IPA Newsletter April 2021 - Word of introduction

02 Apr 2021

I think it is safe to say that everyone is tired of hearing about Covid-19 and related issues. People want this pandemic to end, so they can meet family and friends, as well as travel and experience new things again. The good news is that in more and more countries, the vaccination process has begun, and according to the news, the European Union predicts that it will be well on its way mid- summer. However, it can’t come soon enough. All IPA members are dying to once again meet their friends, go to meetings and seminars. Gimborn castle is calling us, and I know they are eager to enlighten and educate us.

I am pleased that despite the difficulties, a lot has been achieved in these perilous times. It is human nature to find ways to meet and share experiences. I think we have done extremely well over
this past year. But of course we can do more.

Most of you know that I come from a small island in the north, Iceland, and maybe you remember a few years back when this small island decided to ground all air traffic, and people all over the world were stranded. We joke that we did this to protest that Europe was blaming us for the bank collapse. You also might remember the name of the volcano “Eyjafallajökull“, which I have had to pronounce numerous times for my foreign friends.

Now another volcanic eruption has started on this small island, but every Icelander was in agreement that this time we would have a small one, just so people could talk about something else than Covid-19. Luckily, the name of the mountain is easy to pronounce “Fagradalsfjall”, and the valley of the eruption is called “Geldingadalir“.

This eruption is fairly close to a town, and also fairly near the capital. An event like this reminds us that sometimes it’s not just one thing that is troubling for us, but many things at once. Fortunately, it seems that this eruption doesn’t hold much threat to the population of Iceland and no disruption in air traffic, although this would not pose such a big problem at present in any case.

Let’s hope that this eruption is the end to everything that has happened in the world over the past year, and that we will get a new, fresh start to life. The last time in the recorded history of  Iceland something on this scale happened was in 1918. At that time, we had the Great Frost winter starting in January, the Spanish Flu which came to Iceland in July, and the great volcanic eruption in Katla in October 1918. So maybe, as sometimes said, history repeats itself.

But enough of gloom and doom. I know in my heart that there is light at the end of the tunnel. We will all prevail, and sooner than we know, we can all meet family and friends again and truly
celebrate our great association.

Einar Guðberg Jónsson, Chairperson of the External Relations Commission