the first step

I'm addicted to the internet.  So, starting today, I'm boycotting facebook, myspace, and all the blogs I read for a week. I spend way too much of my precious Tromsø time on the internet and it just won't do. 

However, since I am a modern woman, the news, email, and skype are still on the ok list (I think they qualify as neccessities). And of course, blog updates.

It's not cold turkey quitting, but it's a start. 


gimli, son of gloin

i wish i had the balls to tattoo gimli on my arm.


planning's half the fun

I emailed this to a friend but I thought the rest of you might like to know my norway plans as well:

feb: work    school
march:  barcelona   school  work
april:  school    work
may:  exams  exams
june/july:  working  work$$
july/august:  poland  ukraine   turkey   greece  norway
sep:   alaska

of course, this schedule is subject to change (and sure to be supplemented with other side trips/adventures)

As for Barcelona, I'm leaving Tromsø on the 17 March and visiting Vågå/Vinstra for a few days, then I fly out of Oslo on the 21, and return the 30th.  I'm flying into Girona Airport, which is 100km (63 mil)  north of Barcelona, so I will spend a night or day in Girona, then travel down to see the big city for a few days before I  further south to see Valencia (there might be a festival there).  I might try and see how close to Africa I can get before having to return to Girona to catch my flight to Olso.  Of course,  this is NOT set in stone!  

It's 0˚C in Tromsø  and I see this huge dark cloud hanging over the sea. Hopefully it's bringing snow rather than rain. The thin cover of snow we have now is just barely doing its job of providing fun winter activities. The ski tracks have gone to ice, and the rest of the snow around here is dirty and crystallized. 

My classes are going well. The opening movie at the Tromsø International Film Festival this year was The Kautokeino Rebellion, about the Sami uprising in Kautokeino in 1852. This movie has received rave reviews. Generally, most good movies are based on good books, and the teacher of my Sami Nation class brought in the author of the book that inspired this movie to talk to us. Unfortunately, I can't remember her name, or find it on the internet, but I know she's a Danish scholar who had a GREAT presentation. It was incredibly interesting to hear about how these separate events (a religious movement, a farmer's complaint) culminated and lead to the rebellion. Essentially, she explained "the tipping point" to us. Unfortunately, my other classes this week weren't as riveting as this one.  Both my professors for International Political Economy and Indigenous Religions speak in such broad, abstract terms it's hard for me to follow what they are actually talking about. Luckily, the texts for both classes are very interesting and aren't typical textbook reading.

As I've been typing, that dark cloud/fog has been moving closer and closer to the shore. I couldn't see Kvaløya before, but now I can't even see the coast of this island. I really hope there is snow inside of this cloud, because it's actually kind of creepy.

Tonight, there is a "welcome back the sun" festival in downtown Tromsø and also a party at the school, both of which I'm going to have a look at.



Team Norris leading the pack.

(Team Norris pictures courtesy of Kari Skogen)

this weekend (now available on skype!)

  • halvor won his first snox race!
  • i sprained my ankle (i was NOT counting this time).
  • halvor turned 18.
  • i rediscovered an old skill.
  • i got plenty of sleep.
  • i drank plenty of tea.
  • got in touch with ak!
  • saw great northern lights.
  • got kitchen duty :(

Team Norris ------->


Here's how my weekend has been going:

Listening to NPR and knitting.
Drawing a map of Europe.
Talking with friends over tea.
Declining 4 party offers.

I hope someone doesn't confuse me with an old woman.


but now i'm gold

I visited Tromsø Villmarkssenter today looking for a part-time job, maybe shoveling poop or something, and got offered a full-time handler position. Effective as soon as possible. I would not call myself experienced in any way, but I guess being born into dogs is major points in Tore and Tove's book. I think I am pretty lucky to be raised the way that I was (thanks mom and dad) because I have a pretty good selling point in the world of dog mushing. I come from good stock!
I've been weighing the pro's and con's of accepting the full time handler position, here's the run-down:

Pro: good money                       Con: not enough time to study?
Pro: free food and housing      Con: Have to move from cozy Åsgårdveien
Pro: 3 days a week off      Con: Have to use those days to attend class
     Con: No freedom to go ______ whenever I want

I think I'm going to work part-time until I can get an idea of how much time per week I should be spending on my classes, and then maybe I'll consider moving to Kvaløya.


back to basics

I've moved to Åsgårdveien. No hassle at all to change my accomodation, and I think I was very lucky, since I scored the last room available in Åsgard. Moreover, I have a room on the top floor, facing the mountains, and not far away from the bathrooms. Both pictures (taken by my friend and close neighbor, Ignazy) show the view from outside the windows on this side of the building!  
I like my room here far better than the room at Prestvatnet. Here, I have wooden furniture, a long desk along the breadth of the window, cozy textured walls, and a small dark brown bookshelf. It's nice to not have to close my curtains against the parking lot! Also included in my room is a nice closet and a small sink/mirror. I didn't know living in a dormitory could be so homey. It must be the wood.


Lisbet + Sommerøya= <3.

Today, my last free day before classes, I took the opportunity to go hiking around the neighbor island of Kvaløya, which is the 5th largest island in Norway. My Polish friends, Ignazy and Ula, and I took the bus across the bridge and walked across the narrowest part of the islant to see the fjord on the other side. Wanting to see a different fjord a little farther away, we stuck out our thumbs and the only people who stopped for us were headed to Sommerøy.
So, we jumped in the van. Sommerøy was a wonderful surprise. A lovely little island full of colorful houses and sandy white beaches, even in the winter! We followed a road along the coastline, climbed a hill to spot a lifehouse, and found a fish shack by the side of the water. I collected a few shells and we ate lunch at the top of a windy hill waiting for our ride to return.
From there we drove around the south side of Kvaløya, where we spotted a herd of reindeer grazing by the side of the road. We also saw an island that is home to a herd of wild muskoxen. The University of Tromsø introduced the muskoxen to the island in the 1960s, according to our drivers, a couple of very friendly and kind social workers.
I'm so happy to be in Tromsø! The sun should show up sometime this week, and there are so many things to look forward to!
  Fjellgruppa (hiking and skiing in mts. around Tromsø)
  Summer in the north (beaches, Europe, kayaking)
  "Arctic Norway" classes
NPR podcasts
Tea (lady grey, polish mint, sunfruit)
I've also emailed Tove and Tore of Tromsø Villmarkssenter. They both ran the Iditarod in 2006 and have a wilderness tour operation (dog sled tours, climbing, glacier hikes, etc.) I'm hoping to get a part-time job with them, but if not, I'll be happy to come visit their puppies. :)