August 22, 2001
brought a little better weather, and we enjoyed it with a low key day on the
farm. We were introduced to the experience of riding Icelandic ponies, taking a
couple of short rides around the surrounding grassy fields both before and after
eating a huge lunch. The rest of the day offered plenty of time for schoolwork,
playing with the dogs and the cat, and petting the ponies.
Our host family has two daughters; Katla is 14 and Inga-Ber is 11. Watching them handle the ponies and go about their farm chores makes me slightly envious of the independence and self-confidence produced by these activities - Katla is already driving the family trucks around the farm even though she can't get a license until she is 16. I mentioned this thought to Geoff and he responded "It's not my fault that we don't live on a farm!" I suggested that we build a fence or something when we get home. He didn't look too horrified, but I'm pretty sure he thinks I'll forget.
Geoff may not know how to drive a truck or take care of horses, but he is getting a good start on his schoolwork. All the kids are. We are the only guests staying in a guesthouse designed for at least 15, so the kids have spread workbooks and art projects all over the place. I know that Lynn has tailored some of the curriculum to the places and activities of our trip and now I can now observe the initial application of this idea. Tom and Anna are studying weather by measuring the wind speed and direction every afternoon. Geoff is working on the geology section of his 9th grade science textbook. Iceland seems to be the perfect place for both topics. I suspect I will be repeatedly surprised and amazed (and should be more appreciative!) of Lynn's insightful and thoughtful curriculum planning.
First we went out and helped (watched) Katla and Inga-Ber pick out the ponies we'd be riding.
After the ponies got tacked-up, we started out in the barn with a "test drive" just to check and be sure we were somewhat stable in the saddle.
Then we got to do a simple out-and-about ride around the farm - yay this is fun!
Looking back towards the farmhouse (biggest red-roof) from the trail.
Back inside the warm farmhouse, Tom plays with the cat and Anna takes over the dining table with her schoolwork.
... and a few more pics of those (cute, sturdy, majestic, unique, adorable, etc) ponies.
- Rolf 8/22/01