Saturday, April 10, 2010

Baby Animals, Birkebeiner and Tre Bukkene Bruse!

Hello Friends! Shelby here with my sincerest apologies as to our lack of blog entries over the past few weeks. Here’s the thing, we just returned from our two week long spring break trip to Germany and the UK. On top of that, we had numerous activities to complete before we left for said trip. But don’t you worry! We will fill you in on all the happenings as soon as we can manage J Thank you for your patience.

In this particular entry, I am going to talk about the fun activities we participated in before leaving for spring break.

Visit to Norwegian Farm

Thanks to Birger’s connections (just a reminder, Birger is our Norwegian professor and all-around Norway guru), we got to visit a farm outside of town that serves as an alternative school for teenagers with special needs. Gry, the head teacher and farmer, is a former student of Birgers’, and she has quite the program set up at her farm. When we visited, she was rather busy because one of her sheep had just given birth in the night. This also meant that we got to see three adorable newborn lambs! It was quite a treat. After watching the lambs and talking a bit with the staff, we roasted hot dogs over a fire and wrapped them in lefse (polse med lompe…a Norwegian favorite). It was a lovely visit and the work she is doing is very interesting.


Next up was the Birkebeiner Ski Race, on the Saturday before we left for Germany. One of our fellow students, Julia, entered the race with her Dad, sister, and friends. The crew traveled to Lillehammer for the week to visit Julia and train for the race. The Birkebeiner has a long tradition in Norway, dating back to 1100s. The name means “Birch Leg,” referring to the way that these rebellious Norwegians would wrap their legs and feet in Birch bark as a type of shoe. In 1202, when their King Sverre died, all of his conquered land was forfeit if his line of succession was not continued. Long story short, a baby by the name of Haakon Haakonson became the future of Norway to the Birkebeiners, and they had to transport him by ski all the way to Tronheim safely. They succeeded, and he became King Haakon Haakonson IV and managed to bring peace to Norway. To commemorate this run, there are three official Birkebeiner races, including ski, bike, and running. In all three races, the participants must wear a pack that weighs 3.5 kg to represent the weight of the baby king. Cool history huh?

Our luck is that the Birkebeiner Race finishes in Lillehammer, so we could participate in this huge tradition! It was a beautiful day (about 50 degrees at its hottest), but perhaps a little too nice for the skiers. We had a great time cheering and watching the finishers go through. We had painted our faces with symbols of our American and Norwegian pride, and made posters to cheer Julia on. The wait was a little long, but with the weather and our excitement, it was worth it to see her go through that finish line. Way to go Julia!

Tre Bukene Bruse

Our last task to accomplish before we left for spring break was our Norwegian final exam. It consisted of two parts: written and oral. The written exam portion was a little tricky, but about what I had expected. However, the oral exam was the interesting part. Weeks earlier we had been assigned the project of dramatizing the Norwegian children’s story “Tre Bukene Bruse” aka 3 “Bruse” Goats, or as we know them, The 3 Billy Goats Gruff. We decided to have our apartments serve as our dramatic group, so we assigned the roles as follows: Andrew: Narrator, Mitch: Troll, Reagan: Little Goat, Kjerstin : Middle Goat, and Me: Big Goat. I have to say it turned out as well as it could have considering the time and resources we had. The performance of these skits was a very entertaining event! It was a great way to finish the class off.

The next entry will be the photos from this activity, since we are still having technical difficulties with blogspot :)

Ha det bra fra Lillehammer :)

Shelby and Kjerstin

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