Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Well, I haven't said goodbye for a year...yet. But every time I look out my window and see peak one or Buffalo mountain, I think to myself "I have lived here my entire life and I have never once appreciated how amazing the mountains look" I am so aware of it when I think to myself that I only have 13, 12, 11, 10 days left. Though I still haven't grasped the fact that I am leaving my house for a year (and I don't think that I will until I am in Finland) it is because I am realizing that something will be different and finally for the first time in my life I am realizing how much I love my home. And when I look up at those mountains it makes me sad that I will not see them again for a year. But I have taken so many pictures of the mountains in the past couple weeks that I will have enough to keep me going.

I haven't said goodbye for the year with any of many of my friends. I had my going away party yesterday. It wasn't really a party, but more of a picnic with several of my close friends. It was seriously great. I am going to miss them a lot. But hopefully I will make tons of new friends, and friends that don't ask me to speak english, when I blurt out things in random languages. Though, I couldn't ask for better friends.
Peak One at Sunset 

Buffalo Mountain (Not the best picture of it I have) 

My friend, Reena, made me a shirt that I absolutely love! 

And all of my friends that were at my going away party signed it and wrote messages on the back 

When I think about leaving my friends and family and the mountains, I get sad. But this sadness easily disappears when I start packing. After all, it has been my lifelong dream to pack up, get on a plane by myself and fly away to some foreign land and speak some foreign language.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Shout Out To Norway

15 days before I leave for the time of my life, tragedy struck my life.  Many of you probably know what events have took place in Olso, Norway in the past few days. Though, I did not know anyone in the attacks personally, I still feel terrible. I have cried many hours for Norway. Because, even though I have never lived there and I am not fluent in norwegian, I feel that Norway is in my ways my home. I also consider Dillon, Colorado to be my home, but in a different way. I am a citizen of two countries. And that is how my heart feels. So on top of the many feelings that any exchange student feels before they leave for a year, you can now add depression and sadness to my list.

But this post isn't about me, it is about Norway and it is about all the lives lost in the attacks on my beautiful country. We love you. May all those hurt by this heal and become happy again.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Norway, and Packing

I would do two different posts for Norway and for packing, but I don't really feel like doing two different posts, so I will do one long one.

So First off, I am back in Colorado......yeah, I know, I wish I was still in Norway too :( It is sooooo nice there!!! I love other countries so much! But being back in Colorado is good? Yes, because now I can get everything done for my exchange! But I miss Norway! Even if the weather is so much nicer here....

For most people, it is always easier to pick out what you think is better and what you think is worse about other cultures. I am sad to say that I, too, have done this. For instance, in Norway it is very easy for me to say that the driving rules in the United States are far superior. But it is also easy for me to say that how Norway carries out construction, is also far superior to the Untied States' system of construction. But because I will soon be an exchange student, I was following a simple motto that I learned at orientation weekend. "There is no such thing as better, no such thing as worse, only different" As hard as it may be to follow, I am trying.

In Norway there are many things that I miss. I will make a list as short as I can:

  1. The ocean
  2. Swimming in the ocean
  3. Skolebolle (pastry) 
  4. Saft (a juice that is amazing)
  5. My family there
  6. My grandmother's cat
  7. The coach in my grandparents house 
  8. Green (as in all the plants that are there) 
  9. Norwegian Hot Dogs
  10. The language 
  11. Shrimp
  12. Biking Everywhere 
  13. Boating 
  14. Seeing Prices in Kroner (norwegian currency) 
  15. The Overall Feeling  
Yeah, going home was pretty much like the saddest thing ever for me. What made me not cling to my grandparents door on the day we were leaving and shout "You'll never take me!", is the fact that I will soon be having a great experience in Finland that has been taking up my every thought for 8 months. And what helped me leave is that the culture and landscape in Finland is similar to Norway in many ways. So, knowing that soon I will be back in scandinavia was a thought that helped me through the sad and long process of leaving the country I've always loved so much. 

Here are some pictures that I took:

Awesome Graffiti

Shrimp :) 

Fish that we caught....and my feet 

I gutted a fish, and it was gross 

Everything is in Norwegian! 

This is me :) 

Me, with a norwegian shopping cart

This was a two lane road...

Me, swimming :) (my favorite thing to do)

Stavanger Domkirke, which is a 1,000 year old church 

So, enough about Norway! Now we get onto the really exciting part! Packing and Preparation! Hurray! So as soon as I got to Colorado I went to Waterworld of course! But that wasn't really helping me prepare. I took a trip down to Boulder, Co for 4 days and I went to Denver and went shopping for host gifts! And I had luck! Yay! I also went to lots of clothing stores! Going on an exchange is SUCH a good reason to go shopping!!!! I have so many new clothes that I don't need to buy any clothes when I get there! Going to Norway helped me with learning what the style was in scandinavia, maybe that is cheating, but I don't care because I saved so much money! So I am almost done with all my shopping. I just bought two new suitcases for my exchange yesterday and they are huge! I won't have to worry about enough room! Though, I may have to worry about it being less that 50 pounds, or 70 pounds, I don't really know which one it is...

I have sooooo much to do before I leave! Lucky I still have 17 days left! 

Here are some pictures of Denver to leave you with :) Näkemiin!