Today is the day that I leave Iceland. I write this while sitting in the airport awaiting my flight. I am sick to my stomach trying to hold back tears after saying goodbye. I was honored last night to assist in the last lambing of the season. As you can imagine this ewe wouldn't let me leave without giving me a hard time. Her cervix was closed even though her water broke, so with lots of dilating lubricant, I opened it so her ram lambs could come out. Of course, they both tried to come out at the same time and three legs, two front and one back were being pushed out. After some adjustment, the first healthy ram lamb came out. Knowing that the 2nd lamb was backward I immediately pulled him out with my hand covering his horn buds. Both lively and hungry, it was a good ending to an amazing lambing season.
Mom ended up eating all of the hay bed by the morning
It was about 1 am when she was finished and the lambs successfully nursed, so I left to head to the house to let the new family get acquainted.
In the morning, I packed and headed down to the barn to say my goodbyes to the orphans and my other favorites. Before heading to the barn I said goodbye to the dogs Lukka and Myla. Lots of slobbery kisses ensued and I repaid them with belly rubs. I then went to say my goodbyes to the orphans. I could not hold back a few tears petting those chunky little fluffy lambs. With the amazing growth, I have seen in this short amount of time I know they do great over the summer. With that, I had to say goodbye to the wonderful people that housed me, fed me, and taught me so much over this past month. Helgi and Snædis have been such amazing hosts that I now consider family. This experience has been unreal, so much I feel I need to be pinched. Some lambings were difficult and there were deaths that felt like a stab to your heart but there was also those wonderful times, seeing a sick lamb recover when you thought they weren't going to pull through after all of your efforts, having a ewe lamb out all by herself, having those exceptionally sweet ewes that you feel appreciate you and your help, and most of all Delicate Steve. My body was broken down but it built back up, stronger than before. This country makes you feel like you are stepping into another world, the green fields, rocky mountains, waterfalls, lava fields, etc. I could go on and on. Of course, I would not be here without the sheep. They are unlike other sheep in having a wild streak, are stubborn, independent, and feisty, which is why I love them and want to continue to work with them.
I am happy to be reunited with my family, my puppy Suzie and my friends. And... here come the waterworks, in front of strangers in the airport. Good thing I packed tissues.
I am having difficulty trying to fully describe how I feel about this experience and I am not sure if they have a word for it, while I search for the words I will conclude with this: thank you Helgi and Snædis for your kindness and good humor, even with 1 hour of sleep, I will see you again whether it be in Maine or back in Iceland, this isn't goodbye forever, this is only a goodbye for now.
Now back to Maine!