Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Settled in Lillehammer!

Hei Hei! Shelby again!

I suppose it is time to explain a little about Norway, since Iceland has only accounted for the first 48 hours of our adventure.

We arrived on Sunday afternoon in Lillehammer after a medium length flight and two hour train ride through a river valley. What a gorgeous country! Huge rolling hills, conifer covered mountains, and snowy cabins lined the train tracks.

Upon arriving at the college, we moved straight into our rooms, and met up for a unique dinner of spaghetti, hot dogs, potatoes, and carrots with our Norwegian buddies, Uwe, and Birger.

Let me just take a moment to describe Birger. He is a 'retired' Norwegian professor with a crazy sense of humor and the cutest Norwegian accent and he is teaching our Norwegian class that we take 4 times a week for the next two months. He is both extremely entertaining and mildly confusing, but I think we will really enjoy him. (He is taking us out to cross country ski this weekend...and his 7 and 9 year old grandchildren are going to help us)

Anyways, we only had the evening to settle into our flats and classes started the next day.

For the semester we are taking two classes from Lillehammer University, Norwegian Language and Norwegian Culture and Society. We take both courses with the rest of the international students at HiL (this is the abbreviation of the will make things a lot shorter), but the society course only meets twice a week with 2-3 hour long the morning. That will take a little getting used to :)

Otherwise we are also taking a religion course from various lecturers including the campus pastor at HiL, a Concordia professor who visits in the spring, and Mark Lund, the head of Luther's global ed who is taking us to Germany. And we are studying globalization and the nordic countries with Uwe and a Norwegian professor named Schteiner? (I don't know spelling....I haven't met him yet). These classes have not started yet, so I can't tell you much about them. But stay tuned...should be interesting!

Now let me spend a tiny bit o' time on meals. Point 1: Food is REALLY expensive in Norway. Especially prepared food. To demonstrate.... we went to a McDonalds today...and the Big Mac costs 12 U.S. Dollars! No joke! Point 2: We are given a meal plan at the college so that we can have two meals a day in their Kantina...however dinner ENDS at 4:30. That's right...we have to get our dinner before 4:30. That has been an adjustment. We went to the grocery store and ended up buying food mostly for breakfasts and later night dinners....we almost end up eating a second dinner every night.

So we are starting to learn that we should eat as much healthy food as possible whenever it is offered. Good life skills I think?

Kjerstin has promised that she will blog soon, perhaps to describe our living quarters and other information. I'll remind her :)

Ta Ta for Now!

Shelby (And Kjerstin)

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