Saturday, November 08, 2008

Some pictures I finally uploaded to the computer

I haven't been taking many pictures this fall (see earlier blog entries for an explanation of this...), but I finally got around to uploading the pictures I did take. These ones are from the beginning of September, at a lake not far from our house. Every year they have what they call "Outdoor Day", where all kinds of different organizations having to do with outdoor activities show up and let kids take part in their stuff. And it's all free. So they have a free climbing wall, free kayaks and canoes to borrow, a short orienteering race, and lots of other info. and activities. Oh, and a free breakfast (bread and different kinds of spreads) as well as having bonfires set up with free hot dogs to grill as well as "cowboy coffee". It's really fun, and we've been going there ever since they started about 5 or 6 years ago. More and more people are finding out about it, and it gets more crowded every year. This year, the weather was pretty bad, and we got their early, so we had the place to our selves. We stayed for about an hour, and then we rode our bikes from there into the forest. It was a nice day - even if it was freezing cold!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


I don't have time to write much, but I just have to write a few lines about how happy I am that Obama won the election. I was really getting nervous the last few days, afraid that McCain would end up pulling it off in the end.

It was night here in Norway when they were tallying up the votes, and by the time they finally called a winner, it was about 4 or 5 in the morning here. I didn't stay up - but the amazing thing is that a lot of people in Norway did! I don't think most Americans really realize how interested and concerned people in other countries are about who is president of the United States. The decisions Americans make at the voting booths have huge impacts on the lives of people all over the world. People are so fed up with George Bush, that the thought that American's could actually vote for a candidate from the same party as him was unthinkable. I'm not sure if I would have been able to show my face at work today if Obama hadn't won.

But - he did win! And all day long, people have been coming up to me and congratulating me and giving me hugs. One woman I work with was going to buy a bottle of champagne on her way home from work and celebrate Obama's victory with her family. My little 2nd graders were coming up to me this morning and telling me that they knew that the U.S. was going to have a new president. This is really big stuff around here, too!!!!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Espen - the working man

On Thursday, junior high and high school students in Norway got some work experience and made some money for a good cause at the same time. It was Operation Dayswork, and they were making money to help poor kids in Bangladesh. Everyone had to find a job for the day where they could make at least 200 kroner (about 30 dollars). Some kids took the easy way out and worked for their parents, but Espen and two of his friends went to a hotel not far from our house and asked if they could work there for the day. They said yes (apparently they've had students from Espen's school there before) and told them to show up at 9:30 in the morning wearing black dress pants and shoes and an "ironable" shirt. Espen was pretty excited, and we went out and bought him some new clothes to wear.

He and his friends worked hard all day, changing sheets and moving boxes around and stuff like that. They got free breakfast and lunch and made money for the project, and they couldn't have been more pleased when they got home. We were proud of them!