially and now this. But I haven't heard a peep about how the people from Iceland are dealing with this latest disaster. HOW ARE YOU DOING?

Back in 2002 I had to find (virtually) and describe every town and tourist destination in Iceland for an online travel encyclopedia I was working for. It's wonderful and temperate, yet a place of extremes. Here's how I described it back then

"Iceland is a combination of fire and ice; where active volcanoes, geysers and hot springs occur amid glaciers, ice fields and fjords. Rich in history, literature and folklore, Iceland offers many winter sporting activities with bird watching and fishing close behind"

To my ear, the name of the volcano Eyjafjallajokull is virtually unpronounceable. I would have said Ay-yaf-yalla-yokul, but I'm not even close. My favourite translation instrument Forvo doesn't have a sample yet. But if you listen here, (it's fast) the first one is an example of  how it's supposed to be said. I've also found a blog called The Iceland Weather Report that states it's business as usual there. Good to hear.

top image - www.thetravelpeach.com
bottom image -www.art-iceland.com


Diane said...

You describe Iceland beautifully, Hazel.
Your concern for its citizens is admirable!
Me, I am only thinking of the once-in-a-lifetime trip I've booked to go to Europe for the first time and tour the Mediterranean. Hoping that if travel arrangements go askew I will at least get my money back and not get --rewed.
There is poetry in all this somewhere.

what was that line... oh yes, I'm not greedy I just want a great deal.


Hels said...

All acts of God are of course tragic. But your post reminded me of something.

Isn't it wonderful how when you live in a country/city, or work hard on a country/city as in your case, you have an unending connection to that place in your heart and mind. When that place is in the news, as Iceland is just now, you are immediately alerted and "involved".

I lived in St Albans in Britain for a few years in the early 1970s and loved it. It is the tiniest place, and it crops up in the international news about once every ten years. But when it does, I pay very close attention.

Giulia said...

I love Iceland...only been once, though. I saw one report on NBC in States...it didn't seem too bad for the citizens at that point (maybe two days ago)...but the report is probably on MSNBC site. They had an Icelandic vulcanologist (sp?) talking...those poor people. What an awful 18 months.

There's plenty of poetry in this, yes...will keep my ears & eyes open from our fellow Icelandic poets. I don't dare touch this one.


PS: So sorry about Diane's trip. try not to think of it as once-in-lifetime or that will come true. I'm not being mean, I worry about that phrase...is there insurance for this sort of thing? It's not selfish to think about your trip & Iceland too. I hope you get a great deal.

Mrsupole said...

I once watched a story about Iceland on the History Channel and I have to say that the people who live there must be very special to survive living in the cold weather. Here in So. CA we are not used to cold weather and Iceland looks very cold most of the year.

It also looks like a beautiful place to live and visit. I too have wondered about the people who live there. I thought maybe it was because the reporters could not fly there. We have so many people here, my city is just an average city and has almost 100,000 people living in it. But then this state has almost 36 million living in it alone. Way too many people and too much conjestion here. It would be nice to have a lot less people around.

Great post here worrying about the Icelandic people. I hope they know that others have also worried about them.

God bless.

Monica said...

i was looking for the exact same info! the news usually covers the 'human perspective', but for some reason i couldn't find it. it's all about how European flights are cancelled, sheesh!

Laurie Grassi said...

OK, it took me about 30 tries before I could even get close to saying the volcano name correctly! And now I already forget how again!

Re the Icelandic people, the last I read a couple of weeks ago, it was reported that the volcano seemed to be provided them some sort of entertaining distraction from all the economic woes that have beset the country – hmmm, not sure how accurate that is, but that's what was said.

:) Laurie