I had a very nice trip down to Arendal today. It was eventful as not only did I get company on the journey, but we had quite a bit in common. Saffi and I travelled down south – a journey that takes about 4 hours normally. Not all Norwegians are as happy to talk with strangers on the bus, but thankfully a few are. I say Norwegians, but here I include anyone that has lived here long enough to be adapted to our culture and act like any other Norwegian.
At first my side mate was sleeping while listening to music. His music played quite loud and hence no point of talking to him. A friend of his sat in the seat behind him. Mid journey we had a 10 minute break and this dude took his headphones off and talked with his friend a bit. Once he was done talking with the friend I had to ask about the music and this is how – during some talk – that he not only is latino (as I, of course, had guessed already due to the music he played), but from Costa Rica. And even better, not only from Costa Rica, but from Guanacaste and this is where all the coincidences got funnier and funnier, because in the end it turned out he and his brother were born in Liberia. Liberia is MY city, where I lived when I was 17 when I was an exchange student there. As soon as we had discovered this – we spent the rest of the journey talking about Costa Rica and music and lots of other stuff. He now lives in Kristiansand, but grew up in Oslo. They were adopted in 1990 as toddlers so both of them still very young, but the more reasons that it should be possible still to find their grandparents alive and possibly cousins and aunts/uncles.
Turns out this guy and his brother were adopted many years back by Norwegian parents and of course are all Norwegian now, however we were talking about the start of their life, loosing their parents as toddlers, living with their grandparents for a little while and then moving on to an orphanage in San Jose, from where they were adopted. They had been back a few times to visit CR with their Norwegian parents and tried searching for information about their grandparents and find out whether they still have relatives in Liberia – without much success – everywhere they had asked, noone knew where to send them and their spanish wasn’t good enough to get the right help. And I got a very good idea. I am more than happy to help. This kind of puzzle games of information finding is not only one of my specialities, but I have to know someone that knows someone that knows someone that might have that information or maybe even know their relatives. I know quite a few people in Liberia. We exchanged e-mail addresses and facebook.
It would be sooooo awesome to help find the family. I am a sucker for anything-reunion like, whether its a family reunion, long lost friends or school mates. I love tracking down people I once knew and get to know their life as it is today. Facebook is fantastic this way. I get more and more happy about Facebook as a way to keep in touch with friends spread all over the world. More and more of my friends get online and we connect. Not all of course, but some are better than none.
I am certain if the dude accepts for me to help out finding his family – that I would be able to come up with names or contact persons within not too long a time. It sure would be fun to reunite them with their family and I am very certain that the grandparents would be thrilled to see that their grandsons were doing great in Norway. It must have been devastating for them to first loose their children and then have to give up on the grandchildren. I hope I hear back from him, this sure is a challenge I am up for.
I already found a few links on where to find information from the government about who to contact about tracking down the families of those adopted from Costa Rica (with some help from some other friends):
PANI (Patronato Nacional de la Infancia
Convencion de la Haya (materia de menores)
I was so lucky to be picked up by mom and my grandma (My lovely grandma). A fantastic person. We cooked a nice meal and enjoyed good conversations before going to bed.