Masters Degrees and Birthdays to feed my homesickness

now I'm a master in everything icelandic

now I’m a master in everything icelandic

I didn’t attend my first master’s graduating ceremony, and I wasn’t going to attend the second, but then three of my closest friends and partners in anti-studying crimes from the program were invited to (slash threatened to attend) the occasion; Steve, Liv and Marie. I felt I had to be present too once they all showed up in Iceland and I was still MIA.  My flight out of Sierra Leone was delayed nearly a day, but I made it in time for the ceremony and a lot of celebrations.

The first celebration was Steve’s birthday, then my graduation. I felt like a spectacle since I was the only person to walk the stage from the program, and it was the only program announced in English, “Masters in Medieval Icelandic Studies.” It should have been called a Masters in Norse Mythology, or Icelandic Horse History, but now everyone thinks I’m one of those medieval enthusiasts who should wear a Thor’s hammer necklace or studded, black pleather clothing. Unfortunately, I’m not pale enough for gothic fashion, and I don’t know nearly enough about Vikings or the middle ages, so I just claim it as a degree in being more Icelandic than before.

We took a road trip to celebrate my new truck, a Kia sportage I bought 2 days before leaving for Africa for 4 months. But the Kia was a party pooper and ran out of gas in the middle of the highlands between Thingvellir and Laugarvatn…

me and my mustache friends

me and my mustache friends

The next celebration was my roommate Harald’s birthday, followed 2 days later by my birthday. There weren’t enough champagne bottles for all the events, but we popped at least 4 over the week, and polished off some 12L of miscellaneous other alcohol. We threw a mustache and bowtie party, where I received the kind of amazing gifts little girls wish for on shooting stars. My father treated me like a princess, a special guest from France came to visit, and my Icelandic chef friends spoiled me rotten for the Reykjavik Food and Fun festival.

Then, I was gone as quickly as I had arrived, with another flurry of happy home memories and a bunch of friends to miss even more. But I was on my way to other friends that Im always missing, so once more I tore myself away from the comfort zone of safe at home, with a tingle of travel bug itching again at my toes.

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