Monday, February 17, 2020

Making Hulda's Vision A Reality

Hulda Hreidarsdottir first contacted me in early 2012. She was writing from Iceland where she was the founder of a company called Fafu Toys, makers of toys disguised as costumes, unlike anything I'd ever seen (the company is now called Fafunia). We exchanged emails, she commented on my blog posts, and over the next couple months we discovered that we were fellow travelers. I didn't know at the time that she was only 29-years-old. I only knew that she had the kind of energy that inspires others to do better, to do best, to do. She was a woman who spent most of her childhood talking to herself and who found children more interesting than adults. She took play seriously and used her creativity to offer better play opportunities. She had great plans to change the world. One of those plans was to hold an international play conference in Reykjavik and she wondered if I would be a part of it. Of course, I agreed. 

The weeklong event was scheduled for October, then tragically, Hulda, at 32, died in her sleep in June, four months before we were to have met in person. It was a devastating loss. Her family along with her International Play Iceland co-founder, a man who was destined to become my dear friend, Tom Shea, decided that we would keep alive her unique vision of a better world for children. This October 4-9, will mark our 8th trip to Iceland to learn, to study, to connect, and to celebrate. Play Iceland has become more than a conference: it's a life-changing and life-transforming experience unlike any other I've found in the ECE world.

Last year, filmmaker David Hughes, partner of the wonderful Marghanita Hughes, joined us in Iceland, and from that produced this beautiful short documentary about how we continue to try to make Hulda's vision a reality. I can't tell you how proud I am to be a part of not just this film, but the entire Play Iceland experience. Thank you David. Thank you Tom Shea. Thank you Hreidarsdottir family. And especially thank you Hulda.

Played from Lastwood Media on Vimeo.

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