I traveled to Norway when I was just 20 years old.
I had barely left the farm more than to get on the bus to go to school
and to attend 4-H meetings at the school cafeteria. I was green and
Preconceived notions about ‘American women’ was that we were like the
babes in the movies. I set the record straight early on during my life
in Norway. And, I had preconceived notions about Norway and about
the international students at the Hamar Laererhogskole at which I attended.
I never would admit to being prejudice, but I was far from having a perfect
understanding of the world around me.
My favorite story, although not the perfect experience, was that of
the time when I learned that my father was seriously ill as a result of a stroke.
I would call my mother to get progress reports whenever I could, whenever
I had a pocket full of change.
The date of which I speak of was within two weeks of my father’s
stroke. I felt like I was stranded on an island,
my favorite island, and something really bad was happening on the mainland.
And, there was nothing that I could do about it. I was in my most favorite
place- Norway, and the most horrible thing had happened to my father-
he was now paralyzed- a paraplegic.
I took time out of my studies and my work on campus to write to my parents,
to add entries to my personal diary and to call my mother, once of twice
per week. The cost of the conversation was $1 per minute. I couldn’t talk
It was a busy night in the phone room where each of us took turns talking
to our families. To be continued….