First off, I am so sorry for not updating my blog recently! Everyday though I have been typing up a journal of what happens and my thoughts for each day. So I am just going to post them here with the date for everyone to read.
Here are a few pictures from Molde:
View from our house!
Our house :)
My parents here! I love them, they are great =)
o boy...today was a very long and busy day! When I woke up I had breakfast with Britt Janne, then me, her, and Andre went up to the school to pick my classes. Tomorrow I have chemistry, physics, lunch break, then finally spanish. On the other days I will also have norwegian, history, gym, and my favorite: math. I'm kind of worried about tomorrow because everything is taught in norwegian so I won't understand ANYTHING! Also I don't know anyone at school and I will have to make friends and talk to them. Hopefully I will make friends quickly. Afterwards we went out to eat, I ate my first cheeseburger and fries with a fork and knife! Hehe... Then we bought school supplies and a sim card for my cell phone. I get to use Einar's old Iphone, its sooo cool, and of course very nice of him! We also got all my school books, a lot of stuff!! When we got back to the house I spent some time talking to Andre, it was good. Then I went grocery shopping with Einar and Andre, and when we got back Einar labeled lots of things in norwegian for me. I also helped Hanna and Ingvild with their english homework and they let me borrow a childrens book in norwegian. That way I can learn a few things haha.
Today was my first day of school! It was quite difficult, I had chemistry, physics, and spanish. I couldn't really understand chemistry, so I might drop it and take international english instead! Haha, that way I will have a very easy class. Physics wasn't too bad, we did stuff I already did last year. Its kind of nice to understand something. During lunch I walked to the city with a girl named Martha, who seems really nice. Afterwards we went back to school and she introduced me to a few more girls in my class, which is 2A. Tmr I have history, norwegian, and chemistry, eww. After my 2 hour lunch break I had spanish. It was so much easier than my other classes. There was also a guy (forgot his name) who helped me, he translated the spanish into norwegian. He also explained what the teacher was saying. I think spanish will help me learn norwegian because the vocabulary lists are in spanish and norwegian. Since I know spanish I can figure out what the norwegian words mean in english. Its a good deal ha. After school I found out I will be taking private lessons with a violin teacher here and playing volleyball. I will also join the local orchestra! Which is very exciting, I miss playing so much! Later that night I went to dance class with Britt Janne. It was fun, but looked very difficult. The dance teacher is actually a model I found out. He was an amazing dancer, it was so cool to watch him dance. After that Britt Janne, Einar, Hanna, Ingvild, and me drove up to the top of the mountain that their house is on. It was absolutely beautiful! We could see the whole town and the Atlantic ocean. They also pointed out to me the ski lifts that go up the mountain, because we will be skiing later in the year! Woot. Then they drove me to the famous hotel in Molde, we took the elevator to the top floor, it was beautiful! I absolutely love the view in Molde, its so great. Nothing like I have ever seen before. Now to talk about how I am feeling here in Norway. I really do love it here. Everything is so beautiful and the people are so nice. I am really worried about school and norwegian. I am also scared I won't make friends. But I am going to try. I do miss my family, mostly my mom and dad, and my friends, but I'm actually not homesick. The reason norwegian is so hard is because they have different sounds than we do in english. They have 3 additional letters: å, æ, and ø. I basically sound stupid when I try to pronounce wordds, haha, also I can't roll my r's. I really hope I will be able to learn. I am kind of scared I won't. Yesterday they bought peanut butter for me haha. They have actuallly never had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich! So they have to try one! My mom is also sending me some recipes from home so that I can cook for them. I really wanna make them sloppy joes, haha, because I love them! Grandma is here this week and I get to meet her! Tomorrow I am meeting Julie for lunch. She is a good family friend and she said she would introduce me to a few of her friends, which is very nice of her.
Today at school I had history and norwegian. I ended up dropping norwegian =) Which means every wednesday I can leave school at 11:25am!! Its great. And starting next week I will have violin lessons right after school, and then volleyball in the evening. But I will have a nice long break in betweeen, I will love it. Today after classes I had lunch with Martha, it was nice. Then Britt Janne picked me up from school. When I got home I uploaded pictures to Facebook, which I need to do again soon actually. Then we had a traditional norwegian dish for dinner, its called kjøttkake:
It was really good. Afterwards we went to a family birthday party. It was only right around the corner from the house so we walked there. I got to meet Britt Janne's sister and mother. I absolutely love them! They are amazing people =) I also met Marte, who is Andre's cousin. She seems really nice and is my age, I hope I will maybe become friends with her. The birthday party was a lot of fun! We talked about so much and I felt very welcome. I feel like I am already a part of the family, its great. We also decided that we will celebrate Thanksgiving this year in Norway! Its not a holiday they celebrate here, but they will this year because of me! I asked my mom to send me a bunch of recipes for Thanksgiving, and I will cook them a bunch of food, it will be a lot of fun! I am looking forward to it! Today in norwegian class I basically understood nothing they were talking about, it was quite confusing. So I just didn't pay attention haha. And I probably won't again tomorrow. I also really miss my friends from back home! I am still not homesick but I miss hanging out with them. Making friends here is extremely hard. People keep telling me norwegians are introverted, and not very welcoming. So I will really have to force myself to talk to people everday so that I make friends. Its kind of difficult to do because in America everyone is very welcoming to exchange students. They always want to hang out with them and talk to them, and here its not like that.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALEX!! =) Hope you have an awesome day! Not very much happened today. I went to school and met Julie's friends. They were very nice girls. Then the whole family, Einar, Britt Janne, Hanna, Ingvild, Andre, and me went out to eat to get some traditional norwegian food. It was like a potato ball with ham, potatos, and bacon on the side. It was really good! Then after school I had orchestra rehearsal. The only thing is I don't have a violin to play yet =( It kind of sucks, so I sat there and listened to them. They are very good though, I am excited! Finally playing with an orchestra consisting of people of all ages who love to play. Its wonderful. Afterwards I got back to the house and showered and went to bed. Well before that I talked to Einar and Britt Janne for a long time, I enjoyed it very much.
Friday finally!!! TGIF It has been such a long weeeeeek. School was really good today =) First I had spanish class, then I had gym class. We had to walk 10 minutes to get to the gym. Then we all changed and walked up a mountain for like 10 minutes. When we got to the top we got into pairs and were given a compass and a map. We basically had to run the path we were given, which was quite long. It was a bit cold outside, and rained a little, but it was awesome. I really enjoyed running up and down the mountain and pushing myself. And the feeling afterwards was absolutely amazing. I felt great the rest of the day!! Afterwards we went to take showers, but no one else showered so either did I. Plus it will be really weird for me when I do. Because they all shower naked together in a big open room, which I have never done before. So I guess I will just have to get used to it. After that I ate lunch with a really nice girl and then had math class. It went well because I actually understood what was going on. Such a great feeling. The girls in front of me had to explain the norwegian to me so I could do the homework though. It was funny because they were explaining it by drawing pictures and stuff haha. After school I talked to my mom on Skype. I showed her around the house and talked to her about everything for awhile. She is going to send me some recipes and a butterfinger! hahaha my favorite. And possibly my violin, if its safe to do so. She said she would talk to my dad first. I also got to see both the cats at home, Smokey and Mickey. I miss them also!! They don't have any pets here so its kind of sad for me to see the animals back home. Afterwards we had this great food for dinner. I guess they actually eat it every friday night, and when the kids visit they always make it. It was rice with a sauce that had meat in it. It was extremely tasty haha. After dinner we went to the store to get some junk food! Then we went to the cabin, which I love. We went swimming in their huge hot tub and it was great. The view out the window is a huge mountain, part of the fjord. Everything is great here. They also have a boat and will take me tubing sometime, can't wait! Afterwards me, Einar, and Britt Janne watched Slumdog Millionaire. I know Goncalo and my mom watched it last year and didn't like it at all, but I really enjoyed it! We had a lot of chocolate during it haha, first time in a few weeks that I have had chocolate. So it was good ha. After the movie me and Einar talked for awhile and then I went to bed. One weird thing I noticed today, Norwegians have a funny way of driving. Yes they drive on the right side of the road, but they don't have stop signs really. There is like a rule that when you come to an intersection you have to let the person to the right of you go first. If there is no one there you don't have to stop. It can be really confusing at times though, but its quite interesting.
This morning we went to downtown Molde for a "get to know Molde day". There was an afs stand so we had to be there. It was pretty nice to see a bunch of people gathered in the city together. We walked around and saw all the different stands, some where interesting, some quite boring, and some didnt make sense haha. We also watched a dance team which was really interesting. They did some pretty cool things, stuff I could never do! Ahahaha. While we were there I found out volleyball starts this wednesday at 5:30 and they practice every monday and wednesday. Two of the other exchange students are also doing volleyball. I hope I can make friends on the team, that would be wonderful. Then I was introduced to a bunch of family friends. They were all so great and we went out to eat with Julie and her mother, and some close family friends. The girl actually studied abroad in the USA in Minnesota in 1984. After lunch we rented some movies and got some more junk food haha. We are now at home watching the football (soccer) game on tv. So I thought about many random things today. First off everyone, even girls, in Norway are extremely tall. I am so short here compared to everyone. Also, all the girls wear makeup. I have not seen one girl without makeup on. Its kind of strange. And so many people here have blonde hair haha. Also, I will be babysitting some of my host familys friends kids soon. I am really excited because I have always wanted to babysit, but I never had anyone to babysit. I guess a lot of their friends have younger children so I will get the chance too! Also, the girls, Hanna and Ingvild are sooo quiet. I always wonder what they are thinking. I hope they like me, and I hope I will get to know them. I am worried I wont! So tomorrow I start speaking only norwegian. It is going to be quite difficult and very stressfulllllll ugggggh. But it will help me learn quickly. There is also a girl here who has already decided she hates it here and is going home. I dont know how she could judge this town so quickly. She has only been in school for a few days, and she already hates it. She also said she doenst like the food or her host family or the people here. I dont know, I think if I went home early I would really regret it. I know the first few months are the hardest because we cant speak norwegian, but I cant give up. I have to push through the hard times if I ever want to experience the good times. Later that night Andre Einar and me watched a movie. It was quite strange but good. Andre ended up falling asleep hahaha. I was also really tired so I went to bed afterwards. But before the movie we watched the Molde football (soccer) team play. They ended up losing, 2 to 1. Grrrr. But it was really great to watch.
Today was a nice day. We woke up and had a big breakfast, and I started trying to only speaking norwegian. It was pretty good, I learned a lot more words. We took a walk around the neighborhood today, but it was pouring rain, so we were only out there for 15 minutes. Then we had a great dinner haha. A hamburger with potatos. It was really good. Afterwards Einar, Britt Janne, Hanna, Ingvild, and me went to visit Einars mom, my host grandma. She was so nice and cute. She made a bunch of desert for us. It was all really good. Cookies, waffle hearts, jam, chocolate mints, and this awesome ice cream. It was really yummy but i am going to get fat going over there! haha. We also had carbonated apple juice, it was good but soo weird! Afterwards we came back to the house and played cards! It was a lot of fun, and I think it made the girls more comfortable with me. I hope they are finally opening up. Which is good because I really want them to like me. They taught me how to play gris, which means pig in english, and another game. It was kind of like uno, and gris is kind of like spoons. But it was fun. Then I taught them how to play Egyptian Ratscrew and Bullshit. They really enjoyed it, they were laughing a lot. =) Tomorrow I have a big day ahead of me. Have to get my residence permit and buy a hair straightener, and get a dictionary, norwegian to english, and get a library card. So much to do!!
This morning started out quite interesting! A girl who lives in our neighborhood, an exchange student from Italy, Chiara I think, and me took the wrong bus to school! We ended up at the wrong high school and had to walk to Molde v.g. skole. It basically sucked. So I was a little late to english, my teacher wasnt too happy, but she is really weird so whatever. During that class I had to get up in front of the class and read a page out of our book about high school graduation back in America. Which is what I just did a few weeks ago haha. Afterwards I walked down to the city to meet Britt Janne. We went to get passport pictures taken, then to the politi to get my residence permit, then to the library to get me some childrens books, then to lunch, then to the store to get kaffe beans, then to another store to get me a hair straightener! Haha it was a lot but it was good, I got back to school around 12. Then I had math at 12 25 which was kind of boring, we had a ton of homework though. Afterwards I had physics which was really great. A girl and a guy who I hadnt met yet sat next to me, one on either side. So I met some new people, and they were very nice to talk to! Afterwards we came home and had dinner, it was yummy, pasta and garlic bread! Then Hanna og Ingvild made muffins which were delicious. They had theater that night so they cooked for their friends there. Then they all left for the theater and andre for work. Then Marte ended up coming over around 7 and then Pernille, Kjetils girlfriend and Martes best friend, came over too! Kristina, Martes other friends also came over, but she left after like 10 minutes because she was having family problems and was really upset. I had a really good time though, it was really scary also. We did talk a lot though and watched a movie, hopefully that was the start of a friendship.
Hmm so I am not sure how much I actually remember about today. Since I am writing this the day after haha. But yesterday I got to go into school late, like at 9 55, because every tuesday I have a free period in the morning =) Its really nice! And then we only had class until 11 25, because afterwards there was an election thing. After that I walked home, while listening to music. I really enjoyed it, but it was all uphill so it was a workout! Haha, and there was also a creepy man behind me! Like everytime I turned around there was no one behind me, but then I stopped to get out water and all of a sudden he was right by me. So I let him go past, but he was walking to slow so I caught up to him and passsed him. I was walking like 3 times as fast as him, and I turned around again and he was right behind me! It was really strange, but I still enjoyed the walk. I wanna do it at least a few time a week, the only thing I hated was having a bookbag on ugggh. It was so annoying and heavy. Oh well I will deal with it. When I got home I started applying to Case Western Reserve. I think I really wanna go there and start in pre med. But I have so many question I have to ask my mom so I didnt get to finish my application at all. It also costs 48,000 a year, so it depends on how much money I get in scholarships. That wil probably determine if I get to go. Then I went out to dinner with some people from AFS. Only two other afsers from this year were there, chaira and javi, but they left like after 10 minutes. So I stayed and hung out with Line, Anne, Ingri, and Sofia. It was a lot of fun, and dinner was really good. Taco wrap things, with cheese and meat in them. Then Ingri left, and the rest of us went to get is (ice cream) at another cafe. We hung out for like 4 hours, I really enjoyed it. So they invited me to hang out again and go to a music show this sunday at Suburban. I think I will definitely go, and Anne asked me to hang out again, so did Line =) So I am really happy about that! Afterwards I came home, took and shower, and went to bed.
Today was a pretty good day! Well, school kind of sucked. I had history and norwegian class and I understood basically nothing. But I found out that I never have to take tests in history which is really good. Also, in norwegian class, someone helped me read norwegian. He translate word for word for me and then let me try it too. It really helped me learn more so I think I will do that with Hanna og Invild's books from now on. After school I went to violin lessons. I absolutely love my teacher, he is awesome. And has never taught an American before haha. But he gave me some cool music and a violin. The violin is TERRIBLE. The sound is soooo bad, I really want my violin from home. I hope my parents can send it to me because otherwise I dont think I am going to do violin this year. And that would be really bad for me. Anyways after that we came home and me and Britt Janne ate lunch, peanut butter and jelly! Yay. Then we went to the store to buy the ingredients for SLOPPY JOES! So tonight I got to cook dinner for everyone =) I really enjoyed it, except grating the onions burned my eyes and I was crying by the end of it haha. We didnt follow the recipe exactly but it still turned out really well. Everyone loved them, and said they are going to always make it now! Which is awesome, I am really glad they liked them. The girls had so much of it haha.
And I really want to make them puppy chow, angel food cake, pumpkin pie, and macaroni and cheese! I cant wait =) Then tonight I had volleyball practice! It was so great, I am definitely going to play. The girls are only 15 and 16 years old but they were so nice and soooo welcoming. I felt great there and I already felt like a part of the team. So we have practice again on Monday, I have to buy some volleyball shoes before that. But that is okay. After practice I got lost in the woods for like an hour. It was kind of scary. And my feet got all wet but I eventually found the main road. And then made it back to the house. Then I took a shower and had some bread with nugatti on it! It is soooo yummy. This girl who studied abroad in america told me I have to try eating nugatti with peanut butter, I am sure it tastes amazing! I also found out at volleyball that some of the girls wanna study abroad in american next year! I hope they do it!
So I dont remember much of what happened today, but I had orchestra rehearsal at night. It was really fun, I had a great time. It was so great to play again with an orchestra. The violin kind of sounds bad but it was okay. I have a lot of practicing to do though! They are already playing the music at full speed so I have to practice practice practice!! Haha thats okay though. My parents are actually shipping my violin here! They sent it out yesterday and it will arrive on September 15th. I cant wait, I miss my violin sooo much. It will be amazing to play mine again, I definitely cant go a year without it, its impossible for me. I love it waaaaay to much, which I was told was passionate. And then I can perform for my family here =) And I guess sometime around christmas I am going to perform with one of their friends who plays the piano really well. I am looking forward to it!
School was okay today. I had gym, and of course I only brought shorts and a t shirt. We ended up doing this scavenger hunt thing outside, and I FROZE. We had to find 5 places in the mountain/woods, and use the marker there to punch our paper. It was kind of raining while we were doing it and soo cold. So I was like freezing and worried about getting sick. But so far I feel good. We ended up only finding 4 out of the 5 marks in my group. Plus we got lost in the mountain at one point, and had to walk through water and get all wet. It was so not cool, but I enjoyed the hiking part of it. But I did not enjoy how SORE I am from everything haha. Walking home is intense here, it is like a 35 minute walk uphill, and I mean ONLY uphill. I enjoy walking home though, I just get to see the city and hike and listen to music. Its nice but quite tiring haha. Tonight i was supposed to hang out with julie, and a few of her friends, but they canceled and moved it to saturday. Julie is sick I guess and it didnt work out for one of her friends. So instead I went bowling with Chiara, Vanessa, and Brenda. It was sooo much fun! It was nice to just get out of the house, have fun, and laugh sooo much. It has been awhile since I have laughed til my stomach hurt haha. Wanna hear something I find strange? Everyone here eats twice as much as I do at every meal. I dont know how they do it! Norwegians can just eat a lot I guess haha. Another thing, EVERYONE wears skinny jeans, barely anything else. Oh yeah and also today during lunch I went to visit Line, and eat with her grade. It was really nice =) I enjoy hanging out with her, and I will maybe be seeing her perform in a music group on Sunday at a cafe. It should be pretty great.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATHY!! I miss you sooo much! Hope you have an amazing day, I will be thinking about you! It is tadds moms birthday today, and I am not there =( But I think her and my mom are doing something together which is good. I miss them both so much! Still not homesick yet though. There has only been one moment when I was homesick and it was only for a little bit. Which reminds me, on thursday I had just a bad day. I remember now. I was having one of those days where you think "Why the hell did I leave home to come to another country for a year?" So it was kind of a bad/sad day. I made it through it though. It was one of the downs, now its time for some ups! This morning I woke up and only Hanna og Ingvild were home, so I just came down and had some cereal for breakfast. Then Britt Janne, Einar and me went shopping. They bought me volleyball shoes, and a nice winter jacket, and a scarf. I am so excited I finally can wear scarfs! Everyone does here, I have always felt like I could never pull it off haha. But when Britt Janne put it on me with my jacket it actually looked really good! I am excited =) I really appreciate and am grateful for everything they are doing for me. Then we went grocery shopping to get ingredients for Puppy Chow. I am making it tonight for everyone! Cant wait, except it is sooo bad for you. Oh well I think they will love it still. While we were shopping we ran into like a billion people Einar and Britt Janne know, so we were there forever haha. But thats okay, I still had a good time. Then we ran into my Family contact father. He was really nice, and actually born in Kent in Ohio. I have actually met his daughter at school before but I didnt know she was part of my contact family. She is really nice and has lived in california for 10 years. She is actually one of the girls who told me to go to theater on tuesdays. Which i am going to do starting next tuesday. I cant believe Britt Janne and Einar leave on Tuesday to got ROME!! Lucky them, that will be awesome! I cant wait to travel after this year. I already love it here and I think basically I love traveling. I want to see the whole world if I can. My host grandma will be here all week which will be pretty fun! Then i can get to know her more. I miss my grandma a lot, so its nice to have another grandma around. Also I have an AFS camp from September 17th to September 20th. The only reason I dont want to go is because Andre leaves for Australia September 23rd, and I want to be able to spend some time with him before he leaves! Andre is actually at the cabin tonight having a big party with all his friends. Which is good because he hasnt seem them in a long time, since he moved from Oslo to Molde. I also really really miss Goncalo, and Maaike. They are like my brother and sister, and its so weird to be away from them. When we got home from the store I made some Puppy Chow:
It is like cereal with peanut butter, chocolate, and powdered sugar on it. It is really good, and everyone liked it! At around 8pm Britt Janne and Einar left to go to a party. So I got babysit for the first time ever technically! Marte and Pernille came over around 9pm. We played cards with Hanna og Ingvild og their friend Anna for like 2 and a half hours! It was a lot of fun though, I taught them how to play spoons. They seemed to really have a good time, and I did også =) Afterwards the girls went to bed, and Marte, Pernille, and me watched The Descent. It was actually my third time watching it but I still jumped at all the scary parts haha. They love horror movies, and so do I. It's a really good movie actually, quite entertaining. After that they went home and I went to bed. It was a really good night though!