The word geyser comes from the Icelandic word geysir, which means to gush, and is the name of one of the first discovered and recorded geysers.
Unfortunately, Geysir doesn’t erupt much any more, but Strokkur, which is nearby, still erupts frequently. I was there for only about 25 minutes, and got to see it happen four times!
It was impressive, to say the least.
There are pools and puddles of near-boiling water all around the area. This geothermal heat is a huge energy source throughout Iceland. It smells a bit like sulfur, but it warms homes, provides hot water for showers, pools, and hot tubs, and melts snow when its pumped under roads. Pretty cool, er, warm.
I learned two lessons during my trip to Iceland. First, camera batteries sometimes need to be recharged- BRING YOUR CHARGER. When I went to the place I was most looking forward to, Thingvellir (Þingvellir), the tectonic plate boundaries, where the North American and Eurasian plates meet, my camera battery died. I had realized a few days earlier that I forgot the charger. I’m sure someone at Kex Hostel would have had one I could have used, but I was unable to locate that person. Luckily I could still use my cell phone camera, but the quality is clearly lacking. Trying to capture Thingvellir with a cell phone camera would be equivalent to listening to a symphony as a ring tone. Even my fancy camera wouldn’t be up to the task.
Here comes the second thing I learned. I teach 5th grade science. I have over 40 college hours in science classes, and much more than that in education classes. It’s important for teachers to find out where students’ misconceptions are, then work on addressing those misconceptions. So my big misconception, clearly earth science isn’t my forte: I thought that where the plates collided would be one crack in the earth. I was not expecting there to be numerous rock formations, cracks and crevices, some dry, some full of water. I wasn’t expecting the area to stretch nearly as far as I could see in all directions. I wasn’t expecting it to be so jaw-droppingly beautiful.
So I leave you with some images.
I have some good friends who live in Las Vegas. Most people are surprised that people actually live there. So I’ve been there about 6 times, and have spent most of that time in places that tourists to Las Vegas have probably never been.
Did you know there is more than one street in Las Vegas? The Strip is not the only street in town!
Did you also know that there are beautiful mountains, canyons, and wildlife?
I was surprised by the numbers of birds I saw. Everywhere I looked, I saw ravens, goldfinches, hummingbirds, grackles, sparrows, and more. Here’s a hummingbird I was able to snap a photo of.
I know I’ll go back to Vegas sometime, which makes me both glad and frustrated. It’s troubling to me to spend time there. The gaudiness, tackiness, and wastefulness in the middle of the desert bothers me. The resources are so strained, water should be scarce at best, non-existent at worst, yet there are hundreds of thousands of people sucking up the resources, dumping money into machines, and taking in all the man-made, soulless sights and sounds. I prefer to stay away from that, which is sometimes difficult to remember because I must admit I enjoy blackjack. I advise anyone who goes, myself included, to get out of the casino and enjoy the outdoors.
It started with bread. Then it moved on to bagels. Now he wants to try pretzels as soon as we get some cream of tarter.
My mom got us the cookbook Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day last November. My husband skeptically decided to try it out. We haven’t bought bread since.
The thing is, it really is just about 5 minutes a day in active preparation. There is no kneading or anything. The rest of the time is letting it rise and bake. I don’t really understand how it works, but it does!
Why am I not as into it as he is? I’m not sure. I enjoy the process of measuring and mixing, and these recipes are so simple they lack that process. I also like baking sweets rather than breads. Baking bread doesn’t interest me as much as it does him, but I am hugely grateful that he took to it. Because eating delicious homemade bread interests me a lot.
It is frustrating that the Haiti that most people know is the Haiti portrayed on the news. What I mean is Americans I’ve spoken with have had the conception that Haiti is a dirty country full of sick people who do not have the means or will to take care of themselves. In contrast, visiting there I’ve not only seen natural beauty everywhere, but also eager, happy people with a huge sense of pride in their self-appearance and a strong work ethic. I did not take many photos of people working on projects, including functional projects like building, cleaning, preparing food, and taking care of others, and artistic projects like dance, film, and painting. I have seen all of this, and I’ve seen it often. I did take some of the pictures of the natural beauty that is Haiti.
This is the beach at Jacmel Bay. Not only is it gorgeous with a nice, cool ocean breeze, it is also a great spot to find sea glass. In fact, if you’re interested in sea glass jewelry, a group of deaf Haitians creates it and sells it on etsy.
This photo is taken from a rooftop in Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital and home to nearly one million people, with close to 4 million in the city and the surrounding metropolitan area.
Here is my husband enjoying the sights and sounds of Port-au-Prince.
Goodnight, Haiti. It was great hearing your cows, roosters, and goats. The first day I arrived on my first visit, the driver who picked me up at the airport told me no one visits Haiti just one time. Having been there twice in less than six months, I agree with him.
I made my husband some lobster-claw biking mittens for Christmas. I finished them on Christmas Eve. It doesn’t matter that he’s Jewish, we celebrated Christmas this year. These mittens are nice for biking because they are warm like mittens, but you can pull the brake more easily.
I call them Zoidberg in Blue. They’re more of a blue slate color, but I like the sound of Zoidberg in Blue better than Zoidberg in Slate. Or in Blue-Grey.
I made these out of one of my most favorite yarns in the world, Malabrigo. In the back of my mind, I’ve been planning a trip to Uruguay to visit the Malabrigo factory. I saved a business card from one of the Uruguayan managers I met once at an event at Nina. I’ll get there someday. Maybe we can bike there one summer.
I love my bike. I love riding it, I love looking at it, I even love patching the tube when the tire goes flat (though my husband will say I’m lying here).
It is a beautifully simple machine.
My lungs feel clean and my body feels refreshed when I bike. I’ve never biked in winter before until this year. It’s fine as long as you bundle up.
Even BeezyCat loves it.