For a long time, I've wanted to include a photo reference guide to the people I mention in my blog. I especially wanted to do this last year since so many of my friends back home didn't know my friends in Norway. Better late than never, I say.
Lixian and Jeff:
Lixian was the person I hung out with most frequently. She's always fun to talk with and I love how committed she is to making the world a better place. My 10 months in Norway would have been so much more lonely without her. I hope from some of my other posts, it's clear how much Lixian has meant to me this year. Jeff has so much energy and curiosity about the world. He was great fun to talk politics with. I love that this picture shows what close friends these two are. I enjoyed hanging out with them both separately and together. And I'm so excited to see Lixian next week in San Francisco!!!!! I promise to take a better picture of Lixian to post as a follow up.
I don't know what I would have done without my occasional get togethers with LaReesa. She reminded me of my friends back home and was great to talk shop with. We joked about how nice it was to spend time with someone our own age. I also really enjoyed LaReesa's family and wish that I had a picture of all three. John is a great cook and person, and Zach is one of the most intelligent and fun kids I know. I miss you guys.
Tove (and Jeff again):
Tove and I became friends far too late in the year. She worked at the Fulbright office, so I always assumed that the last thing she'd want to do on the weekends was see more Fulbrighters. When she got a new job, I decided to ask her if she'd like to have dinner--and that began our far too brief friendship. Tove is a great conversationalist and I love how independent and together she is. Tove, I wish we'd had more time to get to know each other.
Ben, Susie, Cathrine, Stine:
These four came to my New Year's Eve Party (in addition to a few other folks). I love Ben and Susie's yummy cooking (Ben, I still need the chicken tikka masala recipe!). They are both so talented, and I admire how well they seem to forge strong relationships. I met Cathrine through Stine--she is funny and smart . . . and I hope that she really will come to grad school in the U.S., preferably in California. 🙂 Stine was a teacher who invited me to her class last fall. She was so fun to hang out with then that I decided she *had* to be my friend. She's off to Spain on her own great adventure in August.
Hilde and Renate:
Hilde and Renate are teachers that I met at the first Fulbright reception. They have both done the Fulbright summer program for teachers in the U.S. They each were great friends to me and the other Roving Scholar. They have always been supportive and kind to me. Hilde, I hope you love your new house. Renate, love your posts to my Facebook page!
Ann is an amazing teacher and avid learner of all things technological. Although she suffers from a devotion to Microsoft ;), I can't believe everything she can do with the computer. Ann and her husband Henning have been so generous and willing to teach me about Norwegian culture. I only wish we'd been able to spend more time together!
I look at these pictures and think about my fears when I moved to Norway. I worried that because I traveled so much, I wouldn't make friends and that I would have a very lonely year. I'm sometimes amazed at how quickly we can feel connected to other people. It isn't always clear at first meeting who will become a part of our lives, nor is it clear how long friendship will last. I'm so glad for the time I was able to spend with each of these people. Thank you.