I started my first week at Eid Frivilligsentral to exchange expectations with regard to the project of us volunteers as well as Astrid. This way she got a better idea of what we can do during our stay in Nordfjordeid and I actually think it makes sense to be aware of that – at school I always thought it is a waste of time, sorry for that ;) Afterwards Hilde-Kristin, the social worker at school, worked out a time schedule with us and talked about the different tasks we can choose. So this week we are going to try some and then decide on our favorites. The first one to try was the library at noon. Gyri, the leader, showed us around, explained the system and we took the books back into the shelves. Luckily there is a section with English literature too because my knowledge in ‘Nynorsk’ is not sufficient yet – yet. I am working on it ;)
Actually, I should have gone to the canteen at school that day, but something went wrong and I found myself in the library again the next day. This time I did not only take the books back in place, but checked and catalogued with Gyri new ones which were given to the library as a gift. Even then it was not a lot to do and I found myself reading ‘Oliver Twist’ – I guess I was not supposed to do that, but honestly, what else could have been done? The German class in the afternoon was more fun. The teacher, Sigrid, is my mentor at the same time and I really enjoyed being in her class – particularly because I must speak German. It is a welcome change from talking English and trying to speak Norwegian (or Spanish with Almudena) all day. Even though I like to use my knowledge, it gets exhausting too. While the students have been working, Sigrid explained the Norwegian school system to me – which is uniform throughout Norway (please Germany, take it as a good example…) – and I found myself wondering about the grades, which are the same like in Germany, just the other way around (6 the best – 1 the worst). Confusing… Later that day (until the evening) Almudena, Barbara and me had to help hosting an event at the Opera house together with the managers. Even if it was a lot of work to do, it was a lot of fun too – and we could help ourselves at the buffet ;)
Taking care of the buffet for the knitting group in Eid Frivilligsentral was actually Barbara’s and my job on Wednesday. We had time off in the morning, so we could prepare ‘Ischler’ and ‘Pizzaschnecken’ for the refugees who take part in the group (beside the old ladies explaining how to knit). But the knitting is only an occupation for the participants. It is more about learning to talk Nynorsk. You can imagine that it is pretty tough to do so if you don’t know the language – and to knit at the same time (mum, thank you so much for teaching me that; otherwise it would have ended in a disaster). After cleaning up we went to ‘Open skule’. It is an offer for the students to eat at school after lesson and to play games or whatever. So first we assisted Hilde-Kristin in the kitchen with a typical Norwegian dish, ‘mors kjøttkaker’ (meatballs and potatoes together with sauce, vegetables and cranberries), and played ‘Who am I?’ with the students afterwards. Unfortunately I am not really knowledgeable about Northern mythology and ‘Thor’ was just too difficult for me – I know, gap in education. Anyway, it was very funny :)
I don’t know if you know how complicated communication can be in Norway. Even if Norwegians use all kinds of messengers and seem to be really up to date in new media (the elder generation too – admirable; but anyway there are quite different from what I am used to), it doesn’t work as easy as it should. That is why we walked to the Norwegian class (which was supposed to start on Thursday) for nothing. First we didn’t manage to open the garage where the bikes are in and for this reason we had to walk (and we were already late). Then we got to the class, but the teacher didn’t know that we were coming and could not take care of us right away. Somebody else told us that we have to speak to the headmaster first and make an appointment. But Astrid has already spoken to the headmaster. You see, too many people and insufficient information. But no stress, just take it easy like all Norwegians do and go there another time… However, finally we went back to Eid Frivilligsentral and started planning a stand and creating posters for an event in one week. It was okay and we had to do that anyway, but have fun with stubborn programs like Photoshop – in Norwegian. At noon Open skule took place again and we have been in the so-called ‘gymen’, a little hall with a stage and a bar to hang out. It is actually a cool place and it became even cooler when more students arrived – and started singing. It was a lot of fun, even if we had some trouble turning all the lights off afterwards. The headlights just didn’t want to go out…we removed lots of plugs from the sockets until we succeeded with connecting another one – nobody understood it, but finally all the lights were out and that was the main thing ;)
On the last day of my first week I spent some time in the library again (not reading, promise) and took part in the German class at noon. Even if the day was not that long, I was a little bit exhausted – I guess from the whole week. Many new things and people, a lot to organize, changes of plans and so on…I was really happy to be at home after lesson and to enjoy my weekend. Later that day Barbara came over and Almudena showed us how to do fajitas. It was delicious! But while watching a movie together I almost fell asleep… So I relaxed on Saturday (it was raining heavily anyway – nobody dared to go outside) and enjoyed the sun today. Right now it is possible to go outside with a t-shirt, even for non-Norwegians! I took the chance and went for a walk up the mountains. Awesome!
But I don’t want to spend more time on the computer now because sunshine is quite a rarity up here. I guess I will take my bike for a little ride through the lovely surroundings (we finally managed to open the garage with the help of a neighbor who saw us struggling with the door – thank you so much!) until the football match Germany against Norway takes place – and no, I did not figure out yet who is going to be my favorite… ;)