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From Akureyri to Gimli

Time 0:03:18


We are family of four from Akureyri in Iceland. We had a beautiful little house on hill in Akureyri. I always wanted to move to a different country, me and my husband often talked about it over the years but it was never the right time. Then everything changed and Iceland had difficulties and the banks crumbled. Everything got more expensive. I was angry that we lost all our savings that took years to build up. But, we had our own company that we could sell and we had money to leave, lots of people didn’t have that opportunity. Now was the right time to go if we ever would.

Lot of Icelanders were moving to Norway but we wanted something completely different, and that was Canada. I called my good friend Sigrun Stella in Toronto to get some information. She told me about Manitoba and Gimli. And in the modern world we were talking to Icelanders in Gimli through skype. Then before you knew we were packing our bags. In my mind I was ready but when I said goodbye to my family and friends it was hard. It was a strange feeling when we stood with our two kids and lots of luggage saying goodbye to our home country.

Gimli was our new home and it was comforting to move to a place that they called New Iceland. The people in Gimli where amazing - so helpful and friendly. I even found some relatives here that I’m related to in fourth generation. That family has done so much for us, we have our Icelandic Canadian Christmas with them. My daughter Klara walked in to her first grade with a smile and spoke Icelandic loud and clear and told me that I could go. My son Mikael had a difficult time at school at first learning the language and trying to meet new friends. But after few months he found his way. My life got easier when I saw my kids adapt.

I’m so proud of my children. They didn’t speak or understand a word in english when we came here and now they are correcting me when I speak. Our life here is getting better every day now, my husband Haukur is working on his own as a carpenter. And I’m working part time for now. We are also planning to build a house here in town. We are still finding our way here but with every month that passes it gets a little better. I still get homesick and I’m not sure that feeling ever goes away. I guess your heart always stays at home. But this is only the beginning of our story here we will see how it ends.

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