This blog post is going to be in English after complainings from my lovely friend Hamza (Pakistan) that both my blog and diary are in Dutch (so now you HAVE to read this Hamza!!!). The cover picture was taken by Balder (Norway), as a lot of pictures on this blog have been taken by him (thank youuu!). The picture was taken in Stryn, a place in Norway we were last week. That was because we had SKIWEEK! All our poor second years are having mock exams next week and to give them some time to study the school sent us, first years, away to Stryn to ski for one week. Well, I have no problems with that!Before we left for skiweek we first had to celebrate a tradition which we would not be able to do when we were gone. We celebrated Chinese New Year on friday with a very, very nice Chinese dinner. We all had to wear red clothes and the students from China, Hong Kong and chinese ab initio made the dinner and gave away prizes. I won the place #1 prize and thanks to Carsten it’s hanging in my room now because I was, as usual, not paying attention…
The other tradition we had to celebrate earlier was the making of fastelavnbollar (looked like scones, due to baking powder in stead of yeast). It is a Norwegian tradition to make those buns the day before the fasting period. Nina, Katharina (Norway) and I made the buns on Saturday and they were really nice (:
Sunday early in the morning all the first years, a lot of staff and 3 students from UWC Maastricht (Sophie (Netherlands), Eireamhan (Ireland) and Nikil (Canada)) who were having their ‘carnavalsbreak’ and went for a projectweek to Norway, stepped into 3 busses going to Stryn. After a 4 hour drive we finally came there and went to our cabins. We had 21 cabins and I lived in cabin 204 (Starburet) together with Nina, Edwina (Namibia) and Constance (Malawi). I was a little bit disappointed because Nina and I are roommates back on campus and Edwina and I can communicate in the same language, she speaks Afrikaans and I speak Dutch. I hoped I would be in a cabin with people I didn’t know, but oké, we have to deal with it. Our cabin was, how you would say it in Norwegian koselig or gezellig in Dutch, an almost equivalent from the English word cosy. It was really really really small and that made it koselig, but it was also kind of annoying because we had literally no place to cook.
There wasn’t a lot of time to be in the cabin because directly after we arrived we could get a pair of cross country skies and went up a small, icy hill to practice skiing. For most of the students it was the first time they tried skiing and that was very funny to see.
Living in cabins also meant cooking for ourselves Every day we got some ingredients and had prepare our food. The first day we got hamburgers and made really nice hamburgers! After a nice evening in the big boys cabin where we played ‘Never Have I Ever’ and some other games I went to bed in my own cabin. The next day I had to be fresh because we would go downhill skiing!
It was such a good feeling to stand on downhill skis again! Something I actually know how to do. I skied twice before and I’m always the worst skier of the group. But today, when I was with people who had never seen snow before they came to RCN, I was one of the best!!! After being on the small childrensslope, Sophia (Denmark), Ulrikke (Denmark), Philip (Canada/China/Norway), Ikka (Finland, Balder (Norway) and I were allowed to go on our own up the real mountain. There were two T-lifts and Philip and Ikka took the slope after the first one, but I went further up with Sophia, Ulrikke and Balder. Ulrikke and Sophia were really good, they have skied a lot before (even though they come from Denmark ;)). Balder had never tried downhill skiing, but, he is Norwegian and is a really good cross country skier and snowboarder, so after he knew how to turn with both skis at the same time he was on the same level as I am (yeaah… Norwegians ;)) and we did a lot of blue, red and black slopes. The fact that we didn’t got poles was actually really nice because now you had to focus a lot on your technique. The only stupid thing was that it was really embarrassing when four year old Norwegian kids drive past you on their skies like it’s the easiest thing in the world and you are just struggling there without poles in you yellow reflective vest… But, the whole day itself was AWESOME!! The weather was beautiful, the people were amazing, the slopes were great and so on (:
Our yeargroup was divided in 4 groups, I was in group 1 with a lot of nice people. Each day, one group had a rest day and the night before the rest day the group could stay in the lavvo. A lavvo is the originally house used by the Sami people. It’s a big tipi tent actually. My second day was rest day so I went to the lavvo after dinner (fiskekake ;)). Group 4 had slept in the lavvo the night before and Nina, Carsten, Siri and some others slept outside in the snow and watched the stars all night. I wanted to do that to so I convinced Dylan and Eireamhan to sleep outside. There were no stars (or, there were stars, but there was also fog) and at some point it started to rain a little bit, but that didn’t matter because I had a really awesome and warm night! (:
The plan for rest day was to go on a hike with Dylan after we helped Narender (Global Politics teacher, India) with the food. But the weather was not that good (lets say it like that -the wind blew the snow horizontally-). So we had a very big lunch with a lot of people in the cabin from Sophia and Katrine (Mar is also in that cabin). I stayed there for 3 hours and there was amazing food and a lot of nice people and good conversations.
That night Nina and I cooked with Hamza in his cabin because Edwina and Constance already made hamburgers for the two of them (we had some left). I was really nice although we failed completely making lapskaus, another typical Norwegian dish. I spend the night playing all kind of games in Siri’s cabin, one of the best cabins with Siri, Thea (Denmark), Veronika (Sweden), Patricia (Kenya), Nimra (Pakistan) and Ulrikke (Denmark). Anna (Hong Kong) and I also slept there on their spare beds (:
After rest day we still had two days of cross country left. The weather was unfortunately not as good as the first day, but that didn’t stop us! In Norway they have to saying “Det fines ikke dårlig vær, bare dårlig klær.” (“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing.”), our life motto here 😉
Melvin (El Salvador) was skiing with us in a sit ski and that is very tiring if we have to go uphill all the time, so Balder and Andreas (Norway/Peru) helped him. Balder helped him going uphill and Dylan and I tried to do as much as we could do, but we are both NOT experienced skiers… At the end of skiweek Larry gave awards to people, Dylan and I got the honourable mention for our help (:
Andreas helped Melvin with going downhill, eventually we came down and we broke only one pole and Melvin has seen the snow from very very close a couple of time, but oké, everybody was alive.
The next day Eireamhan helped Melvin and he and Balder got at the end of the week an award for their help!
At Friday we already had to leave… After a cleaning sessions the busses were heading back to college and was ski week over ):
I really really really enjoyed ski week. Skiing itself, the nice talks, the cosy cabins, the food, the people, the lovely evenings, the card games and go on. One of the purposes of ski week is to get to know people better and learn to know the people you have never spoken to. For me, I got to know my friends better and also people who I already was friends with but not very close. (:
Next time I’ll write in Dutch again I think, I don’t know, but my English is not that good and I think I can express myself better in Dutch. But I hope you liked it!
Ha det bra!
Ps. The Saturday before we left I had a volleyball tournament in Dale, I was part of Kåre’s minions and we became, uhumm, first from the bottom.