Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Jeg er her!

My luggage. Yes, it's quite impressive, I know.
Elegant Lutheran Church we walked by
Norwegian Palace and statue
Norwegian Hotdog. First official meal in Norway. De-lish!
The girls by the Oslo fjord. WOOO! Left to Right: Steph, Me, Carolyn, Holly
So, I finally made it! I am in Norway and loving every minute of it. It certainly has taken some getting used to. Nothing too out of the ordinary. Probably the biggest adjustment for me is the time difference. It's like half a day's difference from here to back home. Which means, when I'm awake, my family and friends are asleep and when I am asleep, they are awake and doing things. So it just requires a little more thinking then I am used to. Also, it's really weird not having a phone. Like, really weird. I am so used to having a constant connection with the world, that it's perfectly strange to actually try to coordinate things  before I actually get there. Also! Public transportation. It's really a new world for me here. Back home, things are just a lot further apart that public transportation is really awful. But here, it's like, everyone does it. And I can't imagine driving on my own here. It looks like mayhem! There aren't many lane lines on the roads, so I guess technically there can be as many lanes as you want. No, no, I'm sure Norway has it's own rules. 
What has been really neat is seeing how much of it I actually understand. It's true that everyone here speaks English, which is kind of a bummer but also, super helpful. I can read signs and talk to people. It's really amazing.
So we flew into the Gardemoen airport around 10:30 Saturday morning after flying all day Friday. Seriously, I mean ALL day. We got to the SLC airport around 5:30 am. Then to Houston and then to Newark. Talk about turbulence! I was a quite queasy in Newark and was NOT looking forward to another, longer flight if it was going to be as bumpy as it was. Miracles of all miracles, it wasn't! The flight from Newark to Oslo was probably one of the best ever. Seriously. Even though I didn't get the best sleep of my life, it was pretty nice for what it was. Flying into Oslo was like a story out of LOTR or something. It was just so green and mystical with the lingering clouds. A perfect picture of beauty.
Once we got our luggage and stuff, we met up with our Professor, took a train from the airport into the city and met up with another girl from our group who got there a couple of days before us. We got our public transportation passes and went to her place and crashed. (Let me tell you, hauling luggage onto a crowded tram during rush hour is NOT fun.) She let us sleep for a couple of hours, but thankfully, got us up so when it was actually nighttime, we could sleep again.*
After Saturday was come and gone (seriously, that day lasted forever...) it was Sunday! Which meant we got to see the ward and meet our host families. It was fun to see some of the missionaries from the MTC. I doubt they recognized me much, but it was still fun. After church, our host families took us home with them and we got settled in. The two girls I came with left with one family and I was on my own with another. Carolyn was invited by my family to come to Sunday dinner so we hung out for a couple hours. My host family has two daughters my age living at home right now, and the parents were out of town over the weekend for a business meeting, so it was quite the girls night that first night. We watched a whole slew of movies, including The Legend of Johnny Lingo (church revamped classic), North and South (yes, all four hours) and then some episodes of Dr. Who (which, I've never seen before but I'm slowly becoming a believer).
Monday, I put on my big-girl pants and tried this whole public transportation business by myself. And I made it! We got together with our professor and walked around the city for hours! It was amazing. And then I came back to my house, safe and sound. Later that night, we went back into the city to meet with the young single adults of the ward for family home evening. It was strange, though because as we drove past a street downtown, we saw the Norwegian police all decked out in riot gear. Extremely unusual. Back home for more Dr. Who. Every episode ended with me on the edge of my seat! It was getting hard to handle. 
Tuesday was a little more relaxed. I have some papers that I need to get finished graded and turned in, but I decided to update my blog instead. 
I have my priorities. :)
Anyways, more to come, per usual.
*BTW when I saw "us" and "we" I am not referring to myself in the third person. There were literally three of us girls flying out together. Hence, the "we"

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