Monday, February 28, 2011

Reykjanesbær´s vision

Sigrún Ásta Jónsdóttir, Director of the Duuhús Heritage
Museum, discusses the exhibit "The Base: Our Neighbors
Behind the Fence" with Mayor Árni Sigfússon and
Ambassador Arreaga.
I had the opportunity to visit Reykjanesbær last week. It is very easy to walk away with a sense of great optimism after hearing the Mayor’s vision for the area and seeing firsthand the work going on at the Duushús, Viking World, and the Keilir Institute. It is absolutely amazing what Iceland has accomplished in only four years since the Keflavik base closed and it´s quite impressive to hear the plans they have for the future. Everywhere I went, I could see large and small reminders of our shared history. I can fully understand the mixed feelings on both sides that accompanied the closure of the base. Looking to the future, it is great to see American firms interested in the area, as witnessed by the plan to build a silicone factory and interest in expanding aluminum operations and establishing data centers. Our Embassy is committed to supporting Reykjanesbær for years to come.

Iceland´s countryside

A little over a week ago I had the pleasure of visiting a farm near Selfoss and to experience Icelandic hospitality at its best. The home-made food, the Brennivin toast, the coffee, the conversation and the Icelandic singing made us feel very welcome. With all due respect to my fellow humans, the best part was being able to "meet" Icelandic horses and sheepdogs. They are truly noble animals.