Location: Sólheimar

Day 11! Today was the group’s last day of service at Solheimar, and it was full of fun. Our morning started at 8:00 am with breakfast and prepping for service. Around 8:50, we made our way down to morning announcements with other members of the Solheimar community. After that, we met up with our service leader Gummi and got started on our project for the day. We continued with one of our previous day’s work of moving tree saplings out of a greenhouse. With the help of teamwork and a sturdy assembly line, we finished the job in roughly 1.5 hours (including water and dancing breaks). We then made our way over to the other greenhouse were using our combined strength; we were able to reposition the frame of the refurbished greenhouse onto small metal posts. To celebrate the hard work of our last few days, we posed for a photo in front of the greenhouse while holding our Go Beyond flag. The group made its way back to the guesthouse, where we played a variety of card games until it was time for lunch.

After lunchtime (and cake time), we got ourselves ready for horseback riding! The group piled onto a bus and drove around thirty minutes to Eldhestar. Here, due to the unfortunate rain, we piled on bright orange rain gear and helmets and made our way to the horses. After a short introduction, everyone mounted their horse, and we were off! Icelandic horses are special in that they have an extra gait called a Tölt. Once Icelandic horses leave the country, they aren’t allowed to return due to the risk of spreading infectious diseases to the other special horses upon their return. With this in mind, our ride was much more exciting. We took off in a line and made our way through a long dirt trail. Our guides let us try the special gait on our horses, which was full of excitement and laughs. After about an hour, we returned to the barn and said goodbye to our horses and bright orange rain clothes. We then returned to our guesthouse and settled down. After many cups of tea, the group got ready for a forum.

As a leader, I facilitated a group discussion on goals by reading a passage and asking a series of presented questions to myself and the group. Everyone got to hear many thoughtful and insightful answers to questions regarding who and what we are as people as well as our individual goals. We also took part in an exercise of writing down both our tangible and intangible goals, and some even shared these with the group. This discussion helped everyone reflect on themselves as well as on how they want to be in the future.

To finish off the night, we walked over to the community auditorium and watched The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. The group got very excited at Iceland’s big feature in the film. After an inspiring and slightly emotional film, we made our way back to our guesthouse for the night. Day 11 was surely an 11/10!

Avery Vandevort