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Kaj Leo Johannesen

Maria Nayar
From Austria

In summer 2012, I spent about 10 days on the Faroe Islands with the intention to live and work with local families. At first, I got the great chance to stay with Harry and Betty at their farm on Skùvoy in a village of about 25 inhabitants. It was amazing, how much they could tell me about their history, traditions and origins and it was fascinating to listen to their stories. I was even part of a family celebration with traditional songs, dances and food. Furthermore, Harry took me on a boat trip around the whole island and we admired the bird cliffs and the open sea. Betty and me had some nice conversations about traditional cooking and handcrafts. She is probably the best knitter I’ve ever met. They were both so warm-hearted and I felt like being their daughter.

Afterwards, I spent two days in
Trøllanes on Kalsoy, where I helped out on a farm too. Although my stay was quite short, I was handled like a family member and I got the great opportunity to meet a blacksmith, who gave me an insight in his art work.

I was astonished by the beautiful landscape, flora and fauna around the farms on the very small islands (deep green hills, cliffs, birds, whales...) and the quiet and peaceful atmosphere. For me, as Austrian, it was a quite special experience to be surrounded by the sea.

At the end, I stayed with Olga’s family on Eysturoy. They took a lot of time to show me around the islands, go fishing and take some nice walks. I learned about whale hunting, fishing, and sagas, but also about difficulties they have to face.

I felt very welcome in these families! It felt as if it was a matter of course for them to open their doors for me and let me be part of their everyday life. I cannot thank them enough for their kindness, generousness and the great conversations we had. I can just highly recommend everyone visiting the outer islands of the Føroyar and getting inspired by the knowledge of the local people to gain an insight in their culture, life and work.