Wednesday, January 28, 2015


There was a storm not too long ago that hit the west side of Norway pretty hard. Trees were blown over and so were people(hehe:)). I read in the paper that an apartment building was ripped in half (meaning the top half had disappeared). When I went to go walk my host dog, there were so many people outside but what really made me laugh was my dog getting blown over. The storm was on the news all over Norway and some exchange friends asked me if I was okay and said that I should be careful. Then I go outside and there are just so many people out for no reason. Some were walking their dogs and others just looked like they were walking around…

Monday, January 12, 2015


I know, I know, I suck! BUT THIS YEAR IS GOING BY SO FAST! It is really freaking me out. Also I don’t know what to say… like am I supposed to tell you that there are a lot of random cats everywhere (I’m not making that up, it is very true; they are EVERYWHERE)! I just don’t know what you people want to hear! I’ve started ten blogs but haven’t finished one because I felt like they were so incredibly boring. I was just telling stories and as most of you know I am a terrible story teller. Ask Rebecca S she tells(told) me that all the time. I guess I could give you some highlights…. WITH PICTURES! I think I will start with…

All of the exchange students in Norway (which isn’t a lot maybe like a little over 20 people) went to Trondheim for a culture course (we thought it was a language course but it wasn’t). I met the most amazing people an I miss them so much! Anyways, we had 8 hours of  “class” a day for like four or five days on the culture and history of Norway… which most of us already had to research before arriving to Norway… and we were in one of the most amazing cities in Norway… 8 HOURS… (Now I’m just really angry >:{ ) But all that really matters are the friendships that I made in that week. Honestly all I can remember is how much fun I had with everyone and I can’t wait to see them again in a month at winter camp!  (Sorry I don’t know what else to say this happened almost 4 months ago…). One thing I really enjoyed was the sunset every morning. It was incredibly beautiful! Even if I had to get up super early.

Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim
 (sorry that Ben is in the way)

The US citizens singing

Oslo / Italy
For høstferie (fall break) I went to Oslo and Venice! But first let me take some of the time out of your life to tell you about how incredibly beautiful the train ride was! Well I guess it should because it is one of the most scenic train rides in the world. NBD just sayin’. The fjords were breath taking (literally couldn't breathe for a moment; it scared me) The trees were changing colors on the mountains. I made my host sister buy chocolate so that I could sit in the window seat for awhile (teehee beklager Anniken!)  It was unforgettable.

In Oslo we stayed with my host grandparents (host mom’s side).They were so nice and welcoming! I didn’t get to see too much of Oslo but it was still pretty great! In Venice there were a lot of tourists but it was so beautiful. There was so much to see and so little time. But it was a great trip and I am so grateful for the opportunity! (Thanks you, host family!)

Typical tiny European food. (SO GOOD THOUGH)

The Four Seasons Vivaldi
(Good birthday)


University of Oslo

Royal Palace 

Holmenkollen ski jump

Stortinget Oslo

Awhile back I went to the aquarium here in Bergen with my youngest host sister Anniken. It took us a while to find it because it's tucked in the back of the city. We took the long boards with us and Bergen is the worst place to long board. Going up hills, we would kick them up instead of actually carrying them so sometimes they would roll past us on the way back down and we would have to run down and chase the boards… So that took up some time too. But I’m really glad that happened because it was a beautiful day out (whichs means it wasn’t raining and the sun was actually out) and I got to see more and more of my city (because we kept getting lost). After finding it we saw seals, fish, and penguins!!! PENGUINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyways, there was this area in the aquarium just for fish that live in the Norwegian sea and they were the ugliest and scariest fish I have ever laid my eyes on. It really freaked me out that all of those fish live a few miles out and down. Still gives me the shivers. AH.

Så søt.

Voss Vind
A little while back some rotarians and I took the Rotaxion-Kids to fly in a wind tunnel. They were SO EXCITED! They were literally jumping for joy when they found out that they would be going into the wind tunnel. It was really adorable. Everyone had the chance to go in the wind tunnel at least twice.  I had a lot of fun except for one thing… You know how i kind of always smile no matter what? Yeah I kept smiling during my flying session so my lips were like flapping around and saliva was everywhere. You're welcome for that. :)  

Some Rotarians from my host club here!

AIDA (Opera by Giuseppe Verdi)
First let me start by saying thank you to Bjorn for taking me! It was amazing.  For awhile I  was just in awe but then I had to focus because they were singing/talking in Italian and the subtitles were in Norwegian. It was an amazing and beautiful opera. Also the orchestra and the choir did a really great job.*CLAP*

Røde Kors
Before I forget … I went on a cabin trip with Red Cross. That was fun. It was a group of people who go hiking every once in awhile but most everyone was new (maybe a little over half). I had no idea where I was but it was gorgeous ! We went on a six(ish) hour hike. We made hot dogs and ate chocolate! It was a fun weekend!

Add caption

Thanksgiving in Norway
I remember I had a physics test that day and I drew a thanksgiving dinner and things I was grateful for on the top of my test after I was done… My physics teacher wasn’t impressed. After school my host sisters and I started on thanksgiving dinner. We made pecan and apple pie, the breast of the turkey, and potatoes (naturally).

Teehee :)

I will come back later with how Christmas and New Years went later… Well thats all folks…. okay … Ha det.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Q&A of Norway

Sorry it was like 2am here when I did this ... But probably more to come ... with more energy and less rambling !

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Happy Thanksgiving ! Since I have started like ten blog posts and not finished a single one I thought I'd try making a video answering questions about exchange, Rotary, me, MN, Norway, the feels etc... Anything that is related to what I have listed! This is opened to everyone!  Tusen takk :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Okay, so a lot of people have been asking when I was going to post on my blog. Well here it is! It is going to be short and sweet and to the point (maybe...)! I did have a lot of rough drafts of my first blog post but too much has happened that I can’t keep up! Plus I have everyone telling me that I should write on my blog!

Anyways ... Norway is great! It is absolutely beautiful ! My host family is great! I have three host sisters, Anniken (12), Marte (15), and Eline (17)! But Eline already left for her own exchange to Eagan, Minnesota! My host parents Marit and Stig are also very helpful and have been very welcoming! Thank you by the way!

Okay so on the plane ride went well too, the only problem was that I was in the middle seat and I had a lot of water before hand and the person next to me fell asleep (who, by the way is the Rotary president in Fargo).  Right before my bladder was about to burst I got up stretched myself across her slumbering body, people were very impressed that I could do it without disturbing her. It was just kind of uncomfortable having to straddle her when I really had to pee (don’t worry I didn’t pee on her).

Also I didn’t fall asleep so I had to stay up all day. It was great. In Amsterdam I had a six hour layover and everyone is allowed one hour of internet. After using up my hour of internet I started to run around the airport pretending that I had to catch a flight, that was fun until I was dripping in sweat. Then I sat around for awhile and waited for my flight.

Then when I got on the plane to Bergen it really hit me that I was doing this, I was going to be living in another country for a year. It hit me so hard that knocked me out and I didn’t wake up until we were about to land in Bergen. I was so excited to see my host sisters and host mom! My host dad was off on the east side of Norway (close to Oslo) golfing and visiting his parents. I met him the next day though! We went home had some fruit and some coffee then I tried to stay awake as long as possible which was until 8 pm!

This last week went by really fast but I had dinner with some Rotary people, went into the city center, went to the police station to get my residents permit papers figured out, went to my host cousins apartment (she is really cool and I really like her!) then hung out with my host sister Marte in the city center for a while. I helped set up for Eline’s going away party and I met her friends, they were really nice!  I went to my first Rotary meeting, I was late…. I estimated my time wrong and I got lost and I had to jump a fence. Also, did I mention it was raining (like always)? I missed the train so I had to wait an extra 10 min once I got to my stop (which is the last one). I ran out of the train and after running awhile I noticed that I had no idea where I was going… my counselor had to come find me, but all the Rotarians were really nice and very welcoming and I just can’t wait for the next meeting!

Then the next day we left Eline at the airport, it just reminded me of when I had to say bye to everyone so it was hard to watch. A few hours later Marte had to get on the plane to Oslo and be there for a few days to get her bunad fitted  for her confirmation which is in two weeks ! (A bunad is a traditional dress that is often hand made and is different depending on what part of Norway you are in.) The rest of us went to the cabin from Friday to Saturday! It was a lot of fun! We jumped on the trampoline, made some waffles, went kayaking, saw a some jellyfish, we had a good time! Then we went on a small two hour hike! It was really nice but I fell a lot… I was covered with mud by the end!

Yesterday, I went to my first day of school!... kind of? You see, a lot of the teachers here are on strike for higher pay, so I went for about two hours for my name to be called and got some things figured out. Today I didn’t really do anything. I went to go watch a movie with my host sister Marte and the we went to the library to get a kids book in Norwegian. Then I found out that I would be able to be in this orchestra close by me! The only problem is that it is during the Rotary meeting so we will have to see about that.  I just wanted to give you guys a little update so you would get off my tail about not posting anything yet !  More blog post soon to come, just be patient !

Me leaving and plane food pic....
First look at Norway!
The day I came to Norway!
 The view at the cabin
 More of the cabin

 Extra rooms
Roxy !

 Morning breakfast at the cabin (Anniken)


R. Gail Bartolo