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Folk School Diary

Anna Grinde, member of Idun 74 in Madison is attending the Seljord Folkehøgskole. Enjoy the adventures of this young member of Sons of Norway as she learns at the school.

One more thing!
If you go to Seljord's website, you can see a picture of me on the main page--pretty cool!  . . . You can also check out the frilutsliv and the teachers, to get a sense of what I’m doing and who my teachers are. Hermund is by far the coolest! Kalbjorn is the principal.
Ha det

Jeg lærer mer hver dag!
Hello family and friends,
It is about 6 p.m. (18:00) here on Sunday. Dyrskun is coming to an end, and it has been a good weekend. I had to work two hours on Friday, and four hours on Saturday at a little building where we sold lottery tickets. They were 10 kroner each, and you got 5 chances to get 3 numbers the same, and then you could win some things that we had there: a big American doll, some table cloths, change holders...sweet! The money went to support a folk high school in India, which other folk high schools in Norway also support. Anyway I learned to say, “Hvil du kjøpe lodd?,” which means, “Will you buy some tickets?” and other things like “ten kroner each,” and “three of the same number!” Ha ha! If they asked anything other than that, I just said “Jeg snakke engelsk!” Anyway, it wasn’t too bad!
They had really good stuff at the market, lots and lots of different stores. I got a new backpack (Bergans brand from Norway, very nice), some more long underwear, and a few plants to brighten up my room! I also bought a piece of small wood, and a knife blade for my knife making class. It was a pretty good price. Our teacher told us to buy it there! I heard that on Saturday there were about 30,000 people here, sooo many. It’s funny though because when I got here to the bus station, the place was dead, and now it’s full, and next week it will be dead again!
Last night we went to the local pub here, I’m 18 so I was legal--pretty sweet feeling! Don’t worry, Mom, I didn’t buy anything there. Things are too expensive in the pubs! But, it was a pretty cool place for such a small town.
Tomorrow we are going on a school trip again, just for the day. We are supposedly driving 3 hours to some mountain, and then hiking up for 2 hours. I guess its a pretty vakkert utsikt, beautiful view!
Some other girls and I were talking yesterday, and we said how crazy it is that we are such good friends already, and its only been two weeks. Just imagine after eight months, the bond we will have together! The year will go by fast!
Yesterday and today have been perfect days, sunny and hot! Dyrskun got lucky, because last week it was so rainy and cloudy. I didn’t think I would be able to wear shorts again, but today it was perfect weather. A bunch of us sat in the grass in between two of the houses and lay on  blankets and listened to my feel-good mix C.D. on my computer! I wrote in my journal, too, I’m trying to keep up with it. I have to discipline myself to write in it every so often, so I can read it when I’m done.
Anyway we have dinner in a little while, so I’m going to my room for a little bit.
Hope all is well in the states:)
Ha det bra for nå!

Halo fra Norge!
Hello again, family and friends!
It has been a pretty busy week, and it is only getting better. On Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, we have our main class. Mine is frilutsliv (outdoor life). We either do small things each day or take a three-day trip.
On Tuesday, we left for our first trip, sleeping in tents. We drove to a big national park, and then hiked about 5km to our spot. We were put in groups; mine was a group of four. We were then each given a tent, cooking materials, and food. It was a real test for me, being my first real hikingcamping trip! A girl asked me on the way if I go camping and hiking a lot back home, and I said my family camps every so often but we drive to our campsite. I felt kind of pathetic, but, hey, honestly everyone here thinks that Americans eat fast food for every meal, no joke!!! The other American girl (Emily) and I tried to stick up for our country, but it wasn’t even worth it, so I just gave up! It’s so sad the stereotypes people put on America, even though I still love almost everything about the U.S.!
Anyway, after making a fire and sitting up all night, we got into our tents, freezing, even though we were wearing long underwear and lots of layers. We had to walk to the closest stream to get our water for everything. You can drink all the flowing water here—it’s pretty cool, tastes good, too. There are tons of berries which we picked while hiking.
Today we had another frilutsliv class, and we learned how to do CPR. We went to the lake and practiced canoeing and tipping the canoe and rescuing one another. Everyone had their long underwear on, but the water was soooo cold!
This weekend there is a big marketfestival here called Dyrskun. Some people who are going to the festival are staying here at the school, and many others are camping. The grass at the bottom of the mountain here is covered with motor homes and tents. This small town is hopping right now!
Each of us students has to work a little bit to raise money for some organization for folk high schools in India and Africa. I will sell lottery tickets tomorrow for four hours and Saturday for two hours. Hopefully, everyone will understand me, or I won’t sell any tickets!!! Aghhhh! After that I think some of us are going to check out the festival and have a little fun!!!!!!!!!!!
Since I have my charger for my laptop now, I started watching my DVDs of “Sex in the City” with a couple of girls.... they love it! It’s great finally having my own music in my room, instead of the radio. I started my Norwegian class on Monday, and I can’t wait to get good. I feel like I’m already improving. Well, I hope so at least! I’m telling people to speak more Norwegian to me. Ha det bra! WRITE BACK;)

Hello all,
Well we got back from the camping trip today. It was a great bonding experience and nice to get out of the school for a little while. There were a few different choices on how to get there, and I picked to take the long walk with some other daring, athletic people. It was approximately 15 km, but it was up and down mountains and through the woods. It was the hardest and most intense hike I’ve ever been on. I felt like I was in a postcard of Norway the whole time. There were no cars or big roads or towns, just mountains and little cabins and trees. I wore my hiking boots, and felt like a true Norwegian. although I didn’t have nice hiking pants, that everyone else had and a small backpack to carry my lunch and rain gear in, but I had the excuse that I’m from the U.S. Anyway we got to this place with a few nice barns, which had mattresses for us to place our sleeping bags, and nice living rooms and kitchen areas. We were on a mountain and could see out to a lake with tons of trees. It was amazing. We went canoeing in the lake and then took a swim in the water. It was the coldest water I’ve ever been in!!!! Some of us took the shorter walk back which was about 5 km. Now we are back at school, and I think some of us are going to town to see if they have Dr. Pepper--I miss that drink a lot! Then, we might watch a movie in the only television room they have here. Tomorrow and Sunday, we get to sleep in so I’m very excited!!!! I hope all is well with everyone; wish you were here. I’m learning the language slowly, but I’m very excited to speak fluently!
Love to all
 (No Dr. Pepper!)

I'm finally here!
Hello all,
I arrived about an hour ago here at Seljord folkehøgskole. It is beautiful here!!! I am one of the first to arrive, but I have already met one other very nice girl, Maya. I have my own little room, and it is so cozy! I look out onto the school and surrounding mountains. Linda, the woman in charge of my outdoor life course, has helped me get settled in. She is very nice. I haven't spoken much Norwegian yet, and I know I’m going to have to discipline myself into doing that.
I don't know where the nearest phone is yet, but as soon as I find one I will try to call home. I have had so much trouble with the payphones already. Tomorrow more people will come.  During the first three days, we will just be talking about school, and getting a tour of the campus. Then on Wednesday, we head out on our three-day camping trip. Hope all is well in the U.S. I will send pictures as soon as I can!
Anna :)