Shelby here to chronicle the events of this lovely Sunday in Lillehammer, Norway.
To back up a bit, last week I was enlisted to attend a meeting of the on-campus theatre/improvisation group SpHilop. The name is a play on words, as each on-campus group must have the school's acronym, Hil, in it, and spill op means play up in Norwegian. This group normally works on improvisation, but this weekend they were to create a dramatisation of a biblical text for a special student service as a part of Uka. Uka means week in Norwegian, but in this case it refers to a special student week at Hil complete with tons of concerts, exhibitions, and events.
The theme of the church service was fordømmer (which means to condemn), so the biblical text was John 8:1-11 in which an adulteress is brought before Jesus to stone, and he tells those ready to stone that the one of them without sin may throw the first stone. Long story short, because I don't speak Norwegian, am a female, and was willing, I was cast as the adulteress. One of my flat-mates, Andrew, who has taken a few years of Norwegian at Luther, was cast as Jesus. It was his first theatrical experience, and I think he did pretty well.
This past week we rehearsed our 5 minute skit 4 times or so, and it went very well within the service. The service was a wonderful compilation of various talented musicians in all different genres, including organ (a standard Mozart piece and then a very cool piece called Litanies by Jehan Alain), opera, flute and piano duet (by our lovely Abby and Julia), and even a lovely rendition of Neil Young's Ohio with just guitar and voice. It was a very cool service, even if I could not always understand what was being spoken about. There was a big turnout and I think it was a wonderful way for me to start out the "Uka" events.
Directly afterward we headed to a club downtown called "Bingo'N" to watch the Grandiosa pizza eating contest (also an Uka event). Grandiosa is the one and only cheap pizza brand in Norway- a college standard! They are pretty good for cheap pizza and usually have a unique blend of toppings (my favorite so far has been the canadian bacon and red pepper pizza).
Anyways, it was free to enter in the contest, so there were three people from the American contingent that entered. Andrew and Mitch representing the guys and Bryn for the ladies. They did the contest in groups of 4 or 5, putting a whole pizza in front of them (although hold your gasps people...these are not American- sized pizzas...each one was about 8 small slices on a thin crust) and seeing who can finish it first. The person of each gender that had the best time would get a prize and the top winner would get an all expense-paid trip to Oslo for the next phase in Grandiosa-Eating competition. I was very proud for those three competitors, they all did a great job, but nothing could prepare us for Andrew's victory! He beat everyone, eating his pizza in 6 minutes, 17 seconds. He not only won the Oslo trip (although it occurs in October...so that might not happen), he also won a bright yellow Grandiosa t-shirt, lunchbox, and a box of 10 Grandiosa pizzas!
It was a pretty exciting evening and we will be enjoying the benefits from it for many days to come. With our hearts warmed and freezer filled, we can tackle what this "Uka"has to offer!
Enjoy these photos....
Here is a photo of from left to right, Bryn (from Concordia), Victoria (one of the Norwegian buddies), and Ester (from Spain) competing in the pizza contest. What you can't see is that Ester was the unfortunate recipient of a burnt pizza...so she was at a bit of a disadvantage!
Here's the acting troupe. Left to right: Me, Andrew (Jesus and Pizza champion), Ina, Ingrid (also Norwegian), and Linda (Latvia).
Lillehammer Kirke (pronounced kinda like "shirka"), where the service was held.
I hope to continue meeting with the improv group and Ina (the leader and my new Norwegian friend) tells me that we might have an improv exhibition before the semester is over.
Monday night we have tickets to see "Donkeyboy," which is a huge band here in Norway. We are pretty darn excited about it.
Please look forward to hearing from Kjerstin about our other adventures this week :)
Ha det bra!
Shelby (and Kjerstin)