Spending time with one another and taking the time to create conversation is a big part of the community at the Solheimar Eco-village in Iceland. The village itself supports workers from all over the world, volunteers, visitors, and a residential community with special needs. The diverse community creates a beautiful dynamic of friendships, connections, and, communication. One way the village promotes this is through “coffee breaks”. However, the coffee break I am used to differs from what is promised here

This past week, my CELL group started participating in the workshops within the village during our morning blocks. This meant that we would be directly working with village residents and workers. At around 10am, all the workshops break to sit for twenty to thirty minutes, and have coffee (kaffi) or tea (te). This provided us with a great opportunity to get to know some of these people that we would be encountering for the next three months. These coffee breaks immediately sparked conversation.

Our first day in the workshops, I was placed in Sunna, which is the big greenhouse in the village. That specific day, we helped plant tomatoes with one of the residents who was very friendly. At coffee time, he told us all about his life now, and some of his concepts about the english language. We also met some of the international workers, and created conversations with them. Our second day in the workshops, I worked in the forestry greenhouse (Orllu) which is smaller than Suuna, but a very friendly dog greeted us at the door. Here, it is run by a new Icelandic worker, who is passionate about organic farming and making people smile. During our coffee break that morning, he prepared us tea and some light snacks, which was heartwarming because of his effort to connect with us.

   During both breaks, it was amazing to see how open and honest community members are with each other. There is a great sense of trust interwoven here. Everyone wants you to know them for who they truly are. I’m starting to understand how this is an essential part of not only forming a respectful community, but also creating bonds with others. I am excited to continue to learn more and create more friendships during my time in this community.

Isabella Colello