This is from an email I received this week. It is from someone who I haven’t seen or talked to for 29 years. She is from Iceland and has been searching for me. We spent a year in Norway in 1980-81 as exchange students. She is trying to organize a reunion for us – 30 years next year since we left each other, teens on the step of adulthood, going our separate ways after an amazing year in a different culture and land.
At almost the exact same time, I got another email forwarded saying that someone else was trying to find me. Another exchange student was on the hunt!
All of this has brought that year rushing back to me:
- Heia Norge
- My host family: Eva, Ole, Kjell, Halvor (and Anne) and Borghild
- The farm and community where I lived – a small place northeast of Oslo (the capital)
- Going to school in the dark and coming home in the dark
- Brun ost (a type of cheese – literally “brown cheese” but much more tasty than that would suggest)
- the other exchange students: Suzanne, Jo, Tony B, Tony M (who has passed away), Jim, Dilla, Greg, Linda, Guido…oh and all the others.
- Norwegian sweaters
too much roaming around in my head!
It is very interesting how technology can put you in touch so easily, across time, across borders and oceans. Back in the day, when we left Norway, we were all given a contact sheet with everyone’s address and phone number. No email, Facebook, blogs – of course. So we wrote letters and tried to stay in touch, some more successfully than others. We were after all 17, 18 years old. As you age, things change, interests change, your focus shifts.
I have been a bit of a rolling stone…I have moved several times – to and from University, around the province for jobs, moving every 2,3 or 5 years. Not really anchoring myself to place until now. Here I have moved twice – most recently a year ago. But I have been here 11 years. And I am impressed that I have been found…my last name is Smith…not the easiest one to search, and even with a relatively different first name, the search can turn up several folks. (I was recently contacted by someone on Facebook with the same name trying to get us all with the same name to be friends). As well, I am using my full name now, whereas growing up, I used the nickname that my family called me.
So, I am super happy and surprised to have this new / old “family” return to my life. It will be exciting and interesting to catch up. I am sure we have all had very different and amazing lives.
Like Dilla said: It maked my day!