None of these stories are quite interesting or long enough to merit their own posts, but I thought I would share them anyway. Enjoy!
I. On the way home from school, two of my roommates and I crossed paths with two middle school ages girls. They dabbed at us (that ~dance move that looks like you’re covering a sneeze) and giggled. We smiled back when one of the girls asked “Will you take a picture of me?” Confused, I said “Sure!” So here is that picture:
By the way, if you’re the kid in this picture, let me know and I’ll give you proper credit.
She didn’t ask so see the picture or anything. Just posed, and then scampered away.
II. I was offered the opportunity to ride an Icelandic horse by my RA, Elsa. So after class, and after the aforementioned photo op, she, the other RA, Eydis, and I hit the road to Dalvik.
I’ve ridden horses before, but that was A. a long time ago and B. not my thing. So I was excited for this opportunity, but also quite nervous. Elsa and Eydis were no nonsense, but friendly and kind as well. Elsa instructed me in how to get the mare ready. How to catch her; brush, saddle, and bridle her; and finally, the commands and movements to adjust speed and direction.
One of the first things I learned when I started surfing was to lean into the fall. If you feel yourself falling, the best thing you can do is surrender to it and protect your head and neck.
This is apparently a lesson that I have learned well. I didn’t know this at the time, but the horse I was riding has been trained to respond to body movements over spoken commands or anything involving the reins. It would seem that I inadvertently signaled the horse to run. No amount of reining her in did anything, and I felt myself slipping. So I fell off. The only damage done was an impressive bruise on my elbow and forearm where I broke my fall.
Once I recovered from the shock of it, Elsa and Eydis informed me that I had to remount. It was not optional, because you have to face the fear of riding immediately after so you don’t get too traumatized. So I did. And the mare and I cantered around a bit more before calling it a day. As with the getting ready, Elsa taught me the taking down of a ride as well. She also taught me an Icelandic maxim: “If you haven’t failed, you’re not trying”.
III. Post fall and post tea with Elsa’s parents, I came home to the news that one of my housemates, was leaving Iceland. Taking someone to the airport is usually not a fun errand. But I recommend that, if you can, you go in a group. A carload of people drove across Akureyri to the airport talking and laughing all the way there. And a car load of people, less one, talked and laughed all the way back as well. As always, there is strength in numbers.
I know that this post is a bit random and short, but I hope you all enjoyed it nonetheless. 🙂
By the way, it’s been less cold!