Helping out at the ‘Småbarnstreff‘ could have been fun on Monday, but unfortunately nobody showed up. It is a group for small children to play while their mothers can talk to each other and exchange ideas. Because the new season started and the kids of the participants from last year are in kindergarten now, they do not come anymore. And we did not find any new participants so far. That is why I just sat there until I could go home. It was too bad, but sometimes things just do not work out the way we want them to.
However, the weather was good that day and I took the chance to go outside. Spontaneously I went for a cycling tour to Torheim along the fjord. It was amazing and I would have gone further, but I did not have too much trust into my bike here and the sun was already setting down. Though I would not have gone with the car either. It is crazy to drive on these small roads, especially when there is a rock face on one side and a slope on the other… But it was definitely worth the trip!
I helped out in the canteen again on Tuesday. I made sandwiches and took care of the salad buffet until Artur joined me. I explained him everything and together we prepared the lunch for the students. I enjoyed it, but Artur did not. That way it was exhausting to work with him because it was bothering him. I guess I will not see him in the canteen a second time…
In German class at noon we watched the movie ‘Der Besuch der alten Dame’ based on the book by Friedrich Dürrenmatt because there is an extract of the tragicomedy in the school books. I was really surprised by that because I already had problems with that reading in school and now Norwegian students are supposed to understand it – Hats off! But while watching the movie (I did not know it before, only the book) I found myself interpreting everything. Seems like my own German class was very formative ;)
In the evening the ‘språkkafé’ took place in the library. People meet to talk about just everything and first we have been taught Norwegian just for fun by a really nice and jolly lady, then we just mingled among the people. In the end I had a really good conversation with Almudena and May, who moved to Eid after her International Business Management studies in the Netherlands and is now looking for a job. She has a completely different way of thinking thanks to her life abroad. You can just feel the difference between her and other Norwegians I got to know as well as students. Here in Eid lots of people do not see the point of living abroad because they can get everything what they need. They are just satisfied with their lives and are not too pleased about changes. In addition they are not used to an international environment because it is such a small and pretty isolated place. So talking to May and Almudena, who has lived in Germany and now in Norway, was a pleasure because they reflect and judge their countries and others carefully. Prejudices, the European Union, the Brexit, Donald Trump and refugees were topics we discussed and I really enjoyed sharing our positions. They are just not as narrow-minded as many people are and it was an important experience for me.
Like on every Wednesday I started my working day with the knitting group at noon. But we were only a few people this time because the refugees have been on a trip. So we had kind of an individual knitting class and that was just fine. I recognized that I start understanding most of the conversations around me, but I can’t talk yet. And it is really difficult to remember the words out of discussions…
Afterwards the boys joined us in Open skule to prepare pasta and salmon, but we were too many people in the kitchen and didn’t have to do something all the time. The next time we will split into pairs and then take turns. Otherwise it will be boring for those out of work…
Back at home I decided to use the school’s training room for the first time. We have free access with our key card and can use it whenever we want to. It is actually really cool and I enjoyed having a little fitness studio on my own because nobody is going there except for me. And luckily it is in a separate building next to the school, otherwise people would have wondered where the loud music is coming from ;)
On Thursday Barbara and I had to fix some organizational matters relating to our residence and working permit at the police station and the tax office. It was a little bit stressful and a lot of paperwork. And again I think too many people are involved into that process, for what reason it takes some time and we are still not finished…but relax, we are in Norway :)
Then we joined the boys in the Norwegian class, but in my opinion I just could have skipped it that day. It was only one hour left and the teacher informed us about compound nouns…I am sorry, but I felt like in primary school. So I just started working on my own because I didn’t want to waste my time and in this class each is doing whatever he wants anyway. First problem is that mobile phones and laptops are allowed at school – students are even asked to bring it because there are online exercises. But some listen to music then, watch videos or surf the internet. So the teacher is just teaching those who want to participate and is in general not really strict – I have the feeling none of these teachers are. That is why it was not that good, but as long as I can do my stuff it is okay.
After lesson we went to the nursing home because the community is starting a new project to get elderly people out of the home for some time. Therefor new bikes were bought. They look a little bit like a rickshaw with an electric motor as support. We practiced to drive with them and it was actually a lot of fun, in particular because we had amazing weather that day and it was a joy to be outside. The staff of the nursing home wants to start the project next Monday, so we will see if we volunteers are going to join it :)
In the evening we accompanied Almudena to the ‘international café’ for the first time. It takes place in the office of Eid Frivilligsentral and people of all ages as well as nationalities can join. Though there are not too many different nationalities in Eid, except for the refugees and the volunteers, but even then it was nice to talk and play games together. Meanwhile I am able to play different games with playing cards and not just one – that is a progress, I guess! ;)
The Norwegian class on Friday was better and I actually learned something, but I did my homework already during the lesson because we do not move on that fast. Afterwards we all met at the office to talk about the week as well as the on-arrival training next week. We are going to Balestrand on Tuesday to meet other EVS volunteers in Norway and pass some time together to get to know Norway and the whole EVS thing better. I really look forward to that journey because we will meet new people, try out new things and see another part of Norway. I am sure we will have an amazing time! :)
In the evening I joined the ‘nattevanderer’. Parents of students volunteer for wandering around the town to take care of drunken people on weekends. In Norway people drink alcohol only on weekends (you are an alcoholic if you do so during the week) and the age limit is higher than in Germany. In addition it is very expensive and there are fixed times during which you can buy alcohol. Somehow all this leads to binge drinking, especially among young people and that is why the nattevanderer walk through the night. But during my shift nothing serious happened and I could go home at midnight with easy conscience.
On Saturday the ‘Sagaparken’ has been opened, a new park along the fjord. It contains a bathing area (a couple of courageous guys went inside), a playground, a barbecue place and a volleyball field. In addition a Viking ship will be built next to it as well. We volunteers were busy with distributing cake (those huge heart-shaped ones again – but better don’t try them, they may look good, but they are not; trust me) and coffee as well as grilling sausages. The catering was for free, but most of the Norwegians did not believe us and we had to explain it a thousand times. Seems like nothing is ever for free in Norway… But we volunteers would have been invited to a restaurant again (I don’t know what is going on right now…), however we had already eaten something and went home to enjoy our weekend :)
Today I skyped with a few people to tell them that I am still alive, but then I went outside with Oleksandr because we had beautiful weather (again) – actually it has been quite good the whole September. First we played table tennis next to the school and then joined some locals playing volleyball in the Sagaparken. It was a lot of fun and you have that awesome view while playing. Afterwards I walked a little bit into the fjord in the new bathing area, but in my opinion it was just too cold to go further than up to the knees ;) In any case it was a beautiful day and I really enjoyed it. I really hope next week it is going to be as nice as the last few days because then we are going kayaking in Balestrand – that would be amazing! I will report you then :)