My arrival in Iceland only two weeks ago was very auspicious. President Grímsson let me present my credentials soon after my arrival when he also hosted a reception attended by many Icelanders and resident Americans. I am grateful for that opportunity as it allows my colleagues and me to engage fully in those areas where we have common interests: making the world greener, working together in mapping a strategy for the responsible and peaceful management of the High North, strengthening our capabilities to respond to humanitarian crises, working together to get our countries out of the current recession (the economic recoveries of Iceland and the United States are mutually reinforcing), and strengthening our longstanding security ties.
At the personal level, I’ve already experienced some of Iceland’s wonderful traditions, having been honored as a guest during the christening of Halen Alexander--a beautiful Icelandic-American boy and having tasted the best fish, butter, and lamb I have ever had. I also saw two great Icelandic films (The Palace and The Last Ride) and shared a meal with Icelandic and American filmmakers during the International Reykjavík Film Festival. The two weeks were capped with the arrival of my wife Mary and my son Luis, both of whom are extremely happy to be here. As my Icelandic teacher taught me: Allt sem ég heyrði um Ísland áður en ég kom til landsins er satt og rétt.