Iceland Week 3 & Last Week

I made a decision several weeks ago and I will leave Solheimar ahead of schedule. One reason is because of my immigration status in U.S. As the International Student, I have to go back U.S. for applying the OPT (Optional Practical Training), which starts 60 days early before graduation and allows me to work/intern one year in U.S.

Another reason is, the internship so far is not what I expected. I was doing labor works for guesthouse and bakery several times in last couple weeks, like other volunteers. It gives me a chance to work with local people and experiences the work there are many people in this world doing everyday without any complaints. I expected learn something from this experience that will benefit my future career and job hurting. But it is not the reality. I like the project that they want me to get more connections for this eco-village and give them some suggestions for their further development. It gives me an opportunity to bring some new ideas for this village and I can create freely based on my experience and knowledge. At first, I was a little depressed cause I did not figure out what they want. After a great communication, I finally understand the things they want.

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I was re-thinking so many times recently why there are so many volunteers can stay here for such a long time, like 3 months, half a year, doing same labor works everyday, only for free food and accommodations? And even some of them come back to this village again. It is hard for me to understand. I was discussed with another Chinese girl. She comes through the CELL Education Abroad program. Even though she has classes everyday and tours on weekend, she has the same questions like me.

Recently, I feel I gradually get the answer. It is a kind of ideal state in Philosophy. Compared with the Asian culture, education and high pace of life, western culture is advocating the Nature, simple and slow, especially in Europe and village. For example, many volunteers here like hiking and peaceful. They are easy to satisfied. That’s their life style.  Also, this eco-village has the power to cure people, especially for those people they got so many hurts, no matter physically or mentally. As for them, Solheimar is a home for them. They would like to help people and enjoy the peace. The initial purpose of Solheimar is based on its social aspect, a community/home for home people, children and disabled people. Solheimar gives people a chance to re-charge themselves and prepare well for the next journey.

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It will be better if Solheimar and our college can create a program or Solheimar can connect local unvistiies/organizations that involves future interns into some projects, or help their further careers. Solheimar is a great place for people that love and are good at outdoor activities and want to simple, slower and peaceful lives.

The most lucky thing for me so far is meeting many cool people here. We are from different countries, backgrounds and cultures, but we can live together harmoniously and honestly, sharing, laughing, traveling, eating, dancing, being silly together. No matter where you go, great companies are always important. They will bring much more beautiful colors in your journey. Thanks to those lovely people!!!

We cannot ignore that our human beings are emotional animals and have feelings. It is hard to say goodbye for everyone, especially for those people that have been many great moments with you. But we have to move on and keep going. Those beautiful moments and memories will always be there, in your heart, in you mind, in your joinery.

I will leave this village this Friday and travel in Iceland for several days. I think I have re-charged well in Solheimar last couple weeks and I am preparing to go back to reality and start my next chapter.


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  1. Dear Xiaomin,
    I’m sorry the career experience wasn’t what you were hoping for, but every experience is an opportunity to learn. And it sounds like you did learn and grow from this experience, and that in and of itself can be invaluable. And I think you’ll probably continue to see ways to help from afar, or get ideas for future career paths and goals and projects.
    I agree with you that sometimes the people can make the whole experience worthwhile. I love the people I’ve met in Peru and think of some of them as extended family.
    Have fun traveling around Iceland and be safe, as always! I hear it’s a beautiful country and your pictures are beautiful, also.
    See you soon, friend! Ericka 🙂

  2. This might just be the most authentic and lovely PCGS blog post I have read yet. I love that you show how intertwined our inner and outer lives are- how in today’s world professional experiences are so closely linked to our most intimate thoughts and feelings. Excellent job! We will be glad to have you back 😉

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