Hrunamannahreppur, the Place of Yours Dream.

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Hrunamannahreppur is one of the oldest municipalities in Iceland. The first men came to Hrunamannahreppur for over 1100 years ago. Those were two brothers Már and Bröndólfur sons of Naddoddur. Már lived on a farm named Másstaðir and Bröndólfur on a farm named Berghylur. Nowadays nobody knows where Másstaðir were but Berghylur is well known and now is there a big sheep farm. Hrunamannahreppur is located in South Iceland in the area Upcountry Árnessýsla. Four municipalities are in the Upcountry Árnessýsla. Hrunamannahreppur is rather big, 250 km2. Two big rivers, Hvítá (Whiteriver) and Stóra-Laxá (The Big Salmon River), make the boundary of Hrunamannahreppur. Hrunamannahreppur have beautiful landscape, green fields, majestic mountains and thriving valleys. Lots of geothermal is all around Hrunamannahreppur and the hot water have been used a lot for bathing, warming up the houses and baking bread for a long time. In the year 1927 the first house got hot water to warm up the house and know over 90% of the residents’ warm their homes with hot water. The soil is very fertile and it is easy to get almost everything to grow in Hrunamannahreppur. Because of that Hrunamannahreppur is the biggest vegetables producer in Iceland. But other agricultural is also big. In Hrunamannahreppur is a small town named Flúðir. About 800 people lives in Hrunamannahreppur including about 400 in Flúðir.

            The community is very good and people help each other if something goes wrong and help is needed. Many choirs are in Hrunamannahreppur (at least 6 choirs) because the people like to come together and sing and have a good time. Lots of others activities are all year round and if you want to know what is going on you can visit the facebook of Hrunamannahreppur and their website.

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Daði Geir

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The Incredible Invention – Ice Cream.

Ice cream is an incredible invention. It‘s a frozen dessert that‘s usually made from dairy products, such as milk and cream and often combined with fruits or other ingredients and flavors. Most varieties contain sugar, although some are made with other sweeteners. In some cases, artificial flavorings and colorings are used in addition to, or instead of, the natural ingredients.

            Before the development of modern refrigeration, ice cream was a luxury reserved only for special occasions. Making it was quite challenging; ice was cut out from lakes and ponds during the winter and stored in holes in the ground or in wood-frame or brick ice houses, insulated by straw. Many farmers and plantation owners cut and stored ice in the winter for use in the summer. Ice cream was made by hand in a large bowl placed inside a tub filled with ice and salt.

            The development of industrial refrigeration by German engineer Carl von Linde during the 1870s eliminated the need to cut and store natural ice.

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            You can buy ice cream with different looks and flavors. You can add candy or fruits, sauces and almost everything you can think of. You can buy it in a box or in bread. It‘s good to eat it without adding anything in it but it goes also good with cakes, especially the brown ones.

            If you have a craving for ice cream but all the stores are closed you can always make it yourself. Here is a recipe for a Very Chocolate Ice Cream:

Ingredients:

¾ cup sugar

1 cup milk

¼ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

3 egg yolk, lightly beaten

2 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

2 cups heavy cream

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

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Directions:

1.      Combine sugar, milk, salt, and cocoa powder in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly. Bring to a simmer. Place the egg yolks into a small bowl. Gradually stir in about ½ cup of the hot liquid and return to the saucepan. Heat until thickened, but do not boil. Remove from the heat, and stir in the chopped chocolate until chocolate is melted. Pour into a chilled bowl, and refrigerate for about two hours until cold, stirring occasionally.

2.       When chocolate mixture has completely cooled, stir in the cream, and vanilla. Pour into an ice cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.

The preparation takes about 10 mines, it takes 10 minutes to make it and it’s ready in 4 hours and 20 minutes. Enjoy!

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Hróðný

 

Equal rights

Sex discrimination is known all over the world but takes various shapes in different communities. All over the world women’s right are not fully respected. Still today, in the 21st century, women in the industrial countries are not getting as high salary for the same work as men. Women are treated differently in the mass media and also on the Internet. The discussion on the Internet about women’s rights and feminism is very interesting. Many people don’t want to talk about feminism but want talk about gender equality.

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Feminism is defined as “ the advocacy of women’s right on the grounds of political, social and economic equality to men”.  It is all about being equal and the genders are not equal today. To change this, people have to change the way they think. It is not just because of men, it is how both genders think. This is why I think that in both middle school and in high school gender studies should be taught. It opens our eyes up on how we look at for example advertises and the appearance-obsession that it revolves around.

Þórhildur

Your Life Leader

                                               
When Christian kids in Iceland are in the eight grade, they are confirmed. The confirmation is a ceremony where you confirm your christening and accept Jesus as your life leader. The ceremony is considered to be the step from being a child to adulthood. The ceremony is very festive. The whole family comes together to celebrate this stage and shower the kid with attention and presents of all kind. Getting confirmed is an option; nobody is obligated to do that. Yet there is this kind of expectation by society that everyone gets confirmed. Families and school seem to pressure kids to undergo confirmation. Anything else is just unusual.
What really bugs me about this is that at 13 years of age you are pushed into choosing Jesus Christ as the leader of your life. You kind of don’t have any choice. Very few of the kids getting confirmed are doing it for the right reason. Everybody wants presents. If the ceremony didn’t include a party and presents, I seriously doubt that many would do it. At this age you just go with the flow. You are not ready to take that kind of decision when you have so little experience of living. This is a decision I think ought to be taken later, when you have found your path in life.

Believing in a higher power is fundamental and has been a crucial part of human life since the beginning. Believing gives comfort and has helped many through hard times. Everyone has to find their own spiritual side and decide for themselves if they want to practise that or not.

Þórhildur

A Girl’s Best Friend

Diamonds are a girl‘s best friends Marilyn Monroe sang. Diamonds are beautiful and there is no question that they suit every lady. Diamonds go a long way from when they are found in the earth till they end up as an engagement ring.

These precious jewels are nothing more than crystallized carbon. They are formed when titanic-force pressure and heat causes carbon to crystallize 1.9 km below Earth‘s surface between 600 million and 3 billion years ago.

People desire diamonds because they think that they are rare, but that is a big misunderstanding. It is surprising that diamonds are not so rare as many would like to think. The stones are mined, cut and marked way up and sold with huge profit. Illegal sale of blood diamonds has produced billions of dollars that go directly to cost civil wars and conflicts.

                        

 

The Kimberley Process is a project that over 70 countries participate in. The project’s goal is to try to reduce mining and sales of blood-diamonds. The project requires that governments in these countries ensure that all diamonds are exported in secure containers. Every shipment must have a special number and a government-validated certificate that ensures that these diamonds are conflict-free.

Most diamonds never get to the market because they are too flawed. The diamonds are judged based on 4 things. First thing is their cut. When a diamond is cut, facets are created and the diamonds final shape is determined. The most popular cuts are round and princess cut. Almost 75% of all diamonds sold have that shape.  The second thing is their clarity. It is a measurement of the diamonds flaws. Perfect diamonds have the clarity level Flawless. Carat is the weight of a diamond; 1 carat is about 200 milligrams. The colour of diamonds is measured on a scale that runs from D to Z. The most expensive ones are Icy White and the least expensive are the light yellow. Diamonds are not only white; they can contain other elements that can affect their colour. Naturally coloured diamonds are very rare and are there for very expensive.

                                         

The reason why consumers pay so much for these beautiful gems is because the market is controlled almost entirely by De Beers. They produce half of all the diamonds on the market and they control almost 70% of the world market. To keep the prices up, De Beers has bought extremely many diamonds from other countries to prevent too many diamonds entering the market and by that lowering the prices.

Þórhildur

Are you feeling down? Maybe this will help:

1. Think positive, it’s easier.

2. Protect the things you care about.

3. Keep on learning as long as you live.

4. Learn from your mistakes.

5. Exercise daily, it cheers you up.

6. Don’t complicate your life unnecessary.

7. Try to understand and encourage others around you.

8. Don’t give up, success in life is a marathon run. 

9. Find and nurture your talents.

10. Set your goals and let your dreams come true. 

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Vera

Gullkistan, residency for creative people

The Gullkistan residency was founded in spring 2009 and is now run all year round, it has grown more popular every year and is often fully booked so you have to organize your trip early to Gullkistan! At Eyvindartunga the farm, where there is room for about 6-10 people.  A work studio is in a renovated barn at the farm: Eyvindartunga is about 10 minutes walk from the village Laugarvatn which is in the middle of the Golden Circle!

The accommodation is fully equipped and there is internet access everywhere. There is  also a small old jeep belonging to the residency which can be borrowed for shorter excursions for a small fee so you can travel around the beautiful neighbourhood area.

Gullkistan has also been a place for seminars, courses in art, exhibitions of art and open studios but the guests so far are mostly visual artists as well as writers, musicians, designers, photographers, filmmakers and scientists.

Gullkistan is very family friendly and they accept applications the whole year round. You can get more info at gullkistan.is or on their facebook page. There you can find stories from former visitors and their work,  info about the place, the company, the owners, see many photos and more so please contact if you‘re interested.

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Vera