|The Norwegian Countryside|
We have finally arrived! And before this post goes any further, I'd like to apologize in advance for the jet-lagged tone. So, in that rambling mood, I'll just present a quick overview of the first day. It's now 8:39 P.M. here and we're pretty exhausted. The trip was wonderful and went very quickly, but even so, it takes the wind of out you.
We arrived in Iceland around 7 A.M. local time this morning and stayed in the airport for about an hour before our next flight left. Then, when we got to Oslo, we collected Thad and another girl who came early, as well as several Serbians and Bosnians and traveled to Lillehammer for the Nansen Dialogues. These are discussions that occur among the differing ethic groups from the wars in the former Yugoslavia. We're here to participate and witness these dialogues, and we'll be here all week (more on these later!).
Next, we moved into our dorms and I have a single for the whole week (Yes!). They're a bit small but just perfect for privacy and sleeping without having to spread too much stuff around. Then, we took a short walking tour of part of the city. Aside from the recent Winter Olympics held here, the city has a marvelous history, including a coat of arms dedicated to a skiing rescue of a prince by his faithful soldiers. I learned that my $50 will purchase two hamburgers at a fast food restaurant in the Norwegian currency; the exchange rate is simply, unequivocally brutal.
Since they didn't serve free meals on the plane rides (Strange, right? I purchased a minimal amount to save money), we were all very, very hungry by suppertime. We had rich rice with beef and vegetable stir-fry on top with fresh crunchy salad and hot bread bedecked in sesame seeds that I would mug someone to eat again. Finally, well-fed, we all retired to a common lounge to check in with our families. Soon, it'll be definitely time for bed, with the real festivities starting at 8 A.M. tomorrow morning. But, they've mentioned that the sun will be light until about 3 A.M. I'll have to do a short post on the weather next; it has truly changed seven or eight times in the last few hours. For now though, it's time for some relaxation and a bit of sleep.
|The Nansen Academy in Lillehammer|