Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Seems about right

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Another sort of Independence

It seems I have made the cardinal sin of blogging - not posting in a long while. Yes, I have been on the computer. Yes, I have even visited my blog. I just didn't feel like posting. Naughty. Naughty.

But never fear, I am here (now) and with pictures!!

Unlike those of you in the States, I got to celebrate the 4th of July twice. Not only was there the independence celebration at the ambassadors (see previous post), but we also had a Sunday afternoon of good ole' US fun and celebration and eatin' at FrognerPark here in Oslo.

The American Lutheran Congregation had a booth - for the very first time. Look its me!

And the kids had a watermelon eating contest - I got to be a judge!



And after...

Let me tell you, being a judge was not as fun as it sounds How do you decide when the child has eaten enough to be the winner, compared to the others? See all those people squishing in? Most of those are parents, some Norwegian, some from the US, but nonetheless pushy and protagonists for their children. I had parents physically trying to move me out of the way to get a picture. Or saying right next to my ear, "she's not looking at him (their child). He should've won, but she's watching everyone else." Yes, I can hear and understand you, proud parent, even if you don't think so. Parents everywhere! Please remember that these games are for fun. Please be kind to judges, referees, and coaches everywhere! They are just trying to help your children.

There were even cheerleaders! Yes, Norwegian cheerleaders. They don't really cheer for sporting events, but compete in competitions. I'm told that this team has done quite well in those competitions too.

And the youth of our congregation sold softdrinks as a fundraiser. They did quite well and were so cheerful and helpful!

I was even dragged up to do some line-dancing. Learned a new one too, must be the Norwegian line dance. Sorry, I haven't seen a picture of this yet. But we were facing a stage, with everyone sitting behind us watching the loveliness of our backsides trying to follow our very excited Norwegian line-dancing teacher. Oh what a vision!

Happy Independence today to you!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Small Pond Life

Part of serving at the American Lutheran Congregation, is that I am part of "the American Presence in Oslo". Sounds quite official huh? Well really, it just means that my swimming pond has shrunk a little. As an intern, I'm not really a big fish in a small pond, more like a medium size fish, or one of those helper fish. Or something.

But in real life, it means that I get to attend events that I wouldn't even really know were occuring in the States. My latest fun, strange, is this internship? event was the Independence Celebration (4th of July) at the US Ambassador's residence last week.

Its quite a cultural and language switch to attend these events. You come in with your Norwegian mindset and ears to hear Norwegian. But then speak only, or mostly english. Then, feeling quite comfortable in your cultural skin, you leave the event, but then remember that you are living in a country other than your own culture and have to readjust. It's almost like a time warp, but of culture.

Even though the Ambassador's residence is technically US soil, it was still a Norwegian / US affair. The cake had marzipan frosting. Yummy!! Or you could have McDonald's soft serve ice cream - but with fun toppings. I chose the cake, even though I wanted to eat both.

The Marine band played, we ate hamburgers, corn on the cob, wine (its still an embassy event), and tootsie rolls. And talked with all sorts of people, including a quick 'hi' to the Ambassador, who are also living in this small pond we call Norway.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Cultural Oslo

When one thinks of Norway, most people have visions of Norwegian sweaters, lutefisk, lefse, and tall blonde haired people. Well, in the past couple weeks I have encounted and lived in a Norway that is anything but this stereotype.

A couple weeks ago, on a bright sunny day I was walking downtown when I heard some drumming. What is that? I wondered, and wandered across the street to check out the commotion. It turned out to be a Korean Drum and dance group. They were fantastic.

I was quite impressed with the man wearing the hat with the streamer out of the top. To make it swirl he both moved his body and his head. Oh my dizzy!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Not Nothing

I was on the phone with a friend the other night, and he asked what was going on my life. I responded with my usual response, "oh nothing all that exciting. Its just life as normal."

Naughty naughty. If I ever give you this response on the phone, I give you permission to laugh at me, or shake your finger at me.

I realized after I got off the phone that much is going on in my life, I just tend not to remember it when I'm on the phone. I suffer from the little known problem of 'phone freeze'. Whenever I'm talking on the phone, I forget everything else going on in my life except the current conversation. A good listener I do make, but not a good conversationalist. This may be why the phone is not my favorite piece of technology.

So, what has been going on in my life?

Well, as you can see from previous posts:
*my parents came to visit
*I celebrated my 29th birthday

*I rejoiced upon learning that a good friend from home is pregnant (causing me to also freak in realization that we are supposed to be honest to goodness adults - i'm almost 30!!)

*I smiled when a good friend was honest and true

*I attended a meeting with the Norwegian State Church to help them understand the real lives and real faiths of assylum seekers from Afghanistan living in Norway

*I preached a not-so-fabulous sermon

*I went to an amazing concert at the music high school here where one of the youth at church sang an amazing song she wrote

*I am learning to pray, honestly

I can't remember any more right now. But never fear if you think your life has no exciting bumps. You might be suffering from brain freeze!