Back Home

I am all packed and ready to go back home to America. This is a time of mixed emotions – I’m sad to leave the Faroe Islands, but I am looking forward to being with my children again. This time, the feelings are a little stronger, since it may be a while before I make it back to the Faroes again.

I have several projects that will keep me occupied for some time when I return home. First, I will need to learn how to be a grandmother. Other people who have had the experience tell me that this very small unknown person will become a very important part of my life, and since my daughter and her husband live only a ten minute drive from my house, I will have lots of opportunities to get to know the new little baby.

In 2008, the big event for me was getting my book published in the Faroe Islands (in Faroese). My next big project will be to find a publisher in America that is interested in publishing a book about a woman who finds her father’s family in the Faroe Islands (where???) some 80 years after he left home. Wish me luck! I don’t know how long this will take, but I plan to keep trying until I succeed.

I also plan to get back into directing and producing theater in my church in Berkeley. For years, we would put on a couple of shows every year, and I think it is time to get organized for the next show. Directing a show in Berkeley is not something I can do while travelling back and forth to the Faroe Islands.

On the other side of the picture, I love living here in the Faroe Islands. I like living in a small town where I know a lot of people and where people know me – a place where you don’t need to lock your doors and where you can safely walk alone, day or night. I am finally learning enough of the language that I can hold a conversation with someone, at least on a limited number of topics. I have grown to know and love my family here. If you have looked at my photos over the years, you know that this is an incredibly beautiful place. However, the winter storms are not among my favorite things, even though they make good pictures.

With all of the travelling I have been doing, I often say that home is where my suitcase is. Well, now I am taking my suitcase back to California – back home.

Gøta Gates

Nearly every garden on Gunnleyg’s street has a different kind of gate. On a sunny day when we took a walk through the town, I stopped to take pictures of the gates. I have included some other gates, and somethings that are not gates, as well. The play of shadow and sun makes them look like abstract art.

Fuglafjørður

Here are a some photos from Fuglafjørður from the past few weeks. It is a beautiful place. You should come for a visit sometime. Maybe for my next visit, work on the little house will be finished.

Here are also a few leftover photos that aren’t from Fuglafjørður that I thought you might enjoy.

Friends, Neighbors, and Relatives

Here are some Faroese people, plus a few dogs – some relatives, some friends, and a few strangers.

Sunset

A few days ago I drove home from Tórshavn with the setting sun shining in my eyes until we got to Eysturoy. There was no wind, and the sea was very still, reflecting the passing mountains and towns. Skálafjørður Bay was like a mirror.

We arrived in Gøta, but we drove right past Gunnleyg’s house, through the tunnel to Leirvík. I hadn’t seen a sunset for two months in the Faroe Islands, and in the summer, Leirvík, with its view to the north, is the perfect place to see a sunset. If we had waited just a few more hours, we could also have seen the sunrise from just about the same place.

Patterns in Nature

First I noticed how the patterns in the sand have the same wavy pattern as the waves in the bay on a calm day. Then I started seeing other patterns in nature – things you don’t see in a large city in America. Here are a few close-up pictures of common sights of nature in the Faroe Islands.

More Celebrations

This has been a week of celebrations, with something different happening nearly every night. I don’t have any pictures from Monday night, so there probably wasn’t a concert or a party on Monday.

Last Sunday, the Fuglafjørður Brass Band (called a Horn Orchestra in the Faroe Islands) celebrated their 40th anniversary by giving a concert in the Fuglafjørður Culture house. It was a delightful evening with a wide variety of music. One of my favorites was a ponderous tuba solo, with the small trumpet player playing circles around the tuba (figuratively and literally). I didn’t know there was such a wide variety of music written for a horn orchestra.

On Tuesday, the Fuglafjørður church was filled with people who came for a hymn sing. The Faroese radio station recorded about 15 hymns – ones that are favorites in the Fuglafjørður church. If we made a mistake, we would have to go back and sing it again. During the past year they have done this in five or six different churches in the Faroes. The program will be broadcast at a later date.

On Wednesday, I drove to the town of Toftir, about 20 minutes to the south on Eysturoy, for a concert by a choir from Denmark. During the spring and summer months, there are a variety of musical groups who come to the Faroes and give concerts in various churches here.

On Thursday, the Fuglafjørður Kommuna honored Niels Midjørd on his 60th birthday by sponsoring an evening of music at the Culture House. Niels was the architect who designed the Culture House, and all of the performers were people whom Niels had sung or played with. It was a fun evening, ending with desserts, of course.

On Friday, there was an organ concert at the Fuglafjørður church, part of the 25th anniversary celebration for the new church building. Four organists from Faroese churches played for the concert, including Heðin, our Fuglafjørður organist. Wonderful music!

On Saturday, I attended a birthday dinner for Niels, along with about 150 other friends and relatives. The Fuglafjørður choir sang several pieces, one of them by Niels. This was a typical Faroese celebration with lots of music, speeches, good food, and rich desserts.

Today I went to a birthday party for 11 year old Esmann – not so much music, but lots of good food and rich desserts.

I think I have mentioned that Faroese people enjoy celebrations. They really do!

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