Last days in Norway

Our last days in Norway were a whirlwind of activity and sentimental emotion. Here are a few highlights from the last weeks. I volunteered at Greenpeace for the last time (towards the end of the year, I got to keep the volunteer community informed of activities by putting together a monthly newsletter). I didn’t get a picture of the people I volunteered with but here is a pic of the volunteer office that I helped decorate:

Ada and Maddie got to participate in a field day the last full week of school which they both enjoyed. Here are some pics from Ada’s field day: 

And Maddie’s field day (Maddie is seen here with her best friend Berrett who moved to Norway from Virginia Beach this fall):

Ada then participated in a preschool graduation ceremony and party (which I helped organize with the other class representative setting up decorations and spending a day buying presents for 36 children and 9 teachers and teaching assistants.) The ceremony was super cute, but for some reason, Ada refused to participate normally (possibly because she hates getting her picture taken or because she was simply in a bad mood). For example, Ada sat there glaring at me while all her classmates sang a song about flowers and bees.

When her friends were showing off their yoga moves, Ada simply sat on the ground and when it was time for her to walk to get her graduation certificate and rose, and she did not stand up and walk to her teacher; instead, she remained on her bottom and scooted to her teacher. It was pretty hilarious.

She did fully participate in the ice cream party on the playground after the graduation ceremony. 

Because international students move so frequently, every year the school has a “leavers assembly” where students watched a slide show about the year (which made me cry for some reason). Here is a link to the slide show:

Students then stood up when their name was called to indicate they weren’t coming back. Here is when Maddie stood up:

John, who has really enjoyed working with the University of Oslo this year, was grateful when his colleagues put together a small goodbye party for him at the University: 

Below are pics from the last time we walked to school and dropped off the kids at the playground:

The afternoon of the last day of school, Maddie’s friend Saya and her mom, a very kind woman from Japan who I’ve befriended, invited us over for a playdate followed with an impromptu invitation to dinner- sushi, miso soup, and japanese pancakes. Here are a few pics of the afternoon/evening:

The day after the last day of school, we immediately left for Sweden as described in this post. We then headed back home to finish up packing. We decided to “Project Zero” our leave-taking by selling, donating to organizations or giving away to friends every reusable thing we couldn’t take home with us. I was so grateful that we were able to donate four large grocery bags of opened and unopened food to Fattighuset, an organization that helps refugees in Oslo, our unsold skis and skates to BUA so others can borrow them for free in the future, and many toys to our local loppemarked.  Miraculously, we were able to fit everything we wanted back to the US in 12 suitcases and 4 carry-on items (including all our ski helmets and a used mini-scooter we picked up for $5 that Ada fell in love with this year!)

Aside from packing we did have enough time our last weekend in Norway to return to Sandvika, the beach where John took the girls last July on their first fun outing in Norway.

On our last day, we visited Eckerberg park where Evard Munch painted the scream,

and celebrated our anniversary while watching the sunset over Oslo for the last time.

We really have had an unforgettable year in Norway.

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