Sunday, October 7, 2012

DAY 28
(May 21)
Episode 5

Wow!  I can’t believe I have been away from home for 28 days.  In a way it seems as if I have been gone for years, in other ways it seems like I was just home yesterday…it’s really weird.  I am hoping Brenda is ok and nothing on the farm has been too hard for her to handle.  This morning I drew Sowilo again, I take it as a good sign.

We will leave today at 0915 and will be staying wherever we are going for the next two days.  The weather is absolutely gorgeous!  Sowilo at work no doubt.

We all gathered and got right to the first challenge without any delay;  the theme of this week is “everyday life in Norway”, and part of everyday life, is your job.

The village of Stranda is home to the Grandiosa factory where Grandiosa pizzas are made.  Suprisingly, the frozen grandiose pizza is the most consumed food in Norway.  The teams were chosen, I was on the blue team with Todd, Jessica, and Barbara.  In front of each team was a table full of fresh ingredients…we were to each design and make four identical pizza’s which would then be eaten and judged by the towns folk on creativity, appearance, and tatse.  Sounds like a fun challenge.
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              (Our pizza)                                                                          (Their Pizza)

We went with a surf and turf pizza, trying to represent the best of sea food, and beef.  I think it worked well and tasted great.  Our pizza was also beautiful; we used different color peppers arranged just so as to enhance the presentation.  I am certain that we dominated in all three categories, the red teams pizza was nothing special to look at, it didn’t have a design of any kind, so I was sure that we have creativity and appearance sown up.  But…that was not the case.

The red team won on appearance and taste, we won on creativity, giving them the overall win.  What may have hurt us was that as our four pizza’s were cooking in this outdoor overn thing, three of them fell and crashed to their deaths in the bottom of the oven.  That meant we only had one pizza, so the red team could only use one pizza, which cut down drastically the number of townsfolk that were able to judge.  Instead of 50 people there were only about 14.  Oh well, it’s just the first competition.

After the competition we were told that we would be staying the next two nights with Norwegian families.  Now that is exciting!!  We knew that one family had a dog, and I desperately wanted to stay with that family because I so missed my dog Adrienne at home.

Luckily for me my team got the family with the dog!  We walked to their house and finally got to meet them.  The dad was my age (49), a fantastic guy named Vebjørn, the mother was Merete she was 42, the son Tore Andre was 17, and the daughter Hanna was 13.  Right away I knew they were wonderful, warm, hospitable people.  Their last name was Skog, pretty cool name, it means forest.  Their dogs name was Cindy and she was 4 years old.  They also had two cats; Nisse and Misse, mother and daughter.

We talked and talked about many, many things. We were pumping them for information because we were figuring out how this game worked as well.  We were asking them everything having to do with everyday Norwegian life, because we think this information could show up on a challenge.  Tore Andre and I took Cindy for a nice walk, the cameras followed of course. 
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I can’t say enough about the Skog family.  As I write this from my journal I have been back in America for awhile, and not a day goes by that I don’t think of them.  Vebjørn and I refer to each other as brother; our brother from another mother.  We are great friends and I suspect it will be so for the rest of my life.  We just hit it off…I love that guy, the whole family actually.  When I do return to Norway one day I will definitely go to Stranda and see them, Vebjørn made me a promise and he can’t make good on it unless I go there.

Now it is 2330 at night, and still light outside.   Tomorrow we leave at 0700 for the next competition, the important one.

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