Updated: Jul 26
Bryndís Viglundsdóttir has led a very interesting life and has many special stories to tell. She has written this blog post to tell you of a great opportunity to get a set of audio books, The Boy Mundi in English, Sögur af Munda og Jólasveinarnir og Grýla í Íslenskur. I received my copies in the mail yesterday!
By Bryndís Viglundsdóttir
Good memories we manage to give to our children is about the best we can give them be it in the home with stories or traveling to foreign countries.
My late husband, Mundi, grew up in a remote valley in the Westfjords. We married and I was on my way to study at the Boston University on a scholarship from the Perkins School for the Blind. My husband, Mundi, came to live with me and was not very happy! He was in short homesick! I thought of something to help him so I began to ask him how it was in the valley when he was a boy. I wrote what he told me, read it for him over and over, rewrote until we were happy with the stories. I am very pleased that many Icelanders have bought the audio books for their children and for themselves.
Three years ago, I was at the Perkins Museum and it was great fun. If anyone would like to place an order for the audio books or hand-knitted Icelandic wool items, please contact me. Here is a flyer from my time at Perkins and my email is on the bottom of the flyer and at the bottom of this post. As soon as I hear from people I will send the book(s). If people want to order sweaters, I will guide them on the size and discuss the color(s) with them. I enjoy very much knitting sweaters for people.
Read more about Bryndís and her time in America:
Both my children were born in Boston where I taught for years. We debated giving our daughter the name Sunna and chose the name Sólbjört for her. She reads the stories in English. We traveled through the areas Egill Helgason has been showing us in his Vesturfarar program, marvelous programs.
I was ten years old, in 1944 when I decided to go to America one day. Somewhere I had found a book about many outstanding American people, Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and Harriet Tubman to name a few. I wanted to see their country and get to know the people there. When my teacher in grade school once asked us what we intended to do when we were grown up I said I wanted to go to America. The class laughed! My teacher didn't laugh but said, "Whatever you really want to do you will be able to do if you work for it." This was in the year 1944 and the common people of Iceland were not travelling in those days but I believed her.
After graduation from college, Menntaskólinn í Reykjavík, and having also completed my teacher´s certification, I decided the time was right to find a way to go to America. There was a notice in Morgunblaðið from the IIE (Institute of International Education) where a scholarship was offered to America. I applied and was lucky enough to get the scholarship. I was on my way to America! My parents had a farewell party at our home the night before my departure and my grandmother was of course at the party. She lived in the house with us. She was very unhappy, really grieving as she thought she would never see me again. She remembered when shiploads of people were leaving for "The West" and some were never heard from again. My mother shared all my letters with her and her worries evaporated!
I had a wonderful year in Cedar Falls, Iowa studying at the Iowa State Teachers‘ College (now University of Northern Iowa). I made many friends there, many of whom have come to visit me and my family in Iceland. Two of my professors, Amanda Langemoe ( of Norwegian decent) and Dorothy Moon, invited me on a cross-country camping trip for the entire summer. We began our trip by visiting Amanda‘s family in Minnesota and stayed a night with her uncle, a wonderful 92-year-old man, full of life and about to be remarried! He showed us his beloved Minneapolis and you could never guess his age. My two friends showed me their country, told me the stories of the regions, they knew the birds., the plants and trees, the ancient and present culture of the many regions we visited. We drove west, over the vast plains, spent a week hiking in the National Park of the Rocky Mountains, went through the southwest states to the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, Petrified Forest, Yosemite National Park and experienced the grandeur of the Sequoia. This is just naming a few places. I cannot fully recount the effect of the kindness I experienced during my stay that first year in America, it had a lasting influence on me for the rest of my life.
When I had boarded the plane to go back to Iceland, as I was obliged to do after the year, I resolved to come back. When or how I didn't know but I wanted back to America and now to New