Friday, January 28, 2011

President Obama’s State of the Union Address

It was sobering, thoughtful, and energizing to hear President Obama’s State of the Union address and his vision for the future of the United States of America.  His emphases on education, carefully targeted investment in infrastructure, credible fiscal measures, and his challenge to his fellow countrymen to heed a call for unity, hard work, and entrepreneurship provided a clear roadmap for our future.  

Ambassador Arreaga with University of Reykjavík Rector
Ari Kristinn Jónsson.
University of Reykjavik – an inspiring visit.

I had the pleasure of visiting with Ari Kristinn Jónsson, Rector of the University of Reykjavik, and taking a brief tour of the campus.   It was quite uplifting to hear the Rector's vision for the young university as well as his plans to expand their contacts outside Iceland.   We look forward to working to expand their collaboration with U.S. educational institutions.  I know for sure that our universities would stand to gain from having a relationship with Reykjavik U.

Running a 5k in Hafnarfjörður

Doing a race at night in the middle of winter can be experienced only in a few places.  The 5K in Hafnarfjöður was fun, the weather cooperated, and I would even add that the bouquet from the fish plant nearby energized runners to go faster.  Look forward to the next run.

The National Museum of Iceland - what a gem.

During a brief visit to the National Museum of Iceland kindly hosted by Dr. Margrét Hallgrímsdóttir, I had the opportunity to see up close some of the artifacts that bore witness to Iceland’s compelling history.  It is definitely a must stop for any visitor coming to Reykjavik.

Iceland’s great handball team

While I share the disappointment of many for the losses of Iceland’s handball team, that doesn’t diminish in the least their skill, spirit, and bright future.   They gave us plenty of great moments.

Reflections on Þorrablót

The inevitable came when I was confronted with a full plate of hangikjöt, sviðasulta, harðfiskur, hrútspungar, and hákarl.   How shall I say it?  Appreciation for hrútspungar and hákarl is acquired.   I hasten to add that I do like the notion of people getting together and having fun to commemorate their heritage.