May of 2017. Three months since I started my volunteering project in Norway, so I think it’s a good moment to make a little analysis of this first term. I’m starting explaining what is my project about. It’s quite simple: it’s about create a warmer society, helping wherever i’m needed in a village of Hordaland, Norway, called Sveio. During these months I’ll be in different places acomplishing a variety of tasks. By the moment, I’m in the middle school (13-16 years old).
(After a little presentation of myself and my partner’s interview).
Interviewer: Why did you become a volunteer?
Me: I think that, like everyone here, I wanted a new experience in my live. For some people it can be hard to get out from the confort zone, but I think it’s necessary. Now, being more specific: why do this by being a volunteer? Because from my point of view it’s the best way to develop yourself. When you are helping other people and in the meantime you are learning new skills, as well as improving your adquired abilities, your gaining an unmeasurable experience. I won’t say that I do this only for helping. Being honest, I do this firstly for myself, I want to travel and get experience, but if I can do this while helping other people, then it’s perfect.
I: Why did you chose Norway?
M: I don’t think that I choose Norway, but Noway choose me. I applied for some other projects and, as my biggest dream has always been to see the Northern Lights, of course I applied for Norway, what is the one in which I’ve been selected. So you can say I am lucky.
I: What can you tell us about being a volunteer?
M: First of all, to be a volunteer you have to be brave. I think that everyone here shares the same pattern: we are all brave and ambitious, we all have dreams. Then, once you’re volunteer I think that you must be involved. I mean, from my point of view, only when you get really involve with your enviroment (and with this I also mean with the people) is when you’re adquiring this experience that I mentioned before. For me, I also took a good role with the other volunteers here. The first day I reunited them all to drink and meet each other and now I created a special Facebook group to travel around Norway together, to host each other, and also to keep in touch. And appart from all that, when you tell people that you are here as a volunteer, they are very grateful. That’s nice.
I: Have you experienced a cultural shock?
M: Not really. Or not as big as I expected. People was warning me about norwegians, saying that you are too cold, but I don’t think it’s true. You have a a good manage of your emotions and you also respect the personal space, but I don’t think it makes you so cold. There is a few differences with my flatmate. He’s a very nice guy, but we’re quite the opposite. He’s very organizated and calmed and I am more like “everything is going to be fine”. But I think that’s simply how you are. For example I am very open, optimistic and energic, and my flatmate says that it’s for being spanish, but I think it’s just personallity. In Spain you find very shy or isolated people also.
I: What’s the next step?
M: That’s the big question. By the moment I will be here until December and I promised my family that I will try to be a Teacher in Spain at least once, but I already figured out that I can imagine myself here in Norway, working as a Teacher and studying another master’s degree. I would be very happy. But still, not my whole life, probably. I am very curious man, and that means I have this feeling of moving. I don’t want to be in the same place for a long time.
The alphabetized runes system is a group of alphabets used by the germanic tongues, mainly in Scandinavia, that used letters called runes. The first of those is the elder ‘futhark’ (called after the first six letters), which contains around twenty-four/twenty-five runes. In the eighth century it evolved into the young ‘futhark’, with sixteen characters.
Before that you read this post, you must know two things:
1: If you are watching the series ‘Vikings’ and you don’t want to know some historical facts you shouldn’t read this.
2: This is a legend.
The second thing I did when I arrived to Norway was to buy a book (the first thing I did was to eat in huge amounts). I came into a little book shop placed in the Oslo-Gardemoen airport and I saw a little book titled “Norwegian Folk Tales”, and what can I say except I loved it? It’s a very kind reading, for they’re mainly tales, but it contains a very interesting foreword in which we can see the conception of the nordic hero.
One of the things I was wondering before coming here was: “are the norwegian people as cold as they say?”. Everybody was warning me with sentences like “it’s going to be hard to make friends there” or “they say that they are really cold”. Well, fortunately this is not the truth, at least, not at all. As every rumor it has a real part and a invented part.
Norwegian as a third language
Refering to the learning of a language, everyone knows that there are different strategies and study plans. In order to accomplish such knowledge, each person has to know how to manage his or her own learning. It’s important to know how you learn. As an example, I know that I learn better by searching structural similarities, shared lexical roots… that is to say, going deeper and deeper in the language itself and its historicity.
For me, learning a new language is a very beautiful challenge. A language is a huge part of the culture, and encloses an unique way of thinking and a evolution. Continue reading “Learning a new language”