November: Outdoor kindergarten, Thanksgiving & more snow

November started out being a pretty slow month. We were wrapping up with classes and were busy working on our final paper. The past week, things have been picking up, and it’s been a lot of fun. I’m leaving really soon. I only have 22 days left here in Norway, and I want to enjoy the time I have left here.

Last Tuesday, we had the opportunity to visit an outdoor kindergarten. It is a preschool where the kids are outside 4/5 days of the week no matter the weather. Lately, it’s been cold (it’s currently 21 degrees.)  Last week wasn’t much different from now, just less snow. So, we took the bus to a harbor and got a little boat to visit some little kids playing outside. It was so cold. I’ve never complained about this kind of weather before, but that’s because I’ve never had to stay outside in it. The little kids didn’t even seem notice it. When we got there, they were all eating noodles. They were all bundled up and didn’t mind the cold one bit; they were having fun.  All of us weren’t so used to staying out in the cold though and ended up sitting inside a tent with a fire and then just ended up staying inside after we had a little walk around the island.  It was a great experience, though. I could never imagine people back in the States sending their kids outside all day in the cold.

Last week was also Thanksgiving. At first, I was really disappointed I was going to be missing this, but it ended up being really great. My mom sent me a few Thanksgiving essentials from home (cranberry sauce, stuffing, cream of mushroom for green bean casserole,) and I got the rest here. I ended up cooking turkey (a two pound turkey breast,) Stove Top stuffing, green bean casserole, and sweet potatoes. I invited a few friends over (from Austria, Germany, and Switzerland) who obviously don’t have Thanksgiving, so I had a lot of fun sharing it with them. They had never had stuffing, green bean casserole, or sweet potatoes. Also, thanks to the 7 hour time difference, we were able to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade while we ate. Also, now that I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving, I really feel like it’s Christmas season now, which happens to be my favorite time of the year.

Also, it snowed more today! I woke up this morning, and everything was white. Now that all the little wooden buildings are covered in snow, it really looks like a Christmas village here in Kristiansand, and I love it. Yes, it’s cold, and yes, it’s a bit windy, but that’s winter. Unfortunately, I’m not able to ride my bike in the snow, but since I didn’t ride my bike to school today, I was able to take some pretty nice pictures on the way there and back.

I have my big oral exam on Wednesday, and then I’m officially done for the semester.  Next week, I go up north to Tromsø, 217 miles inside the Arctic Circle. On the 14th (I think) I will go home with my roommate, Stine, who lives about 20 minutes outside of Oslo. I’m going to celebrate my birthday with her in Oslo by going to the Christmas markets, which I’m really looking forward to doing. Basically, I’ve had a great time here, and I still have some adventures planned.

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