Registered: August 2011
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Traveling more than 2000 miles to an area where sunlight lasts for 4 hours in the winter, I found myself in Reykavik, Iceland. This summer at the age of 17, I traveled by myself on a six hour flight to a country that holds less than 400,000 people. The reason for this outrageous trip at such a young age was because I was signed up to volunteer in the forests of Iceland. After saving up for months on tutoring jobs and birthday cash, I finally had enough money for my flight and participation fee to volunteer.
When I arrived at Iceland, I was amazed with the scenery and landscapes the country had to offer. Every 5 minutes whether you were driving, bicycling or even walking the landscape would change on you. It was breathtaking to see the different varieties of mountains, cliffs and waterfalls that Iceland had to offer. When I got to my workcamp, which was a six hour drive from the capital city, I was surrounded with the two forests that we would be working on. Located in the North and Northeast of Iceland, the forests were part of the largest continuous woodland in the country. Our jobs as volunteers was to help trim the trees in order to keep them healthy, plant trees, removing stones on the roads so cars can easily pass by, maintaining walking paths for the traffic of hikers and painting.
Iceland's forests are currently shrinking in size due to overgrazing from the sheep and deforestation and so it is important that we take care of the forests that they already have. For me, working in the forests was a new adventure and made me appreciate the Icelandic people and Iceland as well. The people have few resources they can survive on and have to import many essential needs for them to survive. So it's important for us to help them maintain and expand the resources that they have and keep them from dying off. This project made me develop a huge appreciation for Iceland's ecosystem and the motivation to continue the development of the forests.