Sunday, July 22, 2012

One year after 22 July, and quick update

I feel a bit removed from the bombing and then shooting that happened one year ago today in Oslo and the island of Utøya.  When it happened I was working in Wisconsin still, and had just revealed my plans to go to graduate school in Norway (I had put in my 2 week notice) and I watched the people of Norway meet the tragic events with love, rather than hate.  The pictures of the flood of flowers in the city, and what I saw in person a few weeks later, are what I remember most.  Today on TV there are many speeches, singing, and footage from that day a year ago.

I've watched some of the trial of Anders Behring Breivik, the shooter, over the past months.  He is an absolute monster.  He's always smiling a bit, completely at peace with his actions.  In his speech he gave in court he defended his actions and implored the court to release him so he could continue his "mission".  He said he was defending his cultural identity from the influx of many cultures to Norway.  They answered him with a beautiful song celebrating many cultures.  Here is my post that includes photos of the aftermath of the bomb in Oslo.

I was busy in June with a Swahili course followed by a wonderful trip to Spain:

With good food,

Cool sites,

And great friends.  It was only five days but I know I want to visit again as soon as I can!  

When I returned to UMB, I had two days to move out and move in to my dear cousin Unni Beate's place, for the month of July before I go to Tanzania.  My mom came from June 30 to July 16, and we saw the Oslo sites and my school before taking the train to the West coast of Norway, the Sogn fjord area, the town of Aurland.  We spent 4 days with our dear friends Unni Beth and her husband Kjell in their cute house with the spectacular view of the Aurland fjord.  They took us up higher to get some great pictures of Aurland town, the fjord and some crazy tourists.

Aurland from above.

View of the Aurlandsfjord that connects to the main fjord, the Sogn fjord.

Oh, those crazy tourists.  Taking pictures of themselves in front of stuff.

Next to mailboxes...this is from one of the farms that our ancestors came from.  My mom's last name is spelled "Dalbotten" but it is descended from the same name.  I spent a lot of time trying to decipher books in "nynorsk", the other writing system in Norway (there's two!) about the lines of families that have lived and worked on the farms we visited.  I'd like to try the same thing with my mom's mom's line, and my dad's ancestors, someday.

I also found time to take a dip in the fjord, and did I ever regret it instantly:

But at least I have proof that I did it!  It was just over 50ºF, 11ºC.  I needed a sauna to run into afterwards!

This last week in Norway I have a lot to do to prepare for Tanzania, as my flight is on the 29th.  I don't know if I will have time or be able to update here for the next four to five months, but I guess I will find out.  I'm planning to be home for Christmas and some or most of January, so I'm looking forward to seeing many friends and family then!

1 comment:

  1. Good luck, Kels. I hope it's a great experience for you.