Updates

This is going to be a multi multi entry.
I have been way too busy to post regular updates lately and I am sorry about that.

It has been almost a month with no updates so This will just be a summary.

May 14-16 I was so lucky to recieve a visit from my hermano Claudio Quintana from Puntarenas, Chile. The very south peek and one of the closest cities to the South Pole. It was 5 years since last time we met and then only for 3 hours before he had to leave. For the 15th we were joined by Carlos from Trondheim (well, he is actually from El Salvador but has lived in Trondheim where I met him 11 years ago for so long I dont remember). We had a fantastic evening and it was nice to meet both of them.

Claudio, It was fantastic to meet you again and I miss you already.

Then on the 16th in the afternoon Myriam and I had a long walk in the forest to enjoy the beautiful sunny weather and practice norwegian. We were invited for several parties as well but chose not to go out.

For may 17 that is the Norwegian National day we celebrated the CouchSurfing way
Weather was FANTASTIC !! Sunny, almost +20C and few clouds.

The day started out pretty stressed since I just remembered that I did not prepare all I should have prepared for the day. So after my shower I sat down to wait for Jen (My couchsurfer for the 2 next days) that was late. She turned up a bit late and I missed the first train. Ok. It was not all her fault. She did arrive at 9 when I was supposed to leave but I had not prepared the CS sign that was supposed to help the guys find the group easily. So, I still had to do that while waiting for her while she got ready for the big day.
The train was completely packed with people in festive moods and clothes.
We had a fantastic day with marvelous weather and loads of activities.

Couchsurfers from Norway, South Korea, France, Colombia, Austria, Brazil, Angola, Finland, USA, Canada gathered to celebrate the Norwegian national day together and we reached the numbers of 18 (during the day).

We all met up at the University place to watch the childrens parade around 10 where we stayed there having fun and getting to know each other till straight after 12 before heading out to Hovedoya where we arranged a barbeque.
We had to cross the Karl Johan street where the parade was crossing and its not so easy to cross with 16 people and angry ladies thinking we were going to steal their place in front to see better than them. We did get there in time for the boat with good margins and even Etienne that managed to hop on the boat almost as it took off from the peer. hehe. A little late but still in time.

The island was an idyllic place for the barbeque and we all enjoyed the traditional may 17 meal; Hot dogs and wine. Not enough wine must say ! Just 2 bottles for 16 people is just a quell appetizer. We were also a very very popular group at the island. The seagulls liked the smell of food and soon surrounded us. We were also accompanied by a geese couple with 3 chicks. The group was a perfect combination and everybody seemed to be having a great time. We had lots and lots of fun. When time came to leave we lost the originally planned ferry but no problem. Another one passed just 15 minutes after. Our tourists were taking pictures of themselves and others with ladies in the traditional costume, Bunad.

There was also time for an ice-cream break. Soft-ice is the 2nd most popular dish (after the hot-dogs) amongst Norwegians this day. Wee. Fantastic.

Our next step was at the university place again to join in on the national folk dances (which some did not manage so well – like some french guy following the girls directions instead of the mens directions etc). But it was terribly fun to watch.
After an hour of dancing activities we moved up to the Kuba park where we listened to the SOS racisms huge concerts against racism THEN we finished off at Memphis bar at Gronland. Some even continued till 2am visiting bar after bar i was told. Jen and I left around 10:30, both tired.
It was a fantastic day and we had so much fun.

See pictures at:
http://wiki.couchsurfing.com/en/May17oslo2007,
http://www.mhevensen.com/17mai and at
http://virtualnothingness.wordpress.com/2007/05/19/couchsurfing-the-17th-of-may/.

a Totally great day.

For the 18th I arranged a couchsurfing dinner with travellers and couchsurfers visiting and living in Oslo. Bernardo and mom, Nene + Jeff and Myriam, Amanda and Jen made us 7 for dinner and we had a great afternoon. I was a little freaked out about what to serve so many people but it showed out to be no problem and we had more than enough food for all both that day and the next. We had taco night weee. Easy food to cook. After dinner we all went down to the city and had something to drink at Cafe Sor in Torggata before coming home at 4 in the morning. It poored down. Ouff. I am glad I did not have to walk home alone as I was hosting Jen. Amanda never wanted to go out with us and when we got home we woke her up unintentionally.

The 19th Jen left Oslo and headed off to Bergen while Amanda was out all day with some frenchies. Jeff and Myriam came over for Pizza and Myriam and I walked from their house to Nydalen, almost to Grorud before we took the bus the last way. The pizza was made of left overs from the 18th and tasted great.

The 20th we had another fantastic day in the sun and Myriam, Jeff, Etienne and I was in the Kuba park for barbequeing. I also got Lillegutt back for a weeks babysit/catsit.

Tuesday may 22 and wednesday may 23 I hosted the Spanish Couchsurfer Laura who was really nice. She also made me a traditional spanish dish :)
Thursday may 24 Jorunn shipped me one more cat and Lillegutt and Saffi and Kosefine was now 3.
Weekend may 25-27 – CSer Kerryn from Australia stayed for the weekend. A real fun aussie and we had lots of fun meeting other CSers like Jeff, Myriam, Knut Ole, Ricard, Celine, Maria and some other friends for parties. For sunday Myriam, Kerryn and I went for a 5 HOUR long walk in the forest. I think they were a bit concerned about getting lost at some times but finally we found the track back ! Celine, Myriam, Kerryn and I also had a planning meeting to plan the midsummer camp.
I also found an article in the online papers about Costa Rica that aims to win the carbon neutral race in the world.

Monday 28 was a wonderful day off and was just spent to relax and enjoy.
Tuesday may 29 we arranged the monthly couchsurfing meeting at Asylet and the party comittee got load of information about the location of the midsummer camp we are arranging from 22 to 23 of June.
The two next days after work I spent making the webpages for the midsummercamp and the meeting invitation. http://www.couchsurfing.com/meetings.html?mid=2524. Myriam helped me lots and we also had time to do some norwegian practicing.

Friday JUNE 1 I went with some friends for a barbeque in a park and saturday 2 was the day of the music in Oslo and concerts all over. Elisabete from Portugal came in to stay at my house for a week and we went out to meet other CSers for drinks :)

Sunday june 3 I walked 3 hours from my house to the city and continued to Frognerparken to meet up with the family and it was great. Wonderful sunny weather after some days with pooring rain. I sent Ellie off with the other couchsurfers in Oslo to NAKholmen and they spent the day in the sun swimming etc.
My grandmother living in Trondheim was in Oslo today with a friend. She is a real vagabond spirit and just spent 1 week in Normandie, France. My sister, brother in law and 3rd and 4th cousins all met up in the Frognerpark where we had lunch outside in the fantastic sunny weather. Also one of my sisters friend, Ane with her son joined us. Great day.
Luckily Christian (brother in-law) volunteered to drive Ellie and me home. We met Ellie at Oslo Sentralstation and was taken all the way to the door.

Monday june 4 Ellie cooked pasta carbonara dish with a portuguese recepy and tuesday 5 we attended a free environmental concert arranged by the Nobel peace center celebrating the opening of the environmentally focused exhibition Melting Ice – Hot topic.

One of the exhibitioners is also a couchsurfer and we met up with him and his family as well during the show. It was a fantastic day and the concert was great with lots of great norwegian bands. After the concert Ellie and I went to Aker Brygge to enjoy a couple of the most expensive beers in Oslo with Oyvind, Ricard, Celine, Jeff, Myriam.
Wednesday 6 not much happened and thursday june 7 I had Jeff, Myriam, Ellie and Jorunn S over for dinner and reflexology massage. We had fresh cod and potatoes before the massage session.

On top of all this I have been walking long distances as often as possible and enjoyed life. I have also started getting a grip on what I do at work so that I dont feel as lost as before and that feels really great. I am also studying for my reflexology massage exam on monday june 11. For the last week the weather has been absoluteley gorgeous and sunny but we have also had many days with rain.

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