Heaven in Norway

May 9, 2006

I got back last night from a five day trip up to the west coast. I have to say that this was the closest I have been to heaven in my entire life. All of us stayed in a cabin that was at least 200 years old right next to the Atlantic Ocean. I can't even begin to fully describe what it was like but I will try my best.

Each day we woke up around 11 and ate breakfast at the table with everyone around in our PJs. We usually played cards for a while and around 1 we would venture outside. Outside is where we would be for the next 12+ hours. Everyday was a cloudless day and we were able to be out in shorts and t-shirts which was amazing. We went fishing out on large ships as well as small row boats, we hiked all around, we sat on the dock mesmorized by the snow-capped mountains that surrounded us, we played card games. Everyday was so perfect. Every night we would have dinner altogether as a group. We grilled the fish we caught and we made chowder with all the crabs we got. We learned how to gut fish and kill crabs. We would eat around 10:30 but that was ok because it didn't even begin to get dark till around 1am and even then it was a simple dusk. Every night after dinner it would get chilly and we would have to put on our sweatshirts (one thing in life that will always bring a smile to my face is getting to put on a sweatshirt on a cool summer night after a long day in the warm sun) and we would sit around the camp fire and talk and eventually crawl into our beds to do the same thing the next day. Everything was so simple and we all helped out with all that needed to be done. It was so peaceful.

On the way back we stopped for a while in Trondheim. We went to the church where Olav Haroldsen (later St. Olaf) fought for the spread of Christianity. It was super awesome because we were actually able to attend a service. I think about getting to see this church and being able to go to church in Lillehammer and a Russian Orthodox service while in Russia and I think that it is so awesome that we can all be so incredibly different yet we are all connected with God and then I smile.   

While it would be silly to say that I am friends with everyone here, I can honestly say that the ten other students I am here with have become a family to me and getting to be together on this relaxing trip was a great way to start our close to our time here. I can't believe that I will back in the US in 9 days. It has gone so very fast. I am really starting to get to sad to leave this place and I know that Norway will forever have a spot in my heart along with traveling in generally.

Small side comment: Norway's weather is nothing like ours when it slowly moves from one season to the next. On May 1st it was snowing, cold, and gross. Yet somehow in one week's time it has become spring. There aren't clouds anywhere and all the snow is gone and everything is green and it is 65 degrees out. Gosh I am super happy.

Love you all and now I can say see you soon.

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