Saturday, April 29, 2006

Schweiz - Suisse - Switzerland - Sveits

Last spring I got a letter from Leoneck Hotel in Zürich, telling me that I had won a free week-end at their hotel after participating in their online puzzle-quiz. I was so excited - since Zürich is one of my favorite cities, and since this is the first time I win anything else than a lottery - and determined to use my free voucher even if the plane tickets would cost more than the actual hotel would have..

So after Easter I headed for my favorite country Switzerland. There I met Giulia, my friend from Italy who went to the same high school as me in the US, and who I hadn't seen for three years. That was great, and we had a lot of fun in Zürich!

I also decided that Switzerland is a country I have to go back to. It is so beautiful, and so facinating. And since they have four official languages, I have decided that it must be the perfect place to go and learn one. After listening to people speak and trying to understand signs and restaurant menues, I realized that learning a new language is necessary. And since they have every sign in at least two languages, La Suisse is the place to be. They even have both French and German subtitles on the movie at the same time! But language is not the only reason I so desperatly want to go there. It is so beautiful with the Alps, warm in summer and lots of great snow and ski slopes in the winter. And the people are so friendly and helpful! Watch out, Switzerland, I'll be back!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Looking Scary

I read somewhere that someone claimed that ”it is better to travel than to arrive”.

What? WHAT?? I seriously couldn’t agree less. And here are just a few of the many reasons why:

1. All the carrying and running around with heavy baggage is reason enough in itself. I have never been good at packing, I’ll be the first to admit that. You never know what you might need, or what you might want to wear, and it’s better to be safe than sorry. Usually I am sorry anyway when I try to lift the backpack, but by that time there is no more time to rearrange or take stuff out. So, by the time I get to deliver my baggage at the check-in after changing trains and walking up and down stairs in the amazingly warm airports, I am warm, my shoulders hurt, and I am tired.

2. Then, after standing in X number of unending lines, there is the actual plane. I don't know who have designed the interior of those things, but they have forgotten one little, important detail..: People have legs, and there should be room for them!! So after finding a somewhat possible position to sit in, I often fall asleep, my neck goes into a funny position, and when the plane lands I can't move either my legs or my neck.

3. Last, but not least, the hassle of security checks. Don’t get me wrong, I understand the necessity of security checks, and I am actually glad that they are there. What I am not so happy about is that all people that work in them seem to think that I am the walking image of a security threat. I always beep when going through, and not just once - but several times.. Which means that I have to be body searched. Not fun. In the south of Europe you get just one chance, and if it beeps, you're right off to the body search. In Oslo, on the other hand, you get several attempts, but that didn't help me the last time. In the end they didn't find out why I beeped, but luckily let me through anyway..

So I have to say that I think arriving is A LOT nicer than travelling. To reach the hotel, put all the baggage down, take a shower and go out discovering a totally new place - nothing beats that!

Thursday, April 20, 2006


For the last few days I haven't really wanted to go on fieldwork this summer. I don't get answers to my e-mails with the millions of questions I have about my trip, I have no idea where I am going to stay or when I am going to go, and May is getting uncomfortably close. No, the last few days I haven't really wanted to hear the word "Namibia" mentioned at all.

But today, my package from Amazon came, including a travel guide to Namibia! And what do I see on the cover? Nothing else than my alltime favorite animal - the Meerkats!

I choose to take this as a sign that it'll be a good summer in Namibia after all!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


As I was writing the previous post, the solution to my "problem" kind of jumped into my head. Maybe my brain is finally recovering from Easter vacation..


I don't think this is quite fair.

I left Tromsø almost two weeks ago, after sitting in my room writing exams and looking out on the fantastic weather with the sun shining from a cloud-free, blue sky for over three weeks. Since noone has invented something that makes exames write themselves yet, I had to stay inside even though I felt like I should be outside.

So when I came home for Easter vacation, I told my parents that I was going to have a nice, well deserved break from everything called school, and not open another book until Tuesday after Easter, but rather spend a lot of time outside getting a tan.

Then the sun magically disappeared.

Although I didn't get to spend a lot of time outside, I kept my word and didn't open a book all week. Not a school book at least. But yesterday I found out I'd probably better get some reading done for the oral exam. And guess what happened?

The sun is again shining, there is no cold wind, and not a cloud in sight! Humf!

(Let me just point out something very important: I am complaining about the school work, not the weather. Even though it is a little annoying not being able to be out there, I wouldn't want the sun to disappear!)

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Arctic Dogsledding

Volunteering for the Peace Centre seminar provided unexpected possibilities. I got to go dogsledding for the first time!

About 80 dogs were waiting unpatiently to take us around Kvaløya in the beautiful Tromsø evening. I cannot figure out how they could be so excited and filled with energy at the thought of being allowed to run for an hour in the deep snow pulling a sled with four people in it, when I hardly had the energy to sit still and write an exam. I seriously wish I had some of their energy! But if it requires copying their eating habits - a mix of chicken and fish apparently - I am not quite sure... I'm working hard on coming up with an alternative plan on how to get the same amount of energy..

Anyway, dogsledding was cold but fun, the Paris of the North showed itself from its very best side, and wine, traditional sami food and choclate cake around the fireplace in the Lavvo tasted great!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Coffee Overdose

I'm writing about vicious circles in my exam. And I have just discovered one personally. Couldn't sit and write the exam because I was so tired. Had some coffee to wake up and concentrate. Had a little more coffee. All the caffein kicked in at the same time. I cannot sit still to write exam.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Dødball Season

Now the sun is shining, the snow is starting to melt, and spring is here again. Spring is a great time of year - it is the start of the dødball-season! I can't help but think about all the fun times running around the soccerfield in Lillehammer last year, trying not to get hit by that little tennisball and make it to the base in time. The laughs, the discussions, the cheers, the sports-injuries..
Dødball is great fun!

For those of you not familiar with the concept, let me fill you in on this great activity that we rediscovered last year. Dødball is kind of a Norwegian version of baseball, that kids usually play in every school-break at elementary and secondary school. So last year a group of us decided that dødball is also a sport for students, found a soccer-field in Lillehammer, and - voila!

Now I hear that there is a dødball-reunion coming up. I wish I could be there, but I can't. You guys have to make this an annual happening.

I'll make sure to do a strong comeback next year.

I Work Best under Pressure

I work best under pressure.
I work best under pressure.
I work best under pressure.
I work best under pressure.
I work best under pressure.

If I just say it enough times it will come true, right? RIGHT??

Monday, April 03, 2006

I Need:

1. Inspiration.

2. 3000 words for essay. Preferably about collective narratives, peace education and/or history.

3. An invention that would make the day last for 48 instead of 24 hours every day until Friday.

If you have any ideas, please don't hesitate to tell me.

Always Look at the Bright Side of Life...

Tra la la la la la..

Exam is definitely not going as planned. I just can't get my mind to work today, and when I can't think, it is a little bit difficult to get anything useful down on paper. But instead of complaining about my exam writing (or lack thereof) I decided to try the "think positive tecnique" and focus on something better.

For example, this seems to be the "week of free food". Very convenient for a limited student economy. Redd Barna-Boss Bjørn-Richard has just recently experienced Lånekassen's limited generousity himself, and therefore gave Rachel and me all the leftovers from dinners and lunches at the Redd Barna region-meeting we went to this week-end. So now our fridge and freezer is full of salat, bread, pais, chinese chicken+curry and rice! in adition to that, we also got to go to a three course dinner at a fancy restaurant with all the Redd Barna people on Saturday. And because we're volunteering for the Peace Centre Seminar this week, we get three free lunches and another fancy dinner on Thursday. Yeah!

Positive thing nr. 2 - the sun is (almost) shining again. After a couple of weeks of bright sun and blue sky it started snowing yesterday. But now I can see some blue sky again!

Oh, and I have found a new favorite actor. He's finnish, and he's called Jasper Pääkkönen. He plays Matti Nykänän in the new movie, and he's oh so cuuuute..

Last - but not least - I have now in some miraculos way overcome the technical obstacles and fixed my blog so that everyone can write comments on it, not just fellow bloggers.

I expect results!