It’s a good thing I’ve gotten over my fear of trolls.
For reference, this is the troll I found so terrifying as a youngin.
My Aunt and Uncle send me his picture with the caption “He’s b-a-c-k,” and I flashed back to my horror all those years ago.
Just kidding. I laughed because:
- My aunt is a hoot.
- How could I possibly have been so afraid of that little hairy thing?!
He’s kinda cute as far as trolls go…I’m sorry for judging you by your troll-ness Mr. Troll, I’m sure you have a lovely personality.
The point is, I spent a good part of yesterday in the Troll Garden, so it helped that I wasn’t afraid at every turn.
Plus, whenever anything odd happens in our house, we blame Phillip, our imaginary house troll.
The Troll Garden is guarded by a wooden troll about three times my size. Thankfully, he’s wearing a scout uniform, which minimizes the scary.
(Also he’s smiling)
The scout uniform (like boy/girl scouts, except everyone participates together instead of being separated by gender) is for all of the residents who are scouts. It’s incredibly popular in the community, and the Troll Garden is where their meeting house is.
Above is the house, an absolutely gorgeous work of art. All the wood has been carved with grooves and designs by hand because everyone here is basically a god/goddess of artistry.
It’s a good way to feel completely unskilled.
Quick side note/Vocabulary Lesson:
Residents– Solheimar’s incredibly smiley and enthusiastic differently abled population who add life, soul, and plenty of sass.
Volunteers–People who live/work/research at Solheimar. They take us in and show us the ropes 🙂 and make sure everything goes swimmingly.
CELL Students–THAT’S ME! And everyone else (the whole whopping four of them haha) studying abroad here.
Interns–International young adults researching/working in their field while at Solheimar, usually for a 1 year period.
Other amazingly fantabulous works of WOWZA found in the garden:
This mad hatter plant display.
Most of the plants are in these deep wooden raised beds. The soil is about half that depth and rests on top of a wooden plank. Underneath freshly cut wood is placed so that as is decays it releases heat, therefore keeping the garden from freezing until later in the season. Also there are Henrys (Worms. I call all worms Henry.)
And naturally there is a stone pit for outdoor cooking at your leisure.
(Have I mentioned I found paradise?)
We suggested a s’mores party because chocolate.
We were then asked what s’mores were.
We nearly choked on our shock.
But mostly we answered the question.
We were met with:
So chocolate and marshmallows are a no-go but fermented shark is totally okay?
Paradise has a weird version of normal.
Then we were fed these strange spicy flowers.
I like you.
Because when people get sick of bathtubs we hand them down to the plants.
(Because there’s a wooden reindeer in the bathtub here)
For dinner we made a pesto vegetable stir fry (ft. kale from the Troll Garden) over lentils and quinoa with a side of roasted carrots, leeks, and potatoes.
I almost ate this before taking a picture.
So naturally I got up from the table with a flying leap to get my phone to take a picture.
This resulted in two new bruises.
It is also why my parents refer to me as an elephant.
It’s a nice way of saying I’m a loud and clumsy child.
Speaking of children.
Yesterday we learned that when Sesselja Hreindís Sigmundsdóttir founded Solheimar she came to the land with five orphaned children and some tents. The number of kids soon grew to ten. Sesselja’s brother installed hot water pipes from the springs to run under the tents so that the tents would be warm even when it was cold.
Sesselja followed the Waldorf philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, which the government considered to be a very nontraditional form of education. She took these children under her wing, fed them fresh vegetables, taught them everything from gardening to writing, and raised them with lots of love.
A friend of hers saw how wonderfully she was doing with the kids, and mentioned to here that there was a whole other population that needed her help. At the time, kids with disabilities were hidden from the public, uneducated, and in some cases even forced to sleep in the barn with the animals where their families believed they belonged (this broke my heart). Sesselja, being the amazing woman she is, set to work taking in as many souls as she could. The government funded the building of a second building (they had finished building a small house at this time), with very small windows. The government recommended the children with and without disabilities be separated, and that those with disabilities be left in the dark building and a fence be put up to keep them in. They also requested a wall be built between the two homes for “added protection.” Sesselja was appalled. She would do no such thing. The children lived, ate, learned, and played together, and the attempt to build a fence was met with her forcefully ripping it down. I, for one, would not want to have been on her bad side.
Many of the residents here today have lived on the grounds and with their caregivers since they were about seven years old, this is their home, and they have been so excited to show us around 🙂
For more info check this out!
Above: The olden days.
Hugs from your favorite elephant ❤
Live, laugh, love, bake,
P.S. Always give in to your wanderlust.