On Monday I had the chance to work in the canteen for the first time. I was not sure if I could do that because I am not much of a help in the kitchen. But first I only had to cut the vegetables for the salad buffet and that was just fine. And – surprise, surprise – even the cooking worked out. Well, it was more baking – the so-called ‘svele’ (similar to a thick pancake), a common dish in this region. But even then I did not burn them and the chef let me do it completely on my own (just a little bit proud of me). I really enjoyed the work and of course eating svele too. You have to try it!
Later that day I have been working on a list about all the activities, associations etc. and their contact information in Eid – in alphabetical order (and trust me, for the size of this place it is a huge number) – with Kevin, who is working in the office of Eid Frivilligsentral too. He originally comes from California and it was a lot of fun to talk to him about the United States, Norway, languages and so on. And we managed to finish the list, even if we had to work longer than usual :)
In the evening I tidied up the kitchen with Almudena – I guess some of this stuff has been lying there for ages thanks to previous volunteers. Now it looks nice and clean again and we are prepared for the arrival of the boys who are not here yet. But good news – they will arrive on Wednesday!
Back in the office in the morning I took care of this and that until I left for the German class at noon. I presented Andreas Bourani and his song ‘Auf uns’ to the students, so that they get to know some German music. I think they liked it, at least more than the little test during the lesson ;)
After school I had some time off until I went to the Opera house with Almudena to help hosting another event. I used it for a little shopping tour to refill my storage. On my way the wind (which was coming from constantly changing directions) almost blew me away. I was really happy to be home again, especially because I was rain-soaked from top to bottom. But I guess I have to get used to that ;)
At the Opera house it was less to do than the last time because there was no break in between. That way we could clean up right after the beginning of the dance show, which took place – and then join it for free! It was amazing and I can only recommend it to you! If you are in Norway in the next time: Look for the group ‘absence’ and their show ‘NORR – da gudene breaket’ – even if you will not understand the story (I did not either), it is worth to see those guys dancing. Promise!
While waiting at the bus station for Artur from Armenia and Oleksandr from Ukraine at seven o’clock in the morning I realized that I am in Nordfjordeid for two weeks already. How the time flies! After their arrival we had breakfast in Eid Frivilligsentral like two weeks ago and then went home to let the boys move in and get some sleep. They seem really nice from what I can tell by now and I look forward to get to know them better :)
In the knitting group at noon we learned the names of several Norwegian animals. The old ladies decided to teach us those words by showing pictures around and that was actually a really good idea because you don’t understand what they are saying without seeing it written down. This way I could enjoy the group more than last week.
For Open skule we had to prepare hamburgers this time and that was quite easy, but at the same time there was a student council meeting as well as a parents meeting where Hilde-Kristin had to join, so it was up to Barbara and me to clean everything and that took a lot of time. Time we couldn’t use to do something with the students and when we finished nobody was there anymore. It was a pity and I hope things are going to work out better next week.
´Eg heiter Alisa og eg kjem frå Tyskland.‘ Finally we could join the Norwegian class on Thursday and it was a lot of fun. The four of us started with little dialogues, numbers and vocabs to get to know some basics with a private teacher and afterwards we took part in the class of Asbjørn. There are refugees from Eritrea and Somalia as well and some of them we already knew from the knitting group. I liked it a lot, but I guess it was easier for me to understand what the teacher was telling us because the Norwegian language has similar (and sometimes even the same) words like in German. But the pronunciation is quite tough and we didn’t talk about the grammar yet. From now on we will join the class every Thursday and Friday and additionally we will learn the language with an online program at home. I really look forward to it because it is a lot better to talk to the people in Norwegian than in English.
At noon I took the boys with me to Open skule in gymen. They were quite impressed like we were before. The student mentors brought a Wii to play WiiSports and it was really funny looking at the students competing against each other as well as playing with them. Later some students and Oleksandr started singing again and it was a really joyful afternoon :)
After the Norwegian lesson on Friday, which was quite good, we went to the office for a short meeting to discuss the week. But it didn’t take long and afterwards we could enjoy our weekend. Originally I wanted to relax a little bit and go outside, but since I am here I am not too happy with our living room. First we only wanted to move a small table from the corridor inside, but then I started cleaning up with Almudena and Oleksandr joined us. We through six plastic backs with all kinds of trash out (sorry previous volunteers…) and moved the furniture to make it more comfortable for us. Almudena was in kind of a shock when she realized that Oleksandr is even tidier than me (and you know me, I am a neat freak…). When Artur immediately took the vacuum cleaner to his room after he came home, she just shook her head in disbelief. But we all feel a lot better now, even Almudena and that is the main thing :)
At the weekend I finally had time to relax, shop groceries and prepare an apple pie with Almudena, Barbara and Oleksandr. We did it for an event at school today. The so-called ‘Innbyggjartreff 2016’ took place and Astrid as well as we volunteers had to represent Eid Frivilligsentral. Different organizations and associations of the community of Eid presented themselves to make the residents aware of what they can do in their community. We volunteers helped with the set up as well as the dismantling and were invited to a restaurant from the organizer afterwards. It was really generous and Almudena told us that this never happened before ;)
While being at the school today I found myself thinking about what I found out about Norwegians during the last two weeks. Like in every country and culture there are some differences and I just wanted to name some: Norwegians are caffeine-addicted. They don’t smoke. They speak really good English, but they don’t want to. They are relaxed people. Most of them are blond. They do all kinds of stuff and enjoy especially sports. They are an iPhone-nation. Their communication is difficult. They don’t now WhatsApp and use Facebook in the first place. They don’t freeze. They are energy wasters; lights are on 24h. They like to hold long speeches (But they don’t get to the point; that is why they talk for hours). They address each other informally all the time, even the mayor (he welcomed us personally and talks to us from time to time – really nice guy). Equality is really important for them (women mow the lawn and the mayor cleans the toilets – you can imagine my stunned face; Almudena burst into shouts of laughter). They are skeptical towards a gap year. They put candles everywhere. They are patriots. They never ignore a crosswalk and brake already before you have decided to cross the street. Oh and I forgot the alcohol – but that’s another story (about serious drunkenness and absurd prices…).
What I can say about Norway: The weather changes all day (but it rains most of the time). The roads are terrible. It is expensive. People often live isolated lives. It has a beautiful landscape. And I like it a lot :)