Ridderenet

Some weeks ago I had the opportunity to go to Ridderenet, a ski competition for disabled people. The school goes every year with some participants along some volunteers, and there’s where I took part in the week. Our job was basically guide people at the restaurant and help them with food at the buffet, since most of the participants were visually impaired. The restaurant shifts became a really enjoyable routine when we got to know people better, what they wanted and a bit more about their lives. Also, we got to eat food at the end of the shift, and it was really good food! At least compared to Kantine here at the school.

Apart from volunteering, we had plenty of time to go skiing, even though I didn’t go out that much . Mostly, because I was scared of downhill skiing and when i decided to find courage to go, I hated it. I ended up crashing into some strangers, some terrible cramps thanks to the skiing boots, and a really big scare going that fast. The truth is, I’m really scared of not having control over my body, and I felt that downhill skiing didn’t let me control my body that well. Maybe it’s just about trying it out more, idk. I did go Cross-country like once and I do love cross country, it’s so relaxing. Especially when you go with cool people like Belén (Spain) and Amanda (Åland Islands). At one point Amanda and I decided to blind fold each other and be each others guides and it was really interesting. It was more boring to ski without vision, because you couldn’t see the view, or how far we had advanced, etc. Going down was also scary at some points, but it was nice to try it out. I admire people, like Belén who can do a ski competition with no vision at all.

This type of activities make you think about so many things, like how incredible those people are. There were so many great skiers without vision, that you couldn’t even notice they were visually impaired. Also, I thought about how, If I were to be blind, I would give up so easily and be scared of doing so many things, but those people just do whatever they want to and didn’t question their capabilities. I felt so proud even though I didn’t know them. This has definitely been one of the most great experiences so far at this college.

 

 

Anuncios

Facts about Norway

*DISCLAIMER: I wrote this with the knowledge I have from living in Western Norway and in the middle of nowhere. I hope you Norwegians, don’t get offended.

  • Apparently they have 2 major dialogues: NYNORSK and BOKMÅL. They are pretty different between each other, and from those two big dialects, more dialects are formed, making Norwegian a very, very complicated language to understand and learn.
  • They have liver pate with a kid’s face on top of the package!! If that’s not creepy, then I don’t know what is..
  • liver pate
  • From what I know, is pretty common to eat rice porridge (básicamente arroz con leche) as breakfast or lunch on Saturdays. And I adore rice porridge ❤
  • They eat jam with EVERYTHING. Seriously, I’ve never seen people eat so much jam. They put it on waffles, pancakes, bread, knekkebrod, Porridge, Yogurt, etc…
  • What they say of them born with skis on their feet is completely true
  • Most of them LOVE outdoors so much it’s unbelievable
  • They eat a lot of bread for breakfast or lunch
  • Their chocolate is AMAZING!! Freia chocolate should win a prize. There’s one that looks similar to a Kit Kat, but I don’t think it can’t even be compared. I don’t like KIT KATS  after trying KVIKK LUNSJ
  • The roads are stupidly made, even though it has a fair excuse. Due to the mountains the roads don’t have enough space, so there’s usually just one car lane, making travels really slow… And there’s also a lot of curves
  • It rains more in Costa Rican rainy season than at the place it rained the most in Norway in 2015
  • Only 3% of Norway is populated
  • The cheese slicer was invented in Norway!
  • cheese slicer
  • You can buy beer and ciders at 18, but you can’t buy spirits until 21, plus you only find spirits in special stores. Where’s the logic?
  • There’s a sugar tax because sugar is unhealthy, and I guess you have to pay the doctor beforehand (?)
  • They eat more tacos than in LatinAmerica
  • They have something called “Brown Cheese” which is exactly what the name says, and it has a similar taste as Dulce de Leche
  • In 2011, Norway went through a nationwide butter shortage, where smugglers would often get caught smuggling butter and online auctions for one packet of butter reached as high as $77.
  • Norway and Sweden have an ongoing fight of superiority between them, while Denmark is usually mocked at or made fun by both Sweden and Norway…

Ski Week

RCN organizes a week for first years to go away and ski while second years stay on campus and study. This year instead of having the whole week they divided us in 2 large groups and took us three days each group off campus to ski.

At first I wasn’t convinced by this arrangement, but I think it was so much better like this. First, I got to rest before ski week for a weekend, then we were the ones to go and we had already heard some advice from the first group.

Being there, in a place called Stryn, was beautiful. I had amazing roomies for those few days and so many things to do. The first day we just had a little practice, in which many people fell. Second day was much more tiring since we covered a larger route and there was too much snow to ski, it got stuck under the skis and it was terribly annoying. We also managed to do some jumps, but since I’m scared of heights, and going fast I only tried it twice because of peer pressure.

Third day was interesting since to get to the place we wanted to, we had to go downhill, and that was funny and embarrassing at the same time. I have never fell so much in my life until I did that. At some points I just sat there and didn’t do any effort to stand up. It was too tiring sometimes. It was worth it though…

We made quite a lot of fires, and we grilled our sandwiches on the fire, which was such a cozy thing to do. The third and last day we also slept outside. I didn’t want to at the beginning but doing it was quite fun. I slept really good and I wasn’t cold at all. It went much better than expected. I still don’t see the point of sleeping outside when it minus zero, but at least I can say I did it…

When we came back to the college we had a Winter Carnival which I was dreading soooo much, but it turned out to be much better than expected. They decorated the place so cute, and I spent almost all of my Saturday there, since there were a lot of things to do and people to talk to.

I really hope I could repeat this week again next year, but I’ll just have to accept I’ll be having mock exams

 

A bit of sun to rejoice the day

We had amazing son (Norwegian standards) today! It was so motivating, because it means spring is coming, and then SUMMER!

I’m so looking forward to summer this year. I really want to take advantage of the outdoor opportunities this place has to offer, since I didn’t enjoy it to the maximum in my first term. I’m really jealous about all those Nordics who enjoy so much being outdoors, that when they’re bored they just decide to go hiking. I don’t understand it, but I wish I could be like that. Instead of complaining and getting mad at myself, I’ll just try to do it from now and until the summer comes back.

Apart from that, I had an amazing day. We had short blocks and one class less, after that we had the screening of the movie “Metropolis”. It is a black and white, speechless movie from the 1920s and it was AMAZING!! I think what made it that good is that the music was live and composed by the musicians. I’ve never seen something like that, and these are the moments when I’m glad I’m at RCN.

Followed by that, house cleaning which is not the funniest thing to do, but it’s needed. Especially when all the people in your room are as disorganized as you are.

All the first years had a meeting to talk about ‘Frilutsveka’ (Ski week) that is coming next week, and after that I went for a walk with one of my best friends to my favourite place on campus. The view was gorgeous, since there was enough light this time to be able to see the landscape. Then, I went to visit one of my second years from Costa Rica and we decided to cook Patacones (fried plantain) with Guacamole and Frijoles Molidos, which was one of the best dinners I’ve had here so far. We blasted latino music and ate like there was no tomorrow. Best or worst part is that now, I have a Pizza Party at the Rektor’s house in which I’ll eat much more. I just hope that they have dessert…

I’m so glad I have a 2 cool 4 school principal that cooks for us.

Good day, maybe it was just because of the sun…

 

Host Family Weekend

Now in February, after the second PBL week (MUN and First Aid course) I encounter myself at my Host Family’s house.

The break from campus was necessary, since living with 200 teenagers can get overwhelming, plus I was tired of my corner in my room for some reason. At a boarding school you get easily distracted, because there are always things to do, and people show up to your room at any moment and you obviously find it more entertaining to talk to your friends rather than studying.

This weekend I’ve managed to be productive-ish, which is a huge improvement for me!! Although I should be studying Philosophy or Biology instead of writing on my blog, but oh well…

This weekend has been one of the nicest ones so far (I feel like nice is our favourite word at RCN) My host mother has been super kind to us, always asking if we’re good or if we need something. She even added us on Facebook and sends us messages ❤ Yesterday we walked to Førde (the biggest city in this area) and we went to the Asian food store, where I found plantain!!! I think that’s the thing I miss the most from Costa Rica (apart from the abundance of mango and avocados, and my falafel, which my parents will know what I’m talking about) I’m planning to make my European friends taste it and make them try the most delicious thing in the world!

After the Asian shop, we went to a Café located in an Art Gallery. When we got back home we ate Rice Porridge, which is my favourite Norwegian dish (if it’s even one…) aaaand, the best part was having tacos as dinner, with a side of Guacamole ❤ while watching one of my favourite films, When Harry Met Sally.

I made my host mother and my Moroccan friend, who shares the family with me, dance Salsa in the kitchen and it was a blast. Today, it’s going to be a chill day. Doing our homework, reading, writing, maybe going to watch my host sister in her HandBall match, which apparently is a popular sport in Norway, and say goodbye to go back to reality.

I can’t wait to have my next Host Family Weekend.

At least Ski Week is coming very soon.

 

6 months later…

So, 6 months later after my last blog post I decided to write again for some weird inspiration. (Mostly because my family really really wanted me to), but also because it’s a good way to share and to never forget certain details about life in Norway.

I assume I’ll have to do a quick recap on what has happened these six months.

August:

  • We had intro week when we came, where we did tons of activities in groups and everyone was hanging out together outside and in day rooms
  • WE HAD SUN!!
  • Classes began, meaning I had to choose my subjects. The final results on subjects were: English Language & Literature, Spanish Literature, Norwegian B, Math Studies, Biology, and Philosophy (which is my favourite subject!)
  • We had Peace week which was beautiful. The last day, everyone was dressed in white and we walked in the darkness holding candles. Then made a circle while holding hands and looked at the Fjord ❤

September:

  • We had Mushroom Day, where we had a display of mushrooms and information about them… (I didn’t participate in that)
  • We had the Second Year show! It was supposed to be a surprise, but most of the first years managed to find out beforehand
  • We had the Queen’s visit!! A HUGE event, where everyone was dressed in their national costumes and we had a show for the queen afterwards with several guests and formal clothes. The queen comes to the college every second year, and we had the chance to have her on September
  • We had the Central American Independence, where we threw the Spanish people to the Fjord in vengeance of the colonization. That was hilarious!

October:

  • I went to see a play in Norwegian, since I’m taking Norwegian language lessons. The result: a very confused Latina, asking questions to all the Norwegians about what was happening.
  • We had our first Project Based Learning Week (PBL) where I went kayaking for some days. Camping spontaneously when we were tired and we found a good place, and kayaking the whole day. In total we kayaked 45 km, and I’ve never been so happy to see the school, when we arrived from the trip. It was an experience I’m glad I did.
  • Stupid stupid decisions this month. At least I learned a lot about others and myself.
  • We had the Clothing Store sale from an EAC (Extra-curricular activities) called SaFuGe which was fun to participate in.
  • I had my first Host Family weekend with Meriem (Morocco) and we met these incredible people that makes us feel at home 8000 km away from it.

November:

  • We had November break. A vacation lasting one week, where some friends and I decided to go to Poland together. It was definitely a life-changing week in many aspects and one I’ll never forget. Krakow, Poland is a beautiful historical city. We had the opportunity to go to Auschwitz and that was something that changed my perspective and taught me quite a lot.
  • We had Sexuality week. The last day we had the: “Ask a Gay Panel” where people offered to answer questions about their sexuality in front of those present. I think that has been one of the nicest nights, because it’s usually a taboo to ask those type of questions or you might feel embarrassed to ask them. But people were really open about it, and answered all those questions people had.

  • We had the European Show, which was really nice, but they’re going to see Las Americas show and we’ll blow their minds 😉
  • This months was also a really tough one. A lot of changes, drama and homesickness. Not everything is perfect when you live by yourself being 16 years old, but every negative part has its positive one somewhere.

December:

  • We had the Christmas Café with SaFuGe and everyone had a lot of fun that night. It was super cozy. Christmas atmosphere is the warmest one
  • Kind of snow… Maybe frost only…?
  • AAAND… I went back home!! Hung out with all my friends, my family, and enjoyed the warmth of my country ❤ Oh I miss it so much some days!

January: 

  • Lots of school work
  • Catching up with friends
  • Unpacking
  • First Aid Course (which I missed half of it, because I was really sick :()
  • Then MUN. I was representing China. I got the prize of the “Most Delayed Delegate.” I arrived 3 hours late because I forgot to set my alarm the night before… Reinforcing latino stereotypes of always being late hehe.

 

Bergen

After three flights and around 16 hours in total of being on a plane we arrived to Bergen😊

The trip was the same as any other flight, nothing special really. Though it was fun to travel with a friend (my co-year) than alone or even with parents. 

We have 2 nights in Bergen before arriving to RCN, so we’re getting to know the city and it is beautiful. The houses, the streets, nature, everything is different from what I’m used to in CR. People here are really nice too. I thought they were going to be more cold towards us, but they really are friendly. 

Second years already arrived at college and rooms are assigned😊 I have three roommates. One from Swaziland, Norway, and Sweden. That is going to be fun!! I love Bergen and I absolutely love that is a city full of art, but I can’t wait to get to RCN. 

Ps: if you travel alone, make sure to ONLY take as many suitcases as you can carry comfortably. I had to learn that in the hard way

Expectations…

Well, leaving home at 16 is not a “normal” thing to do. At least not in Costa Rica. I have to admit I’m over the top excited, but also really scared. My expectations come along with certain fears, and also the fear that my expectations will not be reached. I’ll list some of them. I’ll probably think about more after I have already published it or forget to write something but here it goes.

Expectations:

  • Fall in love with Flekke, and Norway as a whole
  • Learn to do things I would never imagine doing
  • Meeting amazing new people that will make me see the world differently
  • Grow as a person
  • Have my points of view changed
  • Do many outdoor activities
  • Ability to be completely myself
  • Meeting new places
  • Getting to know new cultures and traditions
  • Kayaking. A LOT

What I’m scared of:

  • Intensity of the IB
  • Getting too homesick
  • Cold weather 😦
  • Losing contact with really good friends
  • That my expectations are not reached
  • Losing my “tico” accent
  • Sleep deprivation lol

Not my graduation day.

Saturday May 23, I went to UWC Costa Rica’s graduation.

It was my first UWC graduation I’ve ever attended and it brought along so many emotions. It was a simple ceremony, just perfect for the occasion but yet very special. Everyone looked beautiful, some people dressed in their typical attire and some others formally dressed. You could feel all the energy around every person, every family member present to see their son or daughter graduating.

The ceremony was entertaining, compared to other graduation ceremonies I’ve attended. After the director gave them their diplomas they all did a mini choreography they had obviously practiced beforehand. At my school that would never had happened, specially because people at my school are not the most enthusiastic. Apart from all the laughs and the inside jokes I didn’t get, it was also very emotional. I also cried a little.

Who would imagine than in two years i’ll be there, graduating from Red Cross Nordic. It just amazes me how much my life is going to change these couple of years.