Sunday, September 5, 2010
Well, the novelty has worn off for the kids. They want to go home, or at least not go to school. They are tired of not being able to communicate in either English or Norwegian. The kids at school are very friendly but not able to really communicate in English (no, I'm not criticizing, just noting). I think they feel like bugs under a microscope. Everyone knows who they are, but they don't fit in yet and miss their good friends in Bellingham. Peter and I don't really know what they are going through: my class is made up of foreigners who also don't fit in while Peter's college has people from all over the world. I'm also an adult who doesn't have the same need for social connectivity as they do.
They both enjoy traveling and love the Norwegian and Swedish countryside. The houses are so picturesque that I expect the occupants to come out wearing traditional garb. No walmart, no Costco, no strip malls... just forest, fields, lakes and volvo's. We went to Sälen, Sweden this weekend. It is a small town with a ski area about 2 hours to the east of us. The border on highway 26 is not even noted (no customs agents or border patrol ...). I managed to lose my wallet in a small town - I guess I left it on top of the car after we purchased a map. I would say Alzheimer's is setting in but I have always done things like that. Good thing Peter has patience. I had to cancel all the cards, so we only had the cash in our wallet to get through the weekend. Lucky for us the Norwegian Kroner is worth about 1/3 more than the Swedish Kroner, so we squeeked by. We stayed in a small cabin in Sälen, and Conlon went downhill mountain biking while we hiked. Unfortunately Conlon has downhill biked in Whistler and the terrain here is tame by comparison. But they are developing the sport here, and we heard of another more challenging mountain about 2 hours further north that we will try soon. Whistler is great, but much more expensive and commercial than this area. Kiwi was frantic to catch the lemmings that were everywhere and her inner wolf has been reborn. She is exhausted now and will sleep for the next three days dreaming of little squeaky rodents for dinner.