The Life Worth Living journey continues with teachers and professionals in Europe, to be more exact in Iceland, Belgium, Bulgaria, Italy and Greece. The first retreats have already been held in the different countries and this coming week (February 22nd and 23rd) the project partners will meet in Palermo to compare their experiences and learn from each other.

The Icelandic team of facilitators had to face unforeseen challenges – or in retrospect, not so unforeseen. The first Icelandic retreat was planned in in the north-west part of the country, in Miðfjörður, some two-and-a-half-hour drive north of Reykjavík. The location had been chosen to give participants from the north and west better opportunity to participate.

On the day before the retreat, snow was already blocking some roads and when the facilitators and most of the 12 participants were about to head north, the main road was closed and not scheduled to open until the weather had improved. The snow was too abundant and the winds too strong to keep the roads open. After waiting and contemplating on different alternatives (“should I stay or should I go”), the team left Reykjavik taking an alternative rout and some six hours later we arrived at our destination just before midnight. Well, this was the last day of January and bad weather is hardly something unforeseen.

Despite the stress and the somewhat nerve wrecking drive, this was perhaps the best possible start to our retreat. The participants, most of whom did not know each other, had already had a meaningful experience together before the program begun. When we met for breakfast the next day, everyone was ready and committed. After two days of hard work, we left Laugarbakki, this old boarding school now converted into a hotel with warm feeleing. Most of us headed for Reykjavik, and again the main road was closed. The weather that had calmed during our retreat had gained its previous fury. We took the same rout as we had come two days earlier, driving slowly and having to stop at times when the road disappeared completely in the blowing snow, but got to our homes safe and sound. Only one participant had to look the exit to her home up on google maps to know where to turn off the main road.

Project Number: KA220-SCH-39808481

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.