Through my GoPro eyes- Kenya and Uganda

I didn’t catch every moment in this video, but I tried 🙂

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Leaving

Nothing in the world is permanent, and we’re foolish when we ask anything to last, but surely we’re still more foolish not to take delight in it while we have it. 
As easy as it is to begin to get sad about leaving Norway in about two months, I have realized that I need to make the most of the last time I have here in this place that I can now call home. 
That being said, I also owe you all a video or two. I made one for Africa out of some videos I took with my gopro. That is currently being uploaded (but don’t hold your breath because the internet here is terrible). I also made a video of our last three day trip where we slept in an igloo! I video taped us building the igloo. Here is a crappy pic of the almost final product. It was dark when we finished it, so I couldn’t get a good pic of the final. Image

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wanderlust & restlessness.

IMG_5768[1]Until recently, I had no knowledge of what the next year would bring, what I would be doing in the summer of 2013 or what I would be doing in the Fall of 2013..How was I going to afford everything I wanted to do? How could I get a job? What about a car? Dorm attire?? If I even get into college. It was all about waiting for the answers from the universities. I was stressed. Man, was I freaking out!

Now, I only know the answer to one of those questions and it has still constantly been a struggle to feel as if I need to plan everything, but can’t. I have this strong desire to do a lot of things this summer and these coming four years and I am constantly worrying about: “How am I going to get to do the things I want?” and “How am I going to get things to go my way?” “Where am I going to get the money to do these things or buy these things?”.  But as God has continually showed me that He has it under control. I had two first choice universities, so it would have been really difficult to choose if I got accepted to both. I only got accepted to one, so the choice was obvious. He knew His plan for me. (NASHVILLE WOOHOO!) All I have to do is pray and have faith that He’ll show me what to do next, which jobs to apply for, which ones to accept, where to live, and especially what to use my money for.

Money is one of the big things that God is helping me with lately. I’m trying to let Him take my worries and my restlessness and calm me down..but..my innate desire to travel has led to some serious expenses. I feel as if the traveling is my way of keeping in touch with God and His creation. Every time I visit a new country, I feel His presence in all the beautiful nature and all the amazing people I meet. I love it so much, that I can’t even express it in words. It’s something that I am willing to spend money on…but I need to learn to be a little more careful with how much I spend and where. He’s trying to help me with it.

March 4- Luke 12:25 “And which of you, by being anxious, can add a single hour to your span of life?”

The world around me is spinning faster and faster and becoming a blur..But there is a cushion of calm in the center with Jesus, if I lay down my heavy burdens and worries at His feet, my restlessness disappears and my wanderlust is calmed.

 

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H2O seminar evening

H2O seminar evening

Our class prepared a Saturday seminar for the rest of the school to enjoy some H2O-class-ish things! We had posts all around the campus. Such aaaaas:
Minigolf course made out of snow.
Snow sculpture competition.
Sledding challenge course.
Planking competition.
Some other stuff I can’t remember.
It was super fun!
And during the last couple of weeks we have been making a parody of this Norwegian show called 78 degrees North. It’s kind of a ridiculous competition reality show so it was fun to each have our own “reality show personalities” to make a version of the show. It was VERY entertaining and I will post the video as soon as I get it from Ingvild (she made it). We called it 58 degrees north because that’s the location of Stavern (where we live).
This is a pretty boring post so I’m gonna go and try to make a video from Africa : )
It’s Sunday, meaning YAY, free time.

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Wrapped up

So it seems that I am really consistently getting wrapped up in the things going on around me.. so much so that I often forget to keep in touch with people who live far away. I forget that there are other people besides myself and my little Fredtun world who might want to know what is going on in my life! Especially because these things that are happening to me are what I would consider life-changing blessings from God and I want to share what is going on in my heart as often as I can with people who care.

Some things that happened recently include: going to Geilo with my two friends Silje and Frida to ski! We lived pretty much right by the slopes and could walk there from our door in about half an hour. It was an amazing three-day weekend and I improved a lot on my downhill skiing just in two full days of skiing. Here is one of the views I was SO BLESSED to have witnessed. Gorgeous IMG_4650 IMG_4660 IMG_4672 IMG_4768 IMG_4771 IMG_4786

So that was our free weekend at the end of January.

Since then we have really just been skiing cross country with my class. I am convinced that no one will alter my opinion of cross country….which is… I hate it…

We have had two beautiful cross country trips (one 1-day and one 3-day) where we were fortunate enough to have nice-ish weather plus the fact that the snow was beautifully undisturbed. This made it a lot more enjoyable and the places we went made it into my top-ten “most beautiful places I’ve been”. It was gorgeous. I didn’t bring my camera though, so I have no pictures. You will just have to use all your imagination to see what I saw: meters of clean snow piled up halfway to the top of tall pine trees creating gorgeous un-touched snow drifts along the sides of our un-touched path. Snow covering almost every inch of the trees and sparkling in the sun! It was amazing! No footprints, no people, no animals. Just us. So quiet and incredible.  It was definitely one of God’s most successful creations. I will never forget it.. and that is saying something because, having no camera, I was able to keep it in my mind. It was THAT good.

Our three day ski trip was just as pretty but a lot more painful on the feet. Wearing hard ski boots three days straight isn’t good for my oddly shaped heels.. They’re still bruised and that trip was Feb. 4th… Anyway, I got a lot of practice! Good enough for me.

We also have been taking a Boat Drivers License course….. hard. stuff. It’s all in Norwegian for one…plus..I don’t actually care.. because I am positive I can’t use it anywhere besides Norway ANYWAY…. So.. it’s kinda bringing out my lazy side…. which is already brought out often… but more so during Boat Class…

So we have just been skiing skiing skiing and I’ve been climbing once a week and practicing guitar as much as possible. I don’t have my own guitar so borrowing is a hassle. I hope that soon I can get my own to take to university with me. OH YEAH. Got into my “dream school” !!! Going there this fall!!! It will be weird going back to the states after so long..I have visited since living in Norway… but it will be strange to actually live there.. I feel that Norway has become such a comfortable place for me to call home… and I am really sad to be leaving it. I hope I can come back one day.. but what the Lord has planned for me, I have no way of knowing. I can only hope and pray. No worries though.

” I am leading you, step by step, through your life. Hold My hand in trusting dependence, letting Me guide you through this day. Your future looks uncertain and feels flimsy– even precarious. That is how it should be. Secret things belong to the Lord, and future things are secret things. When you try to figure our the future, you are grasping at things that are Mine. This, like all forms of worry, is an act of rebellion: doubting My promises to care for  you. Whenever you find yourself worrying about the future, repent and return to Me. I will show you the next step forward, and the one after that, and the one after that. Relax and enjoy the journey of life in My Presence, trusting Me to open up the way before you as you go. ”  -Jesus Calling P. 59

Accompanying verses: Deuteronomy 29:29 and Psalm 32:8

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Camp Fredtun!!

We have a FUN three days this week! Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we are doing something called Camp Fredtun! We didn’t have any idea what it was until the morning of, so it was a really cool surprise. It’s basically this:

*Dramatic music* 

Three days…..

 

Nine groups……

 

Hard competition……

 

One winner…..

 

Are you brave enough????

 

*more dramatic music*

Day 1, we gathered into our groups. I really like the way they divided the groups so that people from each class are evenly divided among the 9 groups. This way, you get to hang out and get to know people that you don’t normally hang out with. Also it’s a great challenge to work together with people you don’t know as well. A very good element of Camp Fredtun, me thinks. 

We had to think of, prepare, and act out a musical presentation for five judges involving, singing/miming, dancing, acting etc. There was Grease, Wicked, Mama Mia, High School Musical, Annie, Cats and Hair.. Hair was ours. It was quite brilliant. They all were. I was seriously impressed. The judges gave us our points and we had the rest of the day off.

 

Day 2!! Today. We had to do almost the same thing but making a movie trailer instead of a musical. Much more fun, I think.. and much more dramatic : ) There was: Taken, March of the Penguins, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Harry Potter, a made up movie about our teachers, a horror movie, Chronicles of Narnia, Finding Nemo and ours…..The Hunger Games but with a little twist. 

All were so good!!! 

March of the Penguins was my favorite; it was super funny and creative and they had all painted their faces and had little beaks. At the end one penguin was alone until Anne (another penguin) came up to him, slapped him and they walked away together in love.. it was a great trailer : D

Well ours was my second favorite of course. We took one person from each of the musicals from the groups on Day 1 and made them the competitors in the 24th Annual Camp Fredtun Games. I was Katniss : D whom I would actually like to be in real life… she’s awesome. Stian did a back flip while we were fighting! That was cool. Alex had a pink wig on… 

Anyway. We await our task for Day 3, tomorrow! : D later. 

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Norwegians vs. Americans

Norwegians vs. Americans

Before I begin: This isn’t supposed to be demeaning or rude or racist or anything of the sort! I just want to point out some things that I have noticed in the last 3 1/2 years while living among Norwegians.

-Most Norwegians are thin or average. This is a fact. And of course you know that America is one of the most obese countries.. I’ve tried to figure out one of the reasons why this is… instead I came up with several reasons.
1) Norwegians are active.. VERY. They walk, ride bikes, take a bus or even cross-country ski often. This is a good way to stay healthy! Do it, or try it, if you don’t/haven’t already.
2) They eat healthy food! Fish, potatoes, vegetables, Grass-fed cow. Good source of all the healthy things you should have in your body.
3) Typically (not all the time) they eat four meals a day at sort of regular times. Breakfast in the morning. Lunch at 11:30. Middag (Dinner) at 3:15. And supper at 7:30 or so. They aren’t huge meals (except for dinner) so it keeps their body ticking and satisfied most of the time..
I could go on with things that are mostly obvious reasons, but I don’t have evidence, so I’m gonna stop here.
-You know that typical American thing where you say “hi” to strangers, you take the time to kinda ask “how are you” even if you don’t need a response.. just to be friendly… I guess that just has never been the way to do things in Norway. No one really looks at strangers when passing them on the street..you look at your feet.. If you walk in a small shop, they’ll say “hei hei” or something, but typically it’s just ‘hei.. ha det’ (Hi..bye). If you asked a Norwegian you didn’t know “How are you?” They would probably look at you funny.. in fact I know of some American expats who had similar experiences. It’s just normal. No need to say Hi to people you’re never gonna see… unless of course they’re drunk, then they might be too friendly haha.
-on the friendly thing again.. it’s very hard to come into the country as a foreigner if you aren’t a completely outgoing to the max, confident person who will make all the effort to get involved or included.. It’s just that there is a sort of difficulty when it comes to including people who don’t speak Norwegian.. It’s not to be mean or anything! They just don’t… but they will be super nice if you try to talk to them! Don’t get me wrong.. I haven’t met very many rude Norwegians! If someone tells you ‘Norwegians are rude’ tell them they are wrong. : P
-Christmas traditions. Norwegians are very set on their traditions. They are so fun! But they are the same every year.. Same exact food, same dancing around the Christmas tree, same same same.. I have experienced that each American family has different traditions or ways of doing things.. some sort of variety.. which I like… But I do admit, Norwegian Christmas is super fun. I like their way of doing it!
-No lines. No cues. Nope nope nope. They don’t do lines. It’s “you push, I push, whoever gets there first, gets there first, then we’re over it” It’s kinda cool. Got yelled at in the airport at Las Vegas last Christmas when I “cut some one” (stood next to them instead of behind them.. pff. Whatevaaa.
-They are super pretty… NOT saying Americans aren’t pretty.. but it’s just that I see so many tall, blonde, beautiful people that it kind of overwhelms me! Especially in the capital, Oslo.. But that is just my opinion. : D

I’m done for now.. Just wanted to add a post since I’ve been absent for a little bit.. Also I have kitchen duty which involves going to meals half an hour before and half an hour after to set up/clean up the food hall. Before having kitchen duty for the week, you feel like your days revolve around the four meals a day.. As soon as you’re done with activities, you eat… then more activities..then more eating… BUT NOW.. my day REALLY revolves around meals! It’s kinda crazy.. but like I said in my last post about it being more worth it when you have to do the hard stuff (not just have the food handed to you on (literally) silver platters : P It applies with the meals here, as well. : D
Until next time, (probably tomorrow after the last meal of the day)
Walker
P.S. I like Americans and Norwegians equally. We’re all people with different cultures, and it’s awesome. If we weren’t different, there would be nothing to talk about.. life would be boring : D

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Sup

Heya. So lately: 

I’ve been going for short jogs or long walks (feeling healthy). 

I’ve been knitting a sweater (almost done) : ) 

I’ve been working on Norwegian.. I like to speak to myself out loud when I walk or jog.. Funny story, today… I was trying to say the word ‘seriøst’ (seriously) and I had my headphones partially in so when I said it, I said it loudly… thought I was alone… but I wasn’t… a guy came from my right immediately after and looked at me kind of funny… But at least I’m practicing saying things out loud! I’ve tried to say some things to actual people often, but they mostly just have to ask me to repeat it in English or they look at me funny… Sometimes the sentence I say is easy enough for them to understand, or easy enough that I can pronounce it correctly. I find it quite hee-larious. : ) 

(I’m semi-proud of my effort, but I could do more I think… so I will..starting now.)

: ) 

I’m taking a guitar elective every Monday morning, and actually starting to get serious callouses on my fingers… but I think that might be because I’m using Alex’s 12-string.. which is a lot harder on beginner fingers.. But I practice every day and I’m getting much better much faster than I expected.. just at the little things : ) 

Still so much more to learn! As is the case with everything in the world. I’ve noticed that a lot lately.. Doing things like: kayaking, climbing, skiing, knitting, learning Norwegian.. 

Learning what the rudder on the kayak does, how your body movement and legs affect your climbing, how much preparation goes into ALL of the things I’ve been doing. I’ve moved past the times when people do all the boring, hard stuff for me and all I have to do is jump in, go, and have fun. In a way, it makes it all so much MORE fun and worth it. I haven’t regretted a single thing I’ve done these last few months. 

I really need to speak up more.. cause If you know me, I’m a pretty outgoing person and I like to speak up and help and stuff (usually). But it’s been hard finding my place and feeling comfortable acting myself around people aside from Alex, Silje and Anne (fluent english speakers).. I’m working on it. Doing better in the last week.. Just two days ago, some people in my building and I stayed up till about 3:30 am just chatting. They were super funny, and I already feel closer to five people after just one night of breaking a barrier and stepping out of my comfort zone (bedroom). Crazy stuff : ) 

Other news: We have a surprise three-day activity called Camp Fredtun! We have no idea what it is but will find out tomorrow morning. Kind of exciting, however because of their having to prep the gymnasium for whatever it is we’re doing, our volleyball night was canceled this week (both days)… SO SAD. It’s one of those things that I could do for HOURS and not get tired of.. kind of a disappointment… but I think I’ll live and I trust this Camp Fredtun will be pretty fun… : D 

Love, Walker

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Jan. 16 Winter Activity update!

Hey everyone! Sorry I’m being lazy : P Since we got back from Kenya (more on Kenya experiences later) We had some time before Christmas vacation where we got to relax and have some fun snow activities. Kenya kind of tired us out, so it was nice to do some crafty things like felting and whatnot. Some people also built some snow tunnels. Nothing to report on really. I think we were all missing the warm sunny weather too…. coming back to cold, dark Norway… meh.. 

I got to enjoy a nice 10 days in Spokane with the family for Christmas! It was really an adventure getting back there because of some delays, missed and rebooked flights.. then Mom picked me up in Seattle and we hung out there and then drove home. Image

We went skiing on Christmas day! Never done that before and it’s been so long since I’ve gone skiing in a real American resort with nice snow : ) The ones in Norway don’t compare AT ALL. : P Also, there were no crowds or lines, so it was smooth sailing up and down! 

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Mom took some really nice pictures of me which made me happy!! She’s a better photographer than she thinks ImageImage

Since I’ve been back, we’ve cross country ski-toured Larvik, planned our food and route for our cross country trip up a mountain in a place called Skrim. (Woohoo!)

And we’ve had beautiful sunsets!!!!ImageImage

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Kenya- Day 7- November 18

Sidenote: HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIKE, most coolest, funniest, most talented, most annoyingest and most loving brother ever. I hope you had a good day 🙂 

We slept at a children’s home in a nice comfy bed last night. After the long day yesterday, that was well deserved for everyone. Especially ’cause half of us had fevers from exhaustion. We’re pathetic. Norwegian’s can’t handle dat Afrika. 

We drove to Uganda today and are now staying at the Nile River Explorers camp for 3 nights! It’s awesome! 

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It’s right along the Nile river; we have nice double-zip-mosquito-proof-electricity-provided tents with two beds each inside. It is really quite lovely. There are lizards/geckos everywhere you look. One got inside our tent.. hehe. 
There are a lot of South Africans, and it’s just a very touristy/comfortable place to be. English is actually the main language in Jinja, if my sources are correct. I had a waiter at a restaurant down town say “huh?” to our Swahili-speaking driver, Paul after he asked her something in Swahili. They mostly don’t know it. Shocking, lil’ bit. It is a much safer town to walk in at night, especially for us white people 🙂 I’m really enjoying it. Tomorrow we go KAYAKING, woop woop! 

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