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.