This Week’s Hot Seat:
Sylvia from El Salvador

Local.fo has recently hired its newest journalist, Ms. Sylvia Alicia Mikkelsen, who is originally from El Salvador.

We met up with her and asked her a couple of questions about the Faroe Islands.

Sylvia has lived in the Faroe Islands since April 2018.

1: What was your first impression of the Faroe Islands?
– After spending a few days in Iceland upon my arrival to the Faroe Islands, the difference was not that big. There were high mountains covered in snow; it was windy, cold and many blue eyes. My second day in the country, I realized that it was raining sideways and not straight down as in my country. Also, I learned that my sandals/high heels had to be switched to sneakers, boots or rubber-boots.

2: Has your first impression of the Faroe Islands changed?
– Absolutely. Now, I have a whole list of new things that impress me. My wardrobe has changed. But the most important change is happening to myself. The way I have assimilated the homesickness and the effort I am making to combine my principles with the customs of a new country. I am sure, I will have a new list of first impressions as long as I get to learn something new.

3: What 3 things characterize a typical Faroe Islander?
– Of course, there are many things that make Faroese people really special, but the ones that I have noticed the most are the following ones:

  1. Men are really good at cooking!!
  2. People are really kind. They light up a room with their smiles.
  3. They love boiled potatoes very much!!

4: How do you like Faroese food?
– At the beginning, it was really challenging because the food of El Salvador is full of flavors, spices and a strong culture of corn. But with time, I have been adapting more and more, and now my favorite dishes are “ræstur fiskur” (fermented fish) and “skerpikjøt” (sheep meat). I am also happy with the boiled potatoes.

5: How do you like the weather here?
– The weather is beautiful when its sunny or snowy, I really like it. But I also love the heat of my country, the warm sea breeze when I go to the ocean and the hot days, getting the sun on my face.

6: What is positive about the Faroe Islands?
– There are many positive things about the Faroe Islands, especially the low rate of criminality. The educational system is very inclusive. Plus the fresh air and the kind people. And the church I am attending on a weekly basis.

7: What can the Faroe Islands as a society do better?
– As a foreigner, I have never expected a country to adapt to me. I have to adapt to the country and accomplish my civil obligations. However, if you ask me what I would like to find in the Faroe Islands, I would probably say that I will like to have access to much more Faroese courses, so I can adjust them to my activities instead of waiting several months for a new course to begin. That would be the only thing I wish I could get right now.

Author: Jens Hákun Leo